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Spring 2007 · Vol. 36 No. 1 · pp. 74–92 

Do, Doulos: A Dramatic Presentation of James

George Akina


Readers 1-8

(The stage is preset with a ladder UC, two chairs, back-to-back CS facing US and DS and a flower on a stand in a prominent position DL. The flower is rigged to wilt. A stool is placed extreme DR and another extreme DL. The music begins and the house lights dim.)

(Readers 1-6 enter. Each has a script in a black binder. Reader 7 and Reader 8 will appear later from the foyer. They should all be very familiar with the “script” and avoid simply reading it. The script is part of the reader’s theatre convention and will sometimes be used as a prop. Reader 2 stands DC, Reader 1 is to his/her L and the rest are US. All are facing US.)

Reader 1   (Turning forward) The book of

Reader 2   (Turning forward) 1 James,

Reader 1   . . . a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes scattered among the nations:

Reader 2   Greetings.

Reader 3   (Turning as they speak!) Hello!

Reader 4   Guten Tag!

Reader 5   Bonjour!

Reader 1   Howdy!

Reader 6   Aloha!

Reader 3   (moving DS) Hola!

Reader 4   (moving DS) Good morning!

Reader 5   (moving DS) Buenos Dias!

Reader 1   (moving DS) Ohayo gozaimaz!

Reader 6   (moving DS) Kia Ora!

Reader 2   Yo!

(Everyone stops and turns to Reader 2 staring in disbelief. Reader 2 composes him/herself and returns to his/her former dignified self. Everyone turns and moves US as Reader 2 continues.)

2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.

(Others simulate waves and wind with their bodies and voices.)

7 Those who doubt should not think they will receive anything from the Lord; 8 they are

(Reader 2 finishes this line R of Reader 5 who turns for his/her line.)

Reader 2 and Reader 5

. . . double-minded

Reader 2   . . . and unstable in all they do. 9 Believers in humble circumstances

Reader 1   (Stepping up onto the US chair) . . . ought to take pride in their high position.

Reader 2   10 But the rich

Reader 3   . . . should take pride in their (sitting on the DS chair) humiliation,

Reader 2   . . . since they will pass away like a wild flower.

(All look to the flower set DL and say a collectiveAhhhin admiration and then look forward again)

11 For the sun rises with scorching heat

(Reader 5 walks up ladder with a cut-out sun in his/her script opened while others fan themselves with their scripts)

All except Reader 2

Awwww. (Pre-set flower withers—slide whistle sound effect)

Reader 2   . . . and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich will fade away even while they go about their business.

(Clears his/her throat . . . faces full front and smiles)

In the same way, the rich will fade away even while they go about their business.

Reader 3   (Turning to Reader 2.) You’re kidding, right?

(Reader 2 smiles and shakes his/her head. Reader 3 turns back to the congregation with a fake smile, stands, places his/her script on his/her chair, pauses for a beat, then wilts to the floor.)

Reader 5   (Reader 5 helps Reader 3 up as he/she speaks.) 12 Blessed are those who persevere under trial,

Reader 3   . . . because when they have stood the test,

Reader 5   . . . they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. 13 When tempted, no one should say,

Reader 4   (Stepping forward to stand DR of Reader 5. Reader 3 picks up his/her script and moves US standing facing US.) . . . “God is tempting me.”

Reader 5   . . . For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone;

Reader 6   (Reader 6 moves DR) 14 but each of you is tempted when you are dragged away by your own evil desire and enticed.

Reader 4   (Reader 4 moves DL to balance Reader 6) 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. 16 Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters.

Reader 5   (Reader 5 steps DSC) 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, . . .

(Everyone else walks around the platform. They are in an apple orchard. They look up and delight to see delicious apples. They pick apples as the Scripture continues.)

. . . coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. 18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth that we might be a kind of first fruits of all he created.

(They randomly each pick an apple, then simultaneously, they take a big bite on the “a” in cre-a-ted, and together, they say:)

All   Oops! (Pause, then Reader 4 moves DL and the rest move UR.)

Reader 1   19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this:

(The rest hold imaginary pencils over their scripts like reporters ready to write.)

. . . Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,

(The rest start to bicker nicely and quietly, but it escalates quickly.)

Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because our anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.

21 Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.

22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves.

Reader 6   Do

Reader 5   Do

Reader 2   Do

ALL   . . . Do what it says.

