The Garden

By Michele Pitman

Summary

A gardener receives a great return when he willingly gives away his crop. A parable on the Fruit of the Spirit.

Scripture

2 Corinthians 9:6-12, Galatians 5:22-23, Galatians 6:9-10

Characters

Narrator
Gardener (wearing overalls, hat, gumboots etc)
9 congregation members willing to hold up fruit of the spirit signs. (They may remain seated where they are).

Props

Leeks, Jonquils, peas, potatoes, kiwi fruit, grapes, fennel, gardenias, sage.  (Note: if you canít get one of these items, replace it with something that begins with the same first letter; e.g. grapes = grapefruit.) 9 Large signs of each of the 9 fruits of the spirit. Another large sign with "100% more" written on it. A large basket. A bunch of flowers. (optional)

Staging

As the narrator starts to read, the gardener appears to be harvesting his 'crops'. Then he/she can distribute the items to people in the congregation as they are each read out.  Before the service, arrange for some congregation members to hold up a fruit of the spirit sign as they hear it read out.  Tell them to listen for the cue "something strange, and wonderful began to happen in their lives".  A young child could go to the Gardener with the "100%" and the bunch of flowers when the line "100 times more than he gave" are read.  Note that the Gardener does not have lines here, but you are welcome to add some for him/her if you wish.  The Narrator needs to have very good timing and be watching carefully to pace this sketch well.

Script

NARRATOR: Once there was a man who had a garden.  In this garden he had leeks, jonquils, peas, potatoes, kiwi fruit, grapes, fennel, gardenias, and sage. He carefully tended his patch every day making sure there were no weeds that would come and devour his crop.
As the various things in his garden began to ripen and flower the man harvested them.  He found that he had more than sufficient for his own needs so he decided he would share them with others.
He gave the leeks to an old lady across the road from him who did not have a family to love her.
He gave some jonquils to the man whose smile of joy was a sight to behold.
He gave the peas to the little girl who had seen a war and was now glad she was far away from it.
He gave the potatoes to a mother with four unruly children praying silently that she might survive them with patience.
He gave some delicious kiwi fruit to a neighbour who had been kind to him many times past.
He gave grapes to a good young man who was studying to be a doctor.
He gave the fennel to the fishmonger who had been faithful to his wife for over 45 years.
He gave the gardenias to the gentle girl who was looking for a job.
And he gave the sage to an old farmer who had lost everything in the drought but was self-controlled enough not to blame himself or anyone else for his misfortune.
As each of the recipients used the fruit and vegetables the man had given them, something strange and wonderful began to happen in their lives.
The old lady with the leeks began to know love. The old man who had the jonquils was filled with joy. The little girl with the peas knew peace at last. The lady with the potatoes knew about divine patience. The neighbour, with the kiwi fruit, felt kindness swell within his breast. The young man with the grapes knew supreme goodness. The fishmonger with the fennel began to understand true faithfulness. The gentle girl with the gardenias was gentler still. And the old farmer with the sage knew freedom in his self-control.
The manís bountiful harvests grew bigger each year and more and more people shared in the special gifts the amazing plants brought to them.  Some of the people planted seeds from these plants and began to harvest crops of their own which they then shared with those around them.
And so, the garden grew and kept on growing - and the man?  Well! He received a hundred times more than he gave. Not in fruit or flowers nor in vegetables or herbs but of the spirit in which he had shared his first harvest.
May you too, know such a garden in your lifetime!
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© Michelle Pitman 1998, all rights reserved
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. She may be contacted at: michelle_pitman@hotmail.com