A sample sketch, for 3 voices (probably 3 lay people)
A: It’s discouraging, isn’t it? You think of the problems we face in a parish like this, and then you read of Jesus not even getting a decent hearing when he went to his home town.
B: I found it rather positive, actually.
A: But how? Isn’t it a story about what didn’t happen? A failure?
B: Yes, I suppose it is – but it explains to me that even Jesus, who was doing miracles and teaching really important things about God, found there were some people who didn’t want to know. It wasn’t his fault for getting the presentation wrong.
C: I think I see what you mean. It’s encouraging to know it isn’t always our fault if people don’t share our faith. Perhaps it’s a good thing we went on the to second part.
A: You mean when the disciples went out in pairs?
C: Yes, that seemed to be pretty effective – but I don’t understand why they weren’t allowed to take more with them.
B: I’ve always thought it was about travelling light – rather like going on a walking holiday. You pack what you want to take, then carry it all for 5 miles or so, and its amazing what you then decide to leave behind!
A: Yes, I’m sure they covered more ground that way, but I think they also learnt about God helping them.
C: What sort of help are you talking about?
A: Well, if they didn’t have the option of buying a meal or a comfortable bed, they had to discover if God would arrange for them to get food and somewhere to stay – or even if God could do that. When they found out that it did work, they gained confidence.
B: or even faith. I’ve sometimes wondered what it was like to be sent out to heal the sick, and to find that it worked! If they were getting a bit bored with listening to Jesus and watching him all the time, this must really have sharpened them up. They’d have gone back with new confidence, and new questions.
C: OK, that explains why they weren’t allowed to carry supplies, but what about staying in the first house?
A: I can imagine that – just think of some rather ragged traveller arriving here. Somebody might offer shelter, but when they turned out to be people who could heal, everybody would want them to move in.
B: So you think it was to stop the competition, and perhaps to honour the house that first took the risk and offered hospitality – that makes sense to me.
C: And what about shaking the dust off your feet if you don’t get a welcome?
B: Isn’t that something Jews would do when leaving foreign lands and getting back home – a way of saying, even to a Jewish village, “You don’t know what you’ve missed, but it makes you like foreigners”
C: Isn’t that a bit hard on them?
A: Missing out is always hard – it was hard on Jesus home town, but they had their chance. I suppose our job is to keep being ready to share faith, as well as to show God’s love in practical ways. Whatever we do, there will always be some who won’t accept anything.
B: But others will. People have been predicting the end of the Church since it started, but it is still going on, and God is still doing some wonderful things.
C: Well, thanks for the chat, I think it makes a bit more sense to me now.
A: And I feel much more positive about it all. It helps to know that our problems are nothing new – but nothing God can’t cope with either. We must have a talk like this again, it puts things in perspective.
(631 words – about 6 minutes speaking.) (Click here to return to the Index of Sketches)