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JONAH       - written by Tanis Harms
TOPIC:        obedience, God’s compassion/forgiveness
SCRIPTURE:    Jonah 1 – 4; Psalm 116:5
Style:        comedy/conversation: Jonah runs from Godd
Cast:         NARRATOR, PEOPLE (minimum 2), JONAH,
.             SAILOR, FISH
Set & Props:  cardboard cutout of boat
.             (could be the front or back of the boat),
.             pail or cup full of water (or confetti),
.             gray or brown blanket for fish

SCRIPT:

(NARRATOR points out 2 or more PEOPLE at stage left
who pretend to have a silly fight with girly hitting
without actually hitting each other.)

NAR.   A long time ago, there was a city called Nineveh.
.      The people there did not know God,
.      and they were very bad.

(The PEOPLE stop fighting, then cross their arms and
look out to the congregation with angry faces.)

NAR.   Ooo - scary.  

(JONAH enters and stands at center stage.)

NAR.    There was also a man named Jonah,
.       who KNEW and loved God.
.       God told Jonah to go to Nineveh
.       and give the people a warning.

(JONAH is angry, looks up and talks to God.)

JONAH   What?  Are You serious?  I don’t want to go!
.       They are all sinners, and they all deserve
.       to be destroyed!

(JONAH looks back down and crosses his arms,
and looks out to the congregation with an angry face.)

NAR.    Ooo – interesting.  He looks very much
.       like these people in the bad city of Nineveh.  
.       Anyway, Jonah did not obey God, and tried
.       to run away.

(JONAH runs on the spot facing stage right.             2
SAILOR enters from stage right holding
the cardboard boat out, gently rocking it
as he walks toward JONAH.)

NAR.    Jonah tried to run away from God
.       as far as possible.  Reaching the town of Joppa,
.       Jonah paid some sailors to take him
.       across the sea to Tarshish.

(JONAH gets behind boat.  SAILOR gently rocks the boat.)

NAR.    Because Jonah was not obeying God,
.       God sent a storm to punish Jonah.  

(SAILOR rocks boat harder.  NARRATOR gets pail of water.)

NAR.    The waves got very big.

(NARRATOR throws the water [confetti] at JONAH.)

SAILOR  Ah, we are all going to die!  Quick, throw
.       everything into the sea.  Jonah, have you
.       done something to make your God angry?

JONAH   (pouting)  Yes.  The God who created the heavens,
.       earth and the sea - told me to do something.
.       I didn’t want to do it, so I’m running away.

SAILOR  Why would you do that?  What should we do now
.       so we do not die?

JONAH   Aw!  Well, just throw me into the sea then.

SAILOR  No!

JONAH   Yes.

NAR.    Finally the sailors threw Jonah
.       into the sea.

(SAILOR pushes Jonah toward stage right.  Immediately,
SAILOR begins rocking the boat gently.)

NAR.    Immediately, the storm went away,
.       and the sailors believed in God.

SAILOR  (looking up)  Thank you God.
.       I will serve You from now on!

(SAILOR “floats” backwards, then off to stage right.    2
JONAH pretends to tread water and looks up.)

JONAH   I’m still not going to do what You want!

NAR.    So God sent a big fish to swallow Jonah.

(PERSON wrapped in a blanket enters from stage right,
and walks up to JONAH.  Opening their arms,
FISH “swallows” JONAH with a big “GULP” sound.
JONAH is now wrapped up in the blanket also.)

NAR.    Jonah was in the fish for 3 days and 3 nights.
.       There was icky seaweed, lots of water, and
.       I’m sure it did not smell nice.  Jonah thought
.       he was going to die, and finally prayed to God.

JONAH   (loudly)  Help me, God!

NAR.    God told the fish to vomit Jonah out
.       onto the shore.

(FISH faces stage left, and opens the blanket with
a “BLAH” sound.  JONAH falls out onto center stage.
FISH exits stage left.  JONAH stands and wipes
himself off.  JONAH looks around and complains.)

JONAH   Oh no!  I’m back where I started!

NAR.    God told Jonah again – to go to Nineveh.

JONAH   (looking up)  I still don’t want to go!...
.       (arguing his point)  They are all sinners,
.       and they all deserve to be destroyed!...
.       They won’t change anyway.

NAR.    God told Jonah to tell the people
.       in Nineveh that they had 40 days
.       before God would destroy them and their city.

JONAH   That’s more like it!

(JONAH walks over to the city PEOPLE.)

JONAH   You have 40 days before God will destroy you
.       and your city.

(PEOPLE become worried and look up at God.  They can
call out random lines from the following...)

PEOPLE  Oh no, we’re sorry, God.  We’re very sorry.     3
.       We will turn to you and stop being bad.

NAR.    Even the king was sorry and had the entire city
.       not eat or drink anything.  God heard their cries
.       and saw that they were very sorry –
.       so God did NOT destroy them or the city.

(PEOPLE become happy, hug each other and skip out
while cheering.)

PEOPLE  Thank you, God.  We will serve You from now on!

(Angry, JONAH stomps back to center stage.)

JONAH   I can’t believe God saved them.
.       They were doing bad things.
.       They should have been destroyed.

(NARRATOR looks at JONAH.)

NAR.    Hey, Jonah, YOU disobeyed God, and God saved YOU.

(JONAH exits while thinking about that.)

NAR.    And so, no matter how bad anyone has ever been,
.       God will show great compassion to anyone
.       who asks for His forgiveness.