By: A. D. Mariano
Jo compares the loneliness of a new kid at school with the man beaten by thieves.
Jo and Matt (two puppets)
(Setting: The Puppets' Kitchen)
Jo: Hey Matt! How did school go today?
Matt: It went okay, I guess. There's a new kid but nobody really talked to her much. Her name's Sophie.
Jo: What's she like? Is she nice?
Matt: I don't know. She's from the housing projects. You know what people are like from there.
Jo: What do you mean, Matt?
Matt: Well some kids told me that people from the projects are all criminals and don't care about other people. They told me they always get into trouble because they don't have much money. Nobody wants to be friends with someone like that.
Jo: Goodness, Matt. That's so sad, and your friends are so wrong! How can you judge what a person is like before you even meet her? This reminds me of a story that Jesus told about how people aren't always the way they seem. Do you want to hear it?
Matt: Sure. I love to hear stories about Jesus.
Jo: Well this one took place a long time ago. It's called "The Good Samaritan."
Matt: What's a Samaritan?
Jo: The Samaritans were a group of people that were considered poor, dangerous, dirty, and undesirable back in the time when Jesus was teaching. People thought this because they weren't familiar with their culture or social class.
Matt: Were they all those things?
Jo: No. They were just normal people. Some bad, some good. People just never gave them a chance. Kind of like that kid at school. Let me explain the story to you.
Jo: One day, a man was walking to the city of Jerico from Jerusalem.
Matt: That's where Jesus was.
Jo: Yes, that's right. He was walking down a highway and some bandits came up to him and beat him up really bad, and stole everything from him. Even his clothes. He was close to dying.
Matt: Did anyone come to help him?
Jo: Well, the first person who saw him after it happened was a priest .
Matt: Whew, that's good. The priest helped him right? Priests are like preachers. They're out to do God's good work, right? Boy, he was lucky a priest came by.
Jo: Actually, the priest did nothing but walk past him. He was broken and bleeding and the priest just walked on by.
Matt: Didn't he care? Maybe he didn't see the guy? Our minister in church would never leave somebody behind like that.
Jo: Oh, he saw him all right. He just was too busy to help someone in need. He definitely saw the guy because he crossed over and avoided the man on the road. He walked around the guy.
Matt: That's awful. What did the guy do then?
Jo: He couldn't do anything. He was hurt too bad, but someone else came up the road then. This one was a Levite. His job is to do God's will, just like the Priest's job is to do God's will. They help with laws too.
Matt: Good. I was worried for a minute. He's like a cop right, but religious?
Jo: Yes, but that Levite also left the guy on the road, but he took a good look at him first. Can you imagine how that guy felt, after having been beaten half dead, and two people passed him up and didn't help him? They didn't know he was really a normal citizen because he'd been beat up so badly.
Matt: Jo, this story is starting to make me feel sad. All the people who are supposed to work for God wouldn't help somebody who was hurt.
Jo: Not everybody who works for God is like these two. It's just that on this day, he was unlucky enough to have to two snobby people who were supposed to be doing God's work completely ignoring their job. Luckily, God was looking after the man. A third person came down the road that day, but it was someone who seemed unlikely to help at all.
Matt: Please don't tell me he left the guy too.
Jo: This guy was a Samaritan. When he saw the guy beaten and close to death in the road, he was so worried about the guy that he immediately felt compassion for him. He didn't care who the guy was, he knew that if nobody took care of the guy he would die.
Matt: Wow. Lucky for him.
Jo: Yeah, a lot of people thought that Samaritans were bad people, but here this guy is. Helping someone he doesn't even know .
Matt: What happened next?
Jo: Well, the Samaritan didn't think about how much danger he was in by staying in the place where another man had been robbed. He jumped to action, took off his own coat to cover the wounded man, put some oil and wine on his sores to prevent infection, and put him on his own donkey and the Samaritan walked to town to let the wounded man ride.
Matt: Did they make it, Jo?
Jo: They got into town, and the Samaritan took the wounded man to an inn, paid his rent and actually took care of him through the night. The next day, he paid the innkeeper and had the innkeeper take care of him, telling him he'd pay any extra expenses next time he came into town.
Matt: Wow! Before that story everybody probably thought all the people who work for God were good and all the people who were from that social group were bad. I guess status doesn't necessarily mean goodness.
Jo: Now, the priest and Levite could have taken care of him, but it was the Samaritan who bothered to do it. What does that tell you?
Matt: You can't judge a person by where they're from. Good or bad people can come from any group.
Jo: Jesus said we should always be good neighbors. This is a story about neighbors.
Matt: But they didn't live anywhere near each other.
Jo: Yes, but your neighbor is anyone around you at any time. When you're at school, every kid there is your neighbor, regardless of what street they live on.
Matt: I guess I wasn't a very good neighbor to Sophie. I guess I judged her by what everyone else assumed about her.
Jo: Maybe we can all learn by the example of the good Samaritan. We can learn two things.
Matt: That people can be nice no matter where they're from.
Matt: That people can be mean and thoughtless no matter how important they are. You can't judge people by their status in life. Jo, I'd rather be a Samaritan with compassion than someone more popular who doesn't have a heart.
Jo: Matt, I think everyone who loves God would. Let's write a "Welcome to our school" card for your new friend Sophie. I bet she'd enjoy hearing about our Sunday school too!
Matt: Do you think she'd like to join our youth group? It's a great way to make lots of friends!
Jo: Let's finish the card and invite her for Sunday. I bet there are a lot of kids here who'd love to meet her. I know I would.
ALL: (should be habit after every play . . . You can design your own puppet play ministry prayer, but it is recommended to give kids a sense that the activity is special.)
Dear Lord, Thank you for this day,
And thank you for our puppet play.
Help us all to be really good
And do things like we should.
Let us remember the things you taught
And that you love us all a lot. AMEN!
© Copyright A.D. Mariano, all rights reserved. The script may not be reproduced, translated or copied in any medium, including books, CDs and on the Internet, without written permission of the author.
This play may be performed free of charge, on the condition that copies are not sold for profit in any medium, nor any entrance fee charged. In exchange for free performance, the author would appreciate being notified of when and for what purpose the play is performed. He may be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org