“Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool."
We used the Sunday morning to work with the youth. We talked through different kinds of sin that people struggle with that might be good to incorporate into the play, it was very interesting to hear what they came up with. They worked individually and in pairs to come up with dialogues that people with different struggles might have with Jesus regarding their sin, or as we portrayed it, 'dirty hands'. Soon the ideas were flying and we had several separate dialogues which we could then weave together to make the full script. The sins they chose for the drama were Pride, Fear, Gossip, Fraud, Laziness. Here is what they came up with:
Fear: What's going on over there? Who's that?
Gossip: Oh Him! I've heard all sorts about him - he's a right maniac!
Pride: Honestly, you're such a bunch of gossips and liars - not like me! I know who he really is, I worked it out all by myself. His name is Jesus and he says he can was people's sins away. You lot could do with a wash, then you could be clean like me. In fact, maybe I should give him a heads up...
Pride walks over to Jesus and starts up a conversation
Pride: You're Jesus aren't you - here to cleanse people from sin?
Jesus: Yes, even if you're stained as red as crimson, I can make you as white as wool.
Pride: Oh I'm not talking about myself. See that bunch of people over there? They could really use your help. That one's a gossip, she's always spreading rumours and telling lies...the one next to her, oh don't get me started on her! Her hands are filthy, if you can clean them I'll be amazed.
Jesus: Can I see your hands?
Pride: [Shocked] Eh...n-no! Well, I mean fine. But they aren't as red as everyone else's so you're wasting your time. I could actually clean them any time I want, I could clean them myself, I don't need any help.
Pride attempts to clean own hands by rubbing them together but this just spreads the paint further.
Pride: [looking sheepish] Oh. Maybe I do need your help after all. Could you wash me quickly before anyone sees?
Jesus: I would be glad to help you, then you will have nothing to hide.
Jesus washes and dries Pride's hands. He removes the 'pride' name tag and replaces it with the name tag 'Forgiven'.
Pride: Wow I used to be so proud but now that I've been washed by Jesus I wouldn't boast about anything else!
Exit Pride. Gossip and Fear step forward. Gossip appears to be laughing and texting. A copy of her message is projected on screen behind her for all to read. The message shows part of a conversation in which she slates a girl for her appearance and spreads rumours. Fear looks at her and then speaks to the congregation.
Fear: [To congregation] She's such a gossip. It's mean but If everyone else is doing it I will too, at least then I won't get picked on.
[To Gossip] Did you see that girl's boots...what was she thinking?!
Gossip and Fear laugh together. Jesus calls over.
Jesus: My fearful child, I can wash your red hands and cleanse you from your sins. Do you want me to?
Fear: But none of my 'friends' have done that. I guess following them is what got me so dirty in the first place.
Jesus: Why did you do it?
Fear: I did it because I wanted to be accepted. If I didn't they would have picked on me and I would be left behind.
Jesus: You shouldn't long for their acceptance, there's no need. You're a child of God and special to him. So come and let me wash your hands.
Jesus washes Fear's hands, removes name tag and replaces it with a tag reading 'Accepted'.
Fear: Wow, I really am accepted!
Exit Fear. Meanwhile, Fraud has set up a table with a basin and towel on it on the opposite side of the stage. It resembles Jesus' alter but is not so elegant - Fraud uses a tea light candle instead of candelabra and has sign set up reading 'Handwashing £1 per hand' There is some small print below but it can't be read from afar.
Fraud: Roll up, Roll up, premium hand washing available here. We've got warmer water, softer towels, more expensive soap which I might add is two in one moisturising and anti ageing inclusive. Only £1 per hand, additional charges may apply but we can sort that out later.
You Miss, come on up, you look like you could do with a wash.
Gossip: I've been trying to get rid of these stains for a while, I didn't want to go to the other guy – I've heard all sorts about him!
Fraud: Oh yeah, so many rules with him. Won't find any of that here.
Fraud places Gossip's hands in the basin though it has a different colour of paint in it rather than water so her hands come out dirtier than before they went in.
Gossip: [Shouting] What have you done?! My hands are worse than before! I thought you were going to help me! I want my money back, just wait til everyone hears about this, I'll ruin you!
Fraud: Well hold on just one minute, I think you'll find if you read the small print that this was always a possibility and we don't do refunds. Are you really sure you want to tell your friends about this little incident? What would they say about you? Think of the rumours!
Gossip: That was a dirty trick. What can I possibly do now, I'm worse of than when I started, I'll never get clean. What will people say.
Jesus: No matter how deep the stain of your sins, I can remove it. I can make you as clean as freshly fallen snow.
Gossip: Could you even clean me after all I've done?
Jesus: Yes, I can make you white as snow.
Gossip: Oh please help me!
Jesus washes her hands and replaces her name tag with 'Child of God'.
Gossip: I used to care what other people said about me but now I realise it only matters what you have to say. Is it true that this is how you see me? [points at name tag]
Jesus: Yes, you are my child and I love you. I only want what's best for you.
Exit Gossip. Fraud has been watching from her table.
Fraud: Wow. He really is the real deal. I wish I could be a part of it. Maybe if I give him the money I made by tricking people, it will be enough payment to cover the cost of what he offers.
Jesus: You can't buy anything from me, my grace is free and my love is unconditional. I won't take your money or efforts, all you have to do is come to me and ask me to make you clean.
Fraud: I can hardly believe it. Oh please forgive me and make me clean.
Jesus: Of course.
Jesus washes Fraud's hands and replaces her name tag with 'Loved One'. Exit Fraud. Jesus then stands up and calls out to the congregation.
Jesus: Why are you still sitting there? Why have you not come to me to be cleaned?
Laziness stands up from seat in the congregation.
Laziness: I couldn't really be bothered and I thought it would take a long time. But I would like to be clean.
Jesus: Don't put it off any longer, come quickly and I will wash you. My grace is here for those who would chose it, so come now before you run out of time. Don't miss your chance.
Laziness comes forward, Jesus washes hands and replaces sticker with one titled 'Saint'. Exit Laziness. End of Sketch.