This is a very simple 2 voice sketch for the end of a Mission Society day conference:
2 speakers, A and B, walk on and stand talking:
A: You’ve got to sympathise with Nathanael, haven’t you? I mean, would you expect the next great world discovery to be made in Cwmtwrch or Newcastle Emlyn?
B: What’s wrong with Newcastle Emlyn then? My auntie used to go on holiday there.
A: My point precisely! It’s not the centre of the world, is it? And when Philip says that Jesus comes from Nazareth, Nathanael is hardly going to get excited.
B: No I suppose not. Still, it worked. Whatever Nathanael said, he did go with his brother. As a bit of mission work, it was pretty successful.
A: “Mission Work”!? I thought that was ancient history. Dr Livingstone and the British Empire.
B: So – God is now redundant?
A: Well, (squirms a bit uncomfortably) no, but
B: But (pauses) if he’s not, might he still be using Christians to do things
A: “things”, like what for instance?
B: like gossiping to their friends about what they enjoy.
A: (relieved) Can’t see much harm in that
B: Like Phillip telling his brother about this great discovery, and persuading him to go and look.
A: OK, so you reckon Phillip did his brother a good turn. But where does the Mission bit come in?
B: He told his brother about Jesus, got him interested, and then got out of the way. That’s great Mission – its about Jesus.
A: So Nathanael starts talking to Jesus, and gets impressed, and, well, sort of “hooked”
B: That’s it
A: And isn’t it interesting how Jesus knows Nathanael.
B: Knows him?
A: Yes, this thing about seeing him under the tree. Nathanael is well impressed by that.
B: I hadn’t noticed that; what’s that all about?
A: Can’t be sure, but somebody said that under a fig tree was the traditional place to study the Law – you know, the Old Testament.
B: Yes, well?
A: Well, if Phillip was reading the Bible, and looking for answers, maybe he recognises Jesus as an answer.
A: And that means that he sees the continuity: Old Testament to Jesus, what he already knows of God linking to this man who found his brother.
B: From the old to the new, courtesy of God. I like that. Do you think we could do the same sort of thing?
A: You mean, from Livingstone to Llanelli, the same mission in new ways? It makes sense. After all, this bit about Nathanael comes in the first chapter of John’s gospel, and it is all about the two brothers finding Jesus and taking him seriously. Yes, I think I can join in with that sort of “Mission Work”
A & B together: Let’s do it!
(less than 5 mins) (to return to the Index of Sketches, click here)