As Sheep Among Wolves

The Seventy-two Disciples

Author: Robby Van Arsdale
Major Theme: Faith
Source: Matthew 10 and Luke 10
Main Cast: 5 Female, 8 Male
Sample: First and final plays from As Sheep Among Wolves

Jesus’ ministry is drawing to an end, and he needs the word to spread more quickly, to reach into all of Israel. He calls the seventy-two disciples to go out and spread his message, heal the sick, and cast out demons. We follow their adventures and struggles as they learn to rely fully on God. Time and time again, these unknown disciples use prayer and faith to show God’s glory. Monday’s group discovers that their faith can heal even leprosy. Tuesday’s disciples are faced with a town that rejects their message, and they must shake the dust of it off their feet. Wednesday, a pair of disciples are thrown in jail and must rely on God to give them the right words to say. Thursday’s group faces off against a demon, and the Lord gives them the strength and faith to stand against it and save the possessed person.
On Friday, the disciples lose Jesus in the crucifixion, and they have to draw together to deal with the consequences. Mary Magdalene, Peter, John, and Thomas attempt to deal with the loss of their best friend while taking care of a few of the seventy two. Then, the next morning, Mary, Peter, and John find the empty tomb. The disciples see Jesus, and he gives them the incredible news of his resurrection. Thomas, however, wasn’t there, and won’t be convinced. He refuses, growls, yells back as Peter, John, and Mary all exhort him to believe, to have faith. It’s then that Jesus returns and reminds Thomas what it really means to believe.

This play is serious, so you know it’s designed to get you thinking.

God has Put You Here

Esther and Daniel

Author: Robby Van Arsdale
Major Theme: The Salt of the Earth (be different from the world around you)
Source: Esther; Daniel 1-3
Main Cast: 7 Female, 9 Male
Sample: First and final plays of God Has Put You Here

Esther doesn’t want to be Hebrew anymore; it’s too complicated, and it isn’t any fun. She endures her cousin Mordecai telling the old stories about Daniel, but what she really wants is to fit in. When she’s chosen to live in the palace, all those old stories are the last thing on her mind.
Daniel and his friends were forced to choose, time and again, between God and fitting in. It’s true that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were skeptical at first. But Daniel keeps dragging them along. First the bet with the vegetable meals, then this business with the dream about the statue . . . but they’re forced to admit it keeps working out. God must be on their side.
Esther just wants to fit in, but it’s hard when the king notices you and invites you to dinner. It’s even harder when Mordecai shows up to reveal a murder plot against the king’s life. She tries to do the right thing and just hopes no one will notice that she’s actually a Hebrew. But Mordecai keeps bringing up those old stories and keeps saying troublesome things like “maybe you were put here for such a time as this.”
By Friday, ¬†Esther, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego are really forced to choose. For the Babylonian captives, the choice is obvious. But for Esther, it turns out, the choice is much harder. She’s been trying to choose two different things all along, and this business with Haman has gotten too big to ignore. With the story of the fiery furnace ringing in her ears, she has to reveal her origin to Xerxes and hope he doesn’t get angry.

These plays flip back and forth between the stories of Esther and Daniel until Friday, when both stories play out on the stage at the same time, arriving at the choice to be different and stand with God simultaneously.

This play is somewhat serious; it’s not afraid to make a few jokes.

From That Time to This

The First and Last Passovers

Author: Robby Van Arsdale
Major Theme: Relying on God
Source: Exodus 2 – 12
Main Cast: 5 Female, 5 Male

Moses is afraid of making trouble. He can’t stand up to his father-in-law, and he certainly doesn’t want to make God mad. But he’s just terrified of going back to Egypt. For Zipporah, the question is easier. When God calls, you follow. With Zipporah and Aaron, Moses is ready to face the pharaoh.
What he didn’t suspect was the trouble he would make for the everyday Israelites. From Monday to Thursday, we see the trouble he makes for an extended family. First, it’s no straw for the bricks. Then, the plagues start hitting Egypt. We see the water become blood, the attack of the biting flies, and the effects of the darkness. Through it all, these everyday Israelites have to hold together and trust in God. Still, pharaoh hasn’t let them go.
On Friday, the play starts with Jesus and his disciples at the Last Supper. Judas is revealed as a traitor, and Jesus prepares his disciples to understand: he is about to take the place of the lamb.
We pick up with Moses doing the same thing: trying to prepare pharaoh for the coming sorrow. Pharaoh hardens his heart and throws Moses from the palace. Our everyday Israelites are given instructions to sacrifice a lamb, spread the blood on their doorframes, and eat standing up. The time has come to escape. Jesus enters with a cross, and the oldest brother enters with a bowl. As Jesus dies on the cross, the brother spreads blood on a doorframe.
Pharaoh kicks the Israelites out of Egypt, and the symbol of the sacrificed lamb is revealed to the family. It wasn’t the blood that saved them, it was the Lord.

This play is somewhat serious; it’s not afraid to make a few jokes.