Our Hands-on Story puppet script for this week:
Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch
Philip is laying down in his house with a pillow over his head.
Angel: Philip… what are you doing?
Philip: Laaaaaaying! I LOOOOVE to lay down!
Angel: But… you’ve got a pillow on your head!
Philip: I know! Pillooooooows! I LOOOOVE pillooows!
Angel: I see. Well, get up. Rise and go toward the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.”
Philip: What? Where is that?
Angel: It’s in the desert.
Philip: (sitting up all of a sudden) The desert! I LOOOOOVE the desert! (looks over) Oh… hey you’re an angel… That’s cool, I guess. (turns back to the camera) The deseeeeeeeert!
Philip is running along in the desert.
Philip: (puffing) Hey? What’s that up there? It looks like a chariot! That guy looks like he’s from Ethiopia!
God: (with resonance) Philip, this guy is from Ethiopia.
Philip: Ethiopiaaaaaa! I LOOOOVE Ethiopia!
God: That’s nice. Go over to his chariot.
Ethiopian: Like a sheep he was led…
Philip: Hey! You’re Ethiopian!
Ethiopian: (looks around then looks at Philip) Yeeesss…
Philip: Cool. Is that the Bible?
Ethiopian: Well, yes…
Philip: Biiiiible! I LOOOVE the Bible! Do you understand what you are reading?
Ethiopian: How can I, unless someone guides me? Wait… could you help me figure this out?
Philip: Read the Bible with an Ethiopian? You bet!
(Philip gets in the chariot)
Ethiopian: I was reading here… “Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter and like a lamb before its shearer is silent, so he opens not his mouth. In his humiliation justice was denied him. Who can describe his generation? For his life is taken away from the earth.” Sooo… the guy that’s writing this… is he talking about himself or someone else?
Philip: Hey, that’s all about Jesus!
Philip: Jeeeeesus! I LOOOOVE Jesus! You and I are sinners, right?
Ethiopian: Well, right.
Philip: Well, we deserve to be punished for our sins, but like the Bible verses you read say, Jesus was punished so that we wouldn’t have to be punished for our sins!
Ethiopian: Wait… he was punished for our sins? That’s not fair!
Philip: Nope! It isn’t.
(they look at each other for a moment)
Ethiopian: Oh, well, that settles it, then.
Philip: God loved us so much that He sent his Son Jesus to die instead of us dying. Now, if we accept Jesus as our king and turn away from our sins, God will forgive us of our sins! In fact, one of the first things you should do as a follower of King Jesus is to follow Him in baptism!
Philip: Baaaaaaaptism! I LOOOOVE me some baptism!
Ethiopian: What is it?
Philip: Well, if you want to follow Jesus, he tells us that we need to follow him in baptism. Baptism is where you and I go down into some water and I put you under the water and pull you back up in the name of God the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. It represents the washing away of your sins and also the fact that your old self, the part of you that sins, is going to be dead and buried. Jesus will give you a new heart that wants to follow Him, and that’s like coming alive again! God the Holy Spirit will live inside you and give you what you need to follow Jesus with all your heart!
Ethiopian: Wow. That was a… lot. I was expecting some sort of snack food or a new exercise or something. So… it sounds like God saves me and changes me. Don’t I have to do something to earn that kind of gift from God?
(they look at each other for a moment)
Ethiopian: Oh, well, that settles it, then. Hey, ook! There’s some water! What prevents me from being baptized right now?”
Ethiopian: Stop the chariot! I want to be baptized! I want to follow Jesus and turn away from my sins!
Philip: Let’s do this! I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Buried with Him in baptism, raised to newness of life!
Ethiopian: Wow! This is wonderful! My sins are forgiven! The water seems particularly dry, however. (looks down)
Philip: Woah! God’s going to move me right now! Didn’t see that coming! See ya! (disappears)
Ethiopian: (looks up) Woah! (looks up to heaven) God, thank you for sending your servant to tell me about Jesus! I’ll tell all my friends about what you’ve done for me!!!