Reader 6   (Reader 6 moves DR and as he/she speaks, Reader 4 stands DC holds his/her closed script up like a mirror, checks his/her teeth, wets his/her eyebrows, combs his/her hair, etc. and shows satisfaction. He/She lowers his/her script, starts to cross the platform, stops and looks quizzically at the congregation having forgotten what he/she looks like.)

23 Those who listen to the word but do not do what it says are like people who looks at their faces in a mirror 24 and, after looking at themselves, go away and immediately forget what they look like.

Reader 1   (Reader 1 moves DL) 25 But those who look intently into the perfect law that gives freedom,

(Reader 4 mumbles “perfect law” several times, trying to figure out what it means. While he/she does so, Reader 6 walks over and whispers “The Word of the Lord” in his/her ear. The “light” goes on for Reader 4 . . .)

Reader 4   (parenthetically) The Word of the Lord!

Reader 6   . . . and continue in it, not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—

ALL   . . . they will be blessed in what they does.

(Applause and approval for Reader 4 who bows/curtsies accepting the congratulations. Reader 6 also crosses UC to the foot of the ladder. Reader 4 utters self-praise remarks “Ah, it was nothing.” “I couldn’t have done it without me.” “I go to church every Sunday, pay my tithes,” etc.)

Reader 5   (Moving DR and interrupting Reader 4 loudly)

26 Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues,

Reader 4   Uh-Oh!

Reader 5   (The rest suddenly back away from Reader 4 with “tsk, tsk” attitudes.)

. . . deceive themselves and their religion is worthless.

Reader 2   (Moving DL) 27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this:

Reader 4   . . . to look after orphans

Reader 1   (Moving DC beside Reader 4) . . . and widows

Reader 4 and Reader 1   . . . in their distress

Reader 1   . . . and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

(After a pause, everyone moves. Reader 6 moves to the DR stool. Reader 2 and Reader 5 stand together a little right of CS. Reader 1 and Reader 4 stand together a little left of CS on the same level as Reader 2 and Reader 5. Reader 3 moves to the DL stool.)


Reader 3   1 My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism.

(Rich man music/fanfare)

Reader 6   (DR stool) (Gesturing to Reader 8 entering through the congregation from the foyer stage right.)

2 Suppose someone comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes,

(Reader 2, Reader 5, Reader 4, and Reader 1 watch him/her intently as he/she pantomimes a rich person. Music fades when he/she steps onto the stage and freezes just L of Reader 6.)

Reader 3   (Poor man music begins. Gesturing to Reader 7 entering through the congregation from the foyer stage left pushing an imaginary shopping cart. He repeats “squeak” and he/she pushes the cart. The rest freeze in character ignoring Reader 7.)

. . . and a poor person in filthy old clothes also comes in.

(Reader 7 mimes collecting cans. He approaches Reader 1 and Reader 4 and stops with his/her hand out. They break the freeze sniffing. They each smell their own armpits, then smell each other. They then continue sniffing and turn toward Reader 7. They look to each other, then turn to the congregation and say “Ew” like California teenage girls. Reader 7 then walks behind them and approaches Reader 5 and Reader 2.)

Reader 6   3 If you show special attention to the one wearing fine clothes and say,

Reader 1   (Offering Reader 8 the chair) . . . “Here’s a good seat for you,”

Reader 3   . . . but say to the one who is poor,

Reader 2   . . . “You stand there”

Reader 3   . . . Or

Reader 5   . . . “Sit on the floor by my feet,”

(Reader 7 moves L to stand a little UR of Reader 3.)

Reader 6   4 have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?

5 Listen, my dear brothers and sisters:

(Grabbing a microphone and music stand (pulpit) and in the style of a Southern Evangelist . . .)

. . . Has not God-uh chosen those who are poor-uh in the eyes of the world-uh to be rich-uh

(Pause while Reader 7 UL smiles and reaches out with both hands as if to receive something)

. . . in faith-uh

(Reader 7 at first looks disappointed)

. . . and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him-uh?

(Reader 7 then realizes how much better it is and smiles)

6 But you have dishonored the poor-uh.

The rest, except Reader 7

(Ad-libbing “I’m sorry” “No I didn’t” “I didn’t mean to!” etc.)

