Here is a sketch to help you in outreach.. (Remember that re-telling parables as a story is an equally, if not more, effective way of spreading the Good News – after all if Jesus used them, they must be effective!)
There is an episode of Friends where the guys have bought a lottery ticket (well, they’ve bought a lot). After a ‘bit of fun’ Phoebe manages to accidentally drop the tickets off the apartment balcony onto the street below. The guys dash downstairs to get the tickets back. They don’t win the lottery. A bit later they’re having a coffee when they find out that someone won the lottery with a ticket they found dropped on the street. As you can imagine, Phoebe is close to being beaten..
Coiny – (throwing stuff all over the place, climbing in and around the floor, desperately searching for something.. lets out groans of frustration)
Helpful – (Enters). Oy, Coiny what are you doing. Are you bowing down in front of me as your superior at last..?
Coiny – (Grunts a noise)
Helpful – What was that? Have you got a cold or is it just Welsh..? (Impersonates a Welsh accent with lots of throat gurgling noises trying to mimic the Welsh Ll-type words, Llangollen for example.) PS I’m not dissing the Welsh, you can change the country if you want!
Coiny – Shut up you tart
Helpful – I see. So maybe you’ve given up on the Welsh lessons. Are you saving money on your cleaning bill by licking up the obscene amounts of dust on your floor? Or have you lost your pet rat?
Coiny – (Stops searching. Pauses and looks up at Helpful). Thanks for your help but I have lost my lottery ticket.
Helpful – Lottery ticket? Why did you get one of them for you muppet?
Coiny – Funnily enough, I bought the lottery ticket because I would like to win the lottery.. it’s a rollover week
Helpful – A ‘rollover week’ huh? Well, that makes all the difference. You’re bound to win
Coiny – Tee, hee, you may laugh but the winnings this week are £16 million and I’m going to win
Helpful – Well, good luck mate, you’ve lost your ticket.
Coiny – Yeh, thanks, very helpful..
Helpful – Anyway, why are you doing the lottery. You’re more likely to be eaten by a small child. You’ve got more chance of being killed in a plane crash. Even if you’re not in an plane.
Coiny – Listen pal, are you going to help me or what?
Helpful – Well I would do mate but to be honest I’ve got better things to do. Like take the mick out of you..
Coiny – Well, thanks.
Helpful – No worries. To be honest, if you’d lost something worthwhile I’d help you – but a lottery ticket.. No way.. Unless.. of course.. I was to get a share of the winnings??
Coiny – Forget it mate, the money is mine.
Helpful – Well, you can go find the ticket yourself. You ain’t gonna win anyway.. (exits)
Coiny – (carries on searching, shrugging shoulders, doesn’t know where ticket is. Freezes or exits).
In Luke 15.8-10
There is a parable Jesus told of a woman who lost a coin and searched her whole house to find the coin. Go on to re-tell this story..
There was a young woman. She had a pretty good job but nothing that great and she was struggling financially. She’d bought a house but the mortgage was so expensive she was finding it difficult to make ends meet.
She’d been paid at the end of the month but no matter how hard she tried, no matter how well she seemed to budget, money was always tight. Now she was in a worse situation – she’d lost some money. She needed a new cooker and had found one in the classified ads that was good quality and for an amazing price. She’d got the money from cashpoint but had lost a £20 note. She had the rest of the money but where was this twenty quid?
She searched all over.. her coat pocket, in her hoody, outside her apartment, in her kitchen, by the front door, on the table where the rest of the money was. She’d even walked to the cashpoint round the block to re-trace her steps but just couldn’t find the note. Where could she have put it. The guy selling the cooker had said he’d hold the cooker for her until 4pm. It was 3.30pm and she’d been looking, panicking a bit. She wanted this cooker as she was cooking a meal for some mates that evening. Why was this happening now?
She sat down on the sofa and then pulled out all the cushions and tipped it over to see if the money had fallen down there. Nope, no sign of that offending £20 note. I wonder if the guys would accept £20 less she thought. She phoned him quickly to ask but he said no, sorry, he had someone else interested and they were prepared to pay more but he was holding it til 4pm for her.
She re-traced her steps around the flat. She started to look in places where she knew it couldn’t be. Under the frying pan, in one of her shoes, in the DVD player, anywhere. Where was it. Now she was getting a bit worried. 3.40pm. Suddenly a brain wave. She thought she’d re-count the money. Not there. ‘Aghh!” she felt like screaming. ‘OK, one last look on the table.’ she thought. Nothing so she looked on the chair under the table. There was the money. Sat on the chair, innocently, quietly. She grabbed it. ‘Yes!’ she cried . Straight onto the phone to the guy selling the cooker. ‘I’m on the way. ‘I’ve got all the money, cool huh?’ ‘Yeh, that’s awesome’ the guy replied, ‘Come over, I’ve got the cooker ready for you.’ With that she grabbed her money, keys and slammed her front door shut..
You know, just as the woman in the story celebrated finding the £20 note, just as the guy selling the cooker celebrated too, the Bible says that when people become Christians, there is a party of people celebrating in heaven, including the Angels and God. There’s more, the Bible says that when a person finds Jesus in their lives, they get so happy that it’s like selling everything you have just to buy a really valuable diamond or pearl.’ That’s what it means to really have your life changed by Jesus. It’s not that you have to sell everything, it’s just that compared to Jesus, everything else seems a bit lame! Think about that today..