Ready-to-print script: (for folding into a booklet)
Storyteller, Peter, Disciple 1, Jew 1, Jew 2, Disciples (all congregation)
Paper flames: cut-out paper flames (6-8 inches high) of fire colours: red, orange, yellow
Use paper firm enough to stand up when held, so flame doesn’t flop over.
Ideally, distribute a flame to each person in the congregation. If you have fewer, focus on the children.
MINISTER or Worship Leader:
Hear the familiar story of that Pentecost Day almost 2000 years ago which we celebrate today.
We are reading from the Acts of the Apostles, chapter two, beginning with verse one.
ACTORS/READERS: Come to the front and take your place.
STORYTELLER: The day of Pentecost has come, and the disciples of Jesus are all together in one place.
And suddenly from heaven comes a sound like the rush of a violent wind.
Everyone help us out. (speaking to the entire congregation)
EVERYONE: Make wind sounds (with mouth and/or hands rubbing together)
STORYTELLER: And the sound like wind fills the entire house where they are sitting.
Divided tongues, as of fire, appear among them, and a tongue rests on each of them.
(Invite each person in congregation to hold a flame above their head.)
DISCIPLES & PETER: Hold a tongue of fire over your head.
All of them are filled with the Holy Spirit and begin to speak in other languages, as the Spirit enables them.
DISCIPLES & PETER: In another language: French? German? Welsh? Setswana? Mandarin? Christ is risen. God is good. Bless you.
STORYTELLER: 5 Now there are devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem.
JEWS 1&2: Come forward to sides, in front of platform, with hand up to ear, as if listening.
At this sound the crowd gathers and is bewildered, because each one hears them speaking in the native language of each.
They are amazed and astonished.
JEWS 1&2: [Look astonished!!!!!!!!!]
JEW 1: Are not all these who are speaking from Galilee?
JEW 2: How is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? Judean and Greeks!
JEW 1: Residents of Iraq, Samaria, and Lebanon!
JEW 2: From Turkey, Jordan and Egypt, even Libya and Crete!
JEW 1: And visitors from Rome!
JEW 2: Both Jews and proselytes!
And Arabs! And _____________ (insert nationality or regional name of locals or those who will be in the congregation, e.g. Welsh, Polish, Kiwis, Northerners, Californians, Islanders, etc. Be sure terms used are friendly and acceptable, not derogatory.)
JEW 2: In our own languages we hear them speaking about God’s deeds of power!
STORYTELLER: All are amazed and perplexed!
JEW 2: What does this mean?
STORYTELLER: But others sneer and say,
JEW 1: They are filled with new wine!
STORYTELLER: But Peter, standing with the eleven, raises his voice and addresses them:
PETER: People of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say.
Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o’clock in the morning!
DISCIPLE 1: [Point to clock.]
Actually, Peter, the clock says 11:20. (insert actual time)
PETER: Well, close enough. Still, too early to be drunk!
No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel:
“In the last days it will be, God declares,
that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh,
and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
and your young men shall see visions,
and your old men shall dream dreams.
Even upon my slaves, both men and women, in those days
I will pour out my Spirit. And they shall prophesy.
STORYTELLER: And Peter tells them many more things about the prophets, King David and Jesus.
Therefore let the entire house of Israel know, with certainty, that God has made him both Lord and Messiah, this Jesus, whom you crucified.
STORYTELLER: Now when they hear this, they are cut to the heart.
JEWS 1 & 2: [Put hands over heart.]
STORYTELLER: They say to Peter and to the other apostles,
JEW 1: Brothers, what should we do?
PETER: Repent, and be baptized.
Every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ,
so that your sins may be forgiven.
And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
For the promise is for you, for your children, and for all who are far away, everyone whom God calls.
STORYTELLER: And Peter testifies with many other arguments and exhorts them, saying,
PETER: Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.
STORYTELLER: So those who welcome Peter’s message are baptised.
EVERYONE: Kneel or bend in the attitude of prayer.
STORYTELLER: That day about three thousand people are added.
They devote themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the sharing in prayers.
Here ends the reading.
Thank you for listening to our amazing Pentecost story.
May God bless us all with understanding in our own language.
To actors/readers: Thank you. You may return to your seat.
featured image: Lady of Lourdes Cathedral, Casablanca, Morocco — Ana Gobledale