Reader 6   . . . Is it not the rich-uh who are exploiting you-uh? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court? 7 Are they not the ones who are blaspheming the noble name of him to whom you belong? (pause) -uh

(Reader 8 starts to tiptoe away trying to escape. Reader 7 steps around in front of him/her)

Reader 7   8 If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture,

Others   (Sing-songy) . . . “Love your neighbor as yourself,”

Reader 7   . . . you are doing right. (All meet CS hugging each other.)

Reader 8   9 But if you show favoritism, . . .

(Others to the congregation—“uh,uh,uh-uh,” “naughty, naughty,” etc.)

. . . you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers.

10 For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.

(Silence. Freeze. Awkward pause.)

(An aside out the side of his/her mouth)

I don’t think they heard me.

Reader 7   (Similarly.) I think you’re right. Try again.

Reader 8   10 For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty (Reader 3 slams down a gavel) of breaking all of it.

(Another pause, then a plethora of continuous, overlapping, muted excuses. The following lines are spoken in turn clearly heard because everyone else’s excuses are muted. The lines are delivered from the front of the platform from SR to SL.)

Reader 5   Really! It was only a little “white” lie.

Reader 4   It was an accident.

Reader 3   I’ll be a good girl, I promise.

Reader 1   I only had 2 (holding up 3 fingers) beers, occifer. (Hiccup)

Reader 2   Hey, be a guy, God. I was a good guy, mostly. Did a lot more good than bad!

Reader 6   It’ll never happen again. Promise!

Reader 7   (Interrupting, loudly) 10 For whoever keeps the whole law and (no longer loud) yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.

Reader 8   11 For he who said, “You shall not commit adultery,” also said, “You shall not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker.

Reader 1   12 Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom,

Reader 4   13 because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful.

All   . . . Mercy triumphs over judgment!

(Everyone celebrates with high fives, etc. Everyone turn and move US except Reader 4. Reader 2, Reader 3, Reader 6, and Reader 8 turn and move DS to deliver their lines.)

Reader 4   14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if people claims to have faith but have no deeds? Can such faith save them? 15 Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them,

Reader 3   . . . “Go, in peace; keep warm and well fed,”

Reader 4   . . . but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. 18 But someone will say,

Reader 6   . . . “You have faith; I have deeds.”

Reader 4   . . . Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.

Reader 2   19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.

Reader 3   20 You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless?

(Start music. All turn and face US and take two steps US except Reader 8.)

Reader 8   21 Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did.

(Reader 8 turns and moves US.)

(Reader 1, Reader 3, Reader 5, and Reader 6 move DS to deliver their lines and all but Reader 3 turn and move back US when finished.)

Reader 1   23 And the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend.

Reader 6   24 You see that people are justified by what they do and not by faith alone.

Reader 5   25 In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction?

Reader 3   26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.

(Reader 7 gives out a loud scream, clutches his/her chest, staggers, then collapses . . . dead. They freeze in a horrific tableau. Reader 7 lifts his/her own right hand with his/her left and releases it, and it falls limply. Panic. Some wail. Others weep, etc. Reader 8 goes over to Reader 7, kneels down, and begins CPR, pumping the chest, “1-2-3.” As he/she goes to Reader 7’s mouth, Reader 7 scrambles up: “I was just kidding.” Everyone reacts, but they are now little children. Transition music begins.)


Reader 4   (Reader 4 gets everyone to settle down and sit down, like kindergarten. All face the congregation.)

1 Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers and sisters, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. 2 We all stumble in many ways. They who are never at fault in what they say are perfect, able to keep their whole body in check. 3 When

we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal.

4 Or take ships as an example.

Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go.

5 Likewise the tongue

(Students stick out their tongues and play with them.)

. . . is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts.

Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.

6 The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. 7 All kinds of animals,

(Others make animal noises.)

. . . birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by human beings,

(Animal noises stop.)

8 but no one can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

(Everything is still and silent for a few seconds. Then the “child” at the very right starts gossiping and whispering to the “child” to his/her left who then passes it on to the “child” on his/her left, etc. Whispering can be audible, but no words should be understood. The activity is animated with exaggerated expressions, giggles, laughter, and growing excitement. This is still kindergarten. During this process, Reader 4 moves to the left and sits. When the last “child” turns to speak to Reader 4, he/she interrupts . . .)

Reader 4   9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness.

