James 15: 13-20 Chancel Drama by John Sumwalt
Invite a dozen or more members of the congregation, youth, adults or a combination, to play the part of the chorus. Have them gather in the middle of the chancel before the liturgist announces the Epistle Reading. Have them respond enthusiastically after each passage is read. It may help to have the Chorus’s lines printed on cue cards and held up by the director of the drama who can also model facial expressions and other actions. Choose three people to play the parts of the wanderer and two rough shepherds who bring the wanderer back to the group.
Reader: Are any among you suffering?
Reader: They should pray.
Chorus: “Our father who art in heaven…” (fold hands, look heavenward & recite in unison the first line of Lord’s Prayer)
Reader: Are any cheerful?
Chorus: Yes! (with exaggerated smiles while patting each other on backs)
Reader: They should sing songs of praise.
Chorus: “Praise God from whom all blessings flow” (Sing a few bars of a favorite praise song or hymn like the Doxology)
Reader: Are any among you sick?
Chorus: Yes! (shoulders drooping, looking haggard, coughing, sneeze loudly in unison)
Reader: They should call for the elders of the church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name
of the Lord. The prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise them up; and anyone who has committed sins will be
Chorus: You are forgiven! We are all forgiven!
Reader: Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed.
Chorus: Lord, we want to be healed!
Reader: The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective. Elijah was a human being like us, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for
three years and six months it did not rain on the earth.
Chorus: It did not Rain!
Reader: Then he prayed again…
Chorus: OH LORD LET IT RAIN!!!
Reader: …and the heaven gave rain and the earth yielded its harvest.
Chorus: The heaven gave rain! (One member of the chorus gets up and begins to wander from the chancel and up the center aisle,
looking around at the windows, looking up at the ceiling, whistling all the way)
Reader: My brothers and sisters, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and is brought back by another… (reader looks up, says,
“Will someone please bring (name) back?)
Chorus: (two members of the chorus go after the wanderer, embrace him/her, and gently lead the wanderer back to the chorus)
Reader: …you should know that whoever
brings back a sinner from wandering will save the sinner’s soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.
Chorus: Thanks be to God! Amen!
Prayer of confession (c) Steven O’Connor
NEV Baptist Church, North East Valley, Dunedin, New Zealand
Let us be still in the presence of the Lord the Holy One;
Our God who is an ever present help in times of trouble.
Brother James asks, “Is there anyone among you in trouble?”
Before you O God we confess our trouble.
Our hearts are troubled because we are aware of our repeat offending
Our souls are troubled for we know we have done wrong and failed to do right
Our minds are troubled with the angry words we have spoken or muttered under our breath
Our memories are troubled by the unholy things we have seen and heard
Our imaginations are troubled with selfish desires and worldly fantasies
Our sleep is troubled by the restless rehearsal of conflict and fleeting feelings of guilt
Our bodies are troubled by too much fine food and too little exercise
Our relations within your church are troubled by petty squabbles, defensive posturing and a fear of confessing our need.
Our very being is troubled through and through until you intervene.
In faith we pray to you asking:
Forgive our many sins
Restore our failing health
Save our anxious souls
O God Our Help and our Hope
Here the good news and believe: “The prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise them up; and anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven.”