Dramatic Monologues, Jonah, Easter Sunday
2011-04-22 by David von Schlichten

Dramatic monologues are tricky and should be done sparingly. They easily become hokey or gimmicky and can be overdone.

They have been well-received at St. James, but I am sure I don't always get them right.

Thank you, David and Rick, for your input.

On a related note, I do a one-person play based on the book of Jonah that I have performed at about ten venues over the last several months. If you type in my name, David von Schlichten, at YouTube, you can watch the play. I'd love feedback.

EASTER SERMON IDEAS

What are people preaching on for Easter? I'm unsure yet. I'd love to hear people's ideas.

Yours in Christ,

David von Schlichten, Lectionary Blog Moderator





First Person Dramatic Monologues
2011-04-22 by David Howell

I heard Tom Long say that if a preacher is going to do dramatic monologues that he or she better do them well.

Unfortunately, I heard that after a couple of attempts on my part.





comment
2011-04-21 by Rick Brand

I think that 1st Person dramatic monologues like your Maundy Thursday piece are excellent alternatives for services such as this.  How often do you think they should be used?



Maundy Thursday and Malchus
2011-04-21 by David von Schlichten

 

Sermon on Maundy Thursday

on Thursday, April 21, 2011, Year A,

The Reverend Dr. David von Schlichten

Malchus

(word count: 929)

            I don’t actually mind being a slave a whole lot. My master is Caiaphas, the current high priest. I mean, I’d rather have my freedom, but it’s not so bad being a priest’s slave, because you don’t have to do as much outdoor manual labor. I basically just follow him around all day, and he’s often indoors. I pour his wine for him, get him his food. I help with slaughtering animals for sacrifices and with clean-up. I work long days, but many slaves have it worse.

            And Caiaphas is pretty good to me. He gives me extra meat from the sacrifices for me to take home to my family. Sometimes he’ll give me a few silver coins to spend any way I want. He never whips or hits me, and occasionally we have conversations about God and keeping the Law. He’s very smart and knowledgeable. Everybody thinks Caiaphas is strict, and he is. He’s one of these guys who acts all severe but who really is a softie.

            Except when it comes to Jesus of Nazareth. Caiaphas has a lot of love in him, but he has no love for this Jesus guy. “His teachings go against the Law of Moses!” Caiaphas says. “In my day, people respected the Law of Moses. This Jesus claims to be the Messiah! Bah! Young smart alleck doesn’t know the first thing about God.” Man, can Caiaphas rant. His face turns all red. Sometimes he spits a little when he gets talking.

            “Sir, remember your health,” I tell him. “It’s not good for you to get all excited.” I can usually get him to sit down. I give him a glass of wine.

            Then, often, his face will melt from anger to sadness, and he’ll say, “I just worry what’ll happen to our nation. If this Jesus gets out of hand, the Romans will see him as a threat and will crush our nation. This country is going to pieces. It didn’t used to be like this.” When Caiaphas gets talking like that, his face looks so old and haggard, worn-out. The wrinkles and creases in his face become more obvious. A tired, scared old man.

            The raising of Lazarus was the last straw for Caiaphas. “Jesus is becoming so powerful that the Romans are going to storm in and wipe us all out so that we don’t threaten their authority.” Caiaphas said. Then he added with the calm that comes from making up your mind about something, “What we need to do is kill Jesus. Get him out of the way so that the Romans back off.  With one clap of his hands, he added, “for the sake of all of us, this Jesus must die.”

            Caiaphas made arrangements with Judas Iscariot, one of Jesus’ followers, so that we could arrest him without the public around. Tonight, then, was the night, the night of the Passover. This Judas guy showed up just as we were finishing out seder, the Passover meal.

            Caiaphas stood up and greeted him and said, “Are you ready to take us to him?”

            Judas nodded, staring at our table that still had food and wine on it from our seder. He said, “We just had our Passover seder. Jesus washed all our feet, and then he gave us bread and said it was his body and gave us wine and said it was his blood, which is shed for many for the forgiveness of sins. Body and blood shed.”

            Caiaphas snorted. “What’s all that supposed to mean? Body and blood shed?”

            Judas looked at Caiaphas and said, “It means he’s on to us.”

            Caiaphas stayed behind to get ready for Jesus’ trial but had me go along with Judas to help with the arrest. A crowd of us made our way. We went to Gethsemene with our torches, Judas leading the way. The air was muggy. The moon was full. I could see him in the distance, lying face down on the ground. As we got closer we could see some men lying asleep a few yards away. Then one of them sat up, shook the others. Now they’re all up, including Jesus. He turns and faces us, calm, as if he’s been expecting us. We have our torches. My heart’s speeding up. Judas steps forward and kisses Jesus. That’s the sign. We move in to take him.

One of his followers pulls out a small sword. Flashing in the torchlight. I go for my dagger, but he slashes at me. I drop to my knees in shock. I can feel the blood gushing out of the side of my head. My ear lies on the ground in front of me. My mind shocked blank. What has just happened does not make sense to me. It’s like a dream. Unreal. I can hear throbbing in my ear even though it’s been cut off. I hear Jesus yelling at the disciple to put away his sword.

Jesus kneels down in front of me. This dark face with a broad nose and glistening eyes. He has a mole on his left cheek. He touches my wound and the throbbing stops. He stands up, and the guards take him away.

Somebody checks on me. “Are you okay?” I touch the side of my head. My ear is back.

That Jesus guy healed your ear,” the person says.   “That disciple cut it right off, but now it’s back on. Can you hear okay?”

        I nod. “Yes. I can hear. Everything is loud and  clear.”  

 





Good Friday and Earth Day
2011-04-18 by David von Schlichten

The two are on the same day this year. Perfect.

Human sin has ravaged nature and Christ has died to redeem ALL creation, so I find myself wanting to preach on environmental issues on Good Friday this year.

We humans tend to embrace this false bifurcation that regards humanity as separate from nature, but humanity and nature are all part of the same thing: God's creation. Moreover, our fall and redemption are intertwined, as we see from Genesis to Romans 8 to Revelation (new heaven and earth).

One year ago this week was the BP oil spill - a perfect example of how human sin hurts nature and of how harm to nature hurts humanity, because humanity and nature are NOT separate from each other.

Christ's death on the tree saves the cosmos while also challenging us humans to focus on self-sacrifice in the name of helping ALL the needy, human and nonhuman.

Yours in Christ,

David von Schlichten, Lectionary Blog Moderator





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