(Transition music is heard while Reader 3 and Reader 5 move DR as the rest of the cast reposition themselves. Reader 3 sits and Reader 5 stands behind her, perhaps on the first rung. The rest of the cast stand DS from right to left: Reader 8, Reader 1, Reader 7, Reader 6, Reader 2, and Reader 4.)

(The following lines are delivered with rehearsed intensity building to a crescendo. Their focus should start at opposite sides of the congregation scanning across the congregation so that their focuses cross. Readers 8, 7 and 2 follow Reader 5’s focus and Readers 1, 6 and 4, Reader 3’s.)

Reader 5 and Reader 3   10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. 11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12 My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.

Reader 8 and Reader 1   Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring?

All   No.

Reader 7 and Reader 6   Can a fig tree bear olives?

All   No.

Reader 2 and Reader 4   Can a grapevine bear figs?

All   No.

Reader 3   Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.

(Everyone shakes their heads slowly and one by one starting with Reader 5, then Reader 3 they turn and move upstage onto the platforms and face downstage, . . . except Reader 2.)

(Reader 2 doesn’t shake his/her head. He/She moves DC.)

Reader 2   13 Do you want to be counted wise, to build a reputation for wisdom? Here’s what you do: Live well, live wisely, live humbly. It’s the way you live, not the way you talk, that counts.

(The rest of the cast move DS as they deliver their lines to stand beside Reader 2 in the following order from L to R: Reader 5, Reader 1, Reader 6, Reader 2, Reader 4, Reader 3, Reader 7, and Reader 8.)

Reader 6   14 Mean-spirited ambition isn’t wisdom.

Reader 4   Boasting that you are wise isn’t wisdom.

Reader 1   Twisting the truth to make yourselves sound wise isn’t wisdom. 15 It’s the furthest thing from wisdom—it’s animal cunning, devilish conniving.

Reader 2   16 Whenever you’re trying to look better than others or get the better of others, things fall apart and everyone ends up at the others’ throats. 17 Real wisdom, God’s wisdom, begins with a holy life and is characterized by getting along with others.

Reader 3   It is gentle and reasonable,

Reader 5   overflowing with mercy and blessings,

Reader 6   not hot one day and cold the next,

Reader 8 and Reader 7   (Back to back looking left and right) not . . . (turn heads downstage) . . . two-faced.

Reader 2   18 You can develop a healthy, robust community that lives right with God and enjoy its results only if you do the hard work of getting along with each other, treating each other with dignity and honor.

(On the “mu” in “community, Reader 8, Reader 7, and Reader 5 put their insured hands on the shoulder of the person next to them. On the “sults” from “results”, Reader 1 and Reader 3 do the same followed by Reader 6 and Reader 4 on the “long” in “along”.)

(Musical interlude while the chairs/stools/ladder are reset)


(The cast stand on the choir platforms in a classic reader’s theatre style delivering the Scriptures. Tone is more introspective, philosophical . . . in the beginning. Reader 7 is UC standing with Reader 8 to his/her R and Reader 2 to his/her L. On the next level below them from L to R are Reader 6, Reader 5, and Reader 4. On the floor from L to R are Reader 1 and Reader 3. They are comfortably close together.)

Reader 4   1 What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?

Reader 6   2 You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet, but you cannot get what you want,

Reader 8   so you quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God.

Reader 2   3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

Reader 3   4 You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God?

Reader 5   Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.

Reader 1   5 Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us?

6 But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble and oppressed.”

7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

8 Come near to God and he will come near to you.

Reader 4   Wash your hands, you sinners,

Reader 6   . . . and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

Reader 8   9 Grieve, mourn and wail.

Reader 3   Change your laughter to mourning

Reader 1   . . . and your joy to gloom.

Reader 7   10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

(Reader 7 freezes, stepping up on the ladder to the second to the top step with his/her hands lifted up, joyfully lost in the Lord.)

(Long pause. The rest start slandering Reader 7 with building derision: “Who does he think he is?” “Do you know what he did?” The statements overlap and grow in intensity and should be reminiscent of what Jesus might have gone through in His final days, hurling slanders that Jesus might have heard: “He’s nothing but a common fisherman”; “He has prostitutes for friends”; “He works on the Sabbath”; “He said he could rebuild the temple in three days,” etc.)

Reader 7   11 Brothers and sisters, (others stop their ad-libbing) do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it. 12 There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor?

13 Now listen, you who say,

Reader 2   “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.”

