Jan 31, 2014

Readers' Theatre: Matthew 5: 21-37

Here’s a readers’ theatre setting of Matthew 5: 21-37.  It is set for two voices.

Readers’ Theatre:
Matthew 5: 21-37

 One:    You have heard that our ancestors were told,

Two:    You must not murder.
If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment.

One:    But I say, if you are even angry with someone,
you are subject to judgment!
If you call someone an idiot,
you are in danger of being brought before the court.
And if you curse someone, 
you are in danger of the fires of hell.

So if you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple
and you suddenly remember
that someone has something against you, 
leave your sacrifice there at the altar.
Go and be reconciled to that person.
Then come and offer your sacrifice to God.

When you are on the way to court with your adversary,
settle your differences quickly.
Otherwise, your accuser may hand you over to the judge,
who will hand you over to an officer,
and you will be thrown into prison. 
And if that happens,
you surely won’t be free again until you have paid the last penny.

One:    You have heard the commandment that says,

Two:    You must not commit adultery.

One:     But I say,
anyone who even looks at a woman with lust
has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 

So if your eye—even your good eye—causes you to lust,
gouge it out and throw it away.
It is better for you to lose one part of your body
than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.
And if your hand—even your stronger hand—causes you to sin,
cut it off and throw it away.
It is better for you to lose one part of your body
than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.

One:    You have heard the law that says,

Two:    A man can divorce his wife
by merely giving her a written notice of divorce.

One:     But I say that a man who divorces his wife,
unless she has been unfaithful,
causes her to commit adultery.
And anyone who marries a divorced woman also commits adultery.

One:    You have also heard that our ancestors were told,

Two:    You must not break your vows;
you must carry out the vows you make to the Lord.’

One:    But I say, do not make any vows!
Do not say,

Two:    By heaven!

One:    because heaven is God’s throne. 
And do not say,

Two:    By the earth!

One:    because the earth is his footstool.
And do not say,

Two:    By Jerusalem!

One:    for Jerusalem is the city of the great King. 
Do not even say,

Two:    By my head!

One:    for you can’t turn one hair white or black. 
Just say a simple, ‘Yes, I will,’ or ‘No, I won’t.’

Anything beyond this is from the evil one.