Reader 7   14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15 Instead, you ought to say,

Reader 8   “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”

Reader 7   16 As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil. 17 So then, if you know the good you ought to do and don’t do it, you sin.

(As each speaks, they move straight DS and move to form a line a pace in front of where Reader 1 and Reader 3 were.)

Reader 7 and Reader 4   17 So then, if you know the good you ought to do and don’t do it, you sin.

. . . + Reader 5   17 So then, if you know the good you ought to do and don’t do it, you sin.

. . . + Reader 6   17 So then, if you know the good you ought to do and don’t do it, you sin.

. . . + Reader 2   17 So then, if you know the good you ought to do and don’t do it, you sin.

. . . + Reader 1   17 So then, if you know the good you ought to do and don’t do it, you sin.

. . . + Reader 8   17 So then, if you know the good you ought to do and don’t do it, you sin.

. . . + Reader 3   17 So then, if you know the good you ought to do and don’t do it, you sin.

(Transition music begins.)


(The following begins as a whisper, soft but intense. It grows. They mingle on the platform wandering in and around each other. They look out, making eye contact with the congregation. Each person should be aware of space and visual balance trying to spread out and occupy open areas so the platform appears full but not crowded. At the end, they are spread out on the platform with Reader 8 down center.)

Reader 7   1 Now listen, you rich people, . . .

All   . . . weep and wail because of the misery that is coming on you. 2 Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. 3 Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire.

You have hoarded wealth in the last days. 4 Look! The wages you failed to pay the workers who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. 5 You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter. 6 You have condemned and murdered the innocent one, who was not opposing you.

(Everyone but Reader 8 turns and faces upstage and takes 2 steps upstage. Reader 8 continues without a break but the tone dramatically changes. It is softer.)

Reader 8   7 Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains.

Reader 3   (As each one speaks, they step back down to the front of the platform.)

8 You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near.

Reader 2   9 Don’t grumble against one another, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged.

Reader 6   The Judge is standing at the door!

Reader 5   10 Brothers and sisters, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.

Reader 1   11 As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.

Reader 7   12 Above all, my brothers and sisters, do not swear—not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. All you need to say is a simple “Yes” or “No.” Otherwise you will be condemned. 13 Is anyone among you in trouble?

Reader 4   Let them pray.

Reader 8   Is anyone happy?

Reader 1   Let them sing songs of praise.

(From this point onwards, each cast member delivers their lines then turns and walks US to the platform laying their script down and creating tableaus on the platform to the L and R. Reader 5 and Reader 6 sit and reach up. Each subsequent person takes a position to help Reader 5 and Reader 6 to get up, then freezes. The lines should flow without interruption and the activity should not distract from the Scriptures.)

Reader 5   14 Is anyone among you sick?

Reader 6   Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord.

Reader 2   15 And the prayer offered in faith will make them well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven.

Reader 3   16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

Reader 7   17 Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years.

Reader 1   18 Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.

Reader 8   19 My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring them back, 20 remember this:

(Reader 8 waits for Reader 4.)

Reader 4   Whoever turns a sinner from the way of error will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.

(Reader 4 and Reader 8 move US, leave their scripts and join the tableaus. Note: The original presentation of this reading included a Power Point featuring photos of North Fresno Church ministering in the community to the music of U-2’s “Yahweh.” After the slide show was established and the congregation was focused on that, the cast surreptitiously exited through the upstage doors.)

Stage directions are given from the point of the presenters facing the congregation/audience. Underlined text indicates words repeated or additions.

  • U = Up (meaning toward the back wall and away from the congregation)
  • D = Down (meaning toward the congregation)
  • L = Left
  • C = Center
  • R = Right
  • S = Stage
  • UL = Up left
  • UR = Up right
  • DS = Down stage
  • US = Up Stage
The Holy Bible, Today’s New International Version, copyright 2001, 2005 by International Bible Society. The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language, copyright 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson.
George Akina is a member of North Fresno Mennonite Brethren Church in Fresno, California. He has a B.A. in Theatre from the University of the Pacific, Stockton, California. George is active on the contemporary worship team and in community theatre. This adaptation was created at the request of Lead Pastor James Bergen and presented at the conclusion of his sermon series on the book of James. It is based on Today’s New International Version and The Message. Special thanks to the cast and crew for their creative input and for their enthusiastic presentation.

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