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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Faith Out of the Box: A Play



The following is offered as a "shareware" play. It is great fun. If you produce it as a church event and do not charge for the tickets, it is one me, and may the Lord bless it with a great outpouring of the Spirit. I would like a video of it. If you charge for the tickets, please remit 10%. Contact me on Facebook.


Faith Out of the Box:
A divine comedy of errors

Rev. William L. De Arteaga
© 2012

CHARACTERS
Pastor George Webster, senior pastor at the “Church of Faith.”  In his mid-70’s, but still vigorous.
Youth Group, made of teens. It includes the four youth group members below, plus others depending on the availability of church volunteers, or the size of the theatre company. Youth Group members should be between 13 and 17 years old.
Tracy, assistant youth leader, nineteen years old
Robert, member of youth group
Stephen, member of youth group
Sharon, member of youth group
Fred, member of youth group
Greg, youth pastor, in his late 20s
Nurse
Group signifies the four youths named above plus Tracy
Mr. Johnson, funeral director
“Handsome Joey” Castalino, drug dealer, twenty two years old
Nancy Webster, Pastor George’s wife of fifty years.

SETTING
ACT I, Scene 1 takes place in the sanctuary of “Faith Church,” at the Friday Afternoon youth “Prayer and Praise” event. Scene 2 takes place in the hospital corridor in front of ICU room. Act II, Scene 1 is at Johnson’s funeral home.  Scene 2 takes place at Pastor George’ home, at the dining room. All persons have an ear piece that include a stiff wire projecting forward with a small bulb (a TV lens and projector).  This is a future “External Communications Projector” (ECP) and is like a virtual I-Pad. It allows the person to use a virtual keyboard to his right and just above ear level. The person looks also to the right and sees a screen with TV, web, texting, and telephone capabilities, but this screen is not seen by others. It is summer time, and the youth are dressed noticeably more modestly than common in the present time. Girls have longish shorts or knee length skirts and colorful scarfs. Boys are in jeans or longish shorts, and all have Christian T-shirts.

TIME
The action of the play takes place in the future, two years after the beginning of the “Great
Revival” in America.



ACT I

SSENE 1:
“Church of Faith” sanctuary. The scene opens with a spotlight on Pastor George who is to the side, and dialing his ECP.


GEORGE
(Touching his ECP, to his right, which after a pause connects.)
Hi sweetheart, looks like I’ll be a little late for dinner.
                                                            (Pause)
I know, I’m sorry, but I have to cover for Greg. He’s at the hospital praying for some folks. He saw a really bad accident, which included Mrs. Maria Kelly, and he is over there praying for her.
                                                            (Pause)
I don’t have further details, but Greg texted me that he should make it to the youth “prayer and praise” without too much delay. If Greg is delayed past half hour I plan handing off the meeting to Tracy and come on home.
                                                            (Pause)
I know she has never done that before, but she is ready for it.
                                                            (Pause)
Love you, bye.
(Touches the virtual screen “off” and walks on to the stage and podium. Teens are seated, but intensely involved with their ECP and barely note Pastor George. Tracy sits in the front row, tuning her guitar.)
Hey kids, let’s have your attention here please.

YOUTH GROUP
Hi Pastor George, Oh hi, etc.
                                                (Most continue with their ECPs)

GEORGE
I’m glad you have come to this afternoon’s youth service. As you can see, I’m pinch hitting for Pastor Greg. He witnessed a bad accident and went off to the hospital to be with and pray for the injured.  He was not hurt or in the accident at all. And his last text says he is going to try to make it here soon. But let me tell you, it is such a pleasure to be substitute youth minister for a night.

YOUTH GROUP
You can do it Pastor George! (Chuckles and laughter)

GEORGE
Thanks. Well, we are going to Praise the Lord!

YOUTH GROUP
Clapping. “Praise the Lord!” (PTL) and amens.

GEORGE
Now please shut down your ECPs. We are going to especially thank the Lord for this great revival we are experiencing.

YOUTH GROUP
Amens, PTLs, We thank you Lord!
(A few shut down their ECPs)

GEORGE
Many of us who have many years and little hair
                                                            (Touching his balding head)
have been praying for this revival for decades. And in the past a revival would break out here and there, and we thought, “Here it comes!”  But it petered out, or went wrong somehow.  But we are in the real thing!

YOUTH GROUP
Cheering, clapping, PTLs etc.,
(Several are still manipulating their ECPs.)

GEORGE
It still amazes me what the Lord has done in America in just two short years.
                                                (Grimacing with annoyance)
Now, let’s turn off the ECP’s like you’re supposed to. Time to stop the texting and games and praise the Lord.

YOUTH GROUP
                                                (Most manipulate there EPCs off except ROBERT)
Yes pastor George, OK etc.

GEORGE
Robert.

ROBERT
Ok, I’ll close down in a second.

GEORGE
Good. Do you kids know, I just read it from Pew Research e-letter, that in the past two years abortions are down over seventy percent?

YOUTH GROUP
 Cheers, Amen, etc.

GEORGE
And crime nationwide continues to drop like crazy too. Did you guys see that the Holy Ghost made the cover of Time last week? That CNN piece yesterday on the revival miracles in Minneapolis was great.

YOUTH GROUP
Awesome, PTL!, etc.

GEORGE
Last Monday I was having lunch with Police Chief Wasaluskie and he told me his officers have not had a single call on armed robbery, or assault in over two months. Not a single murder in over two years. That is a flat out record.  It has never happened before. The most excitement they have had this month is a drug bust on the drug dealer “Handsome Joey.”

TRACY
                                                (Raising her hand and standing up)
Oh Pastor, I know him.  I wanted to date him when I was a sophomore sooo bad.  I had a really big, big crush on him, and he asked me for a date twice, but Mama wouldn’t let me. He is sooo handsome.

GEORGE
You’re Mama had good sense. I’ve always told you girls, “Handsome is not enough!”

TRACY
We know. Oh, Pastor we need to pray for him at intercession time. He came from a really nice, family. Very cultured, like going to the opera and symphony,  but they weren’t church going or saved, or anything like that.  He took a wrong turn somewhere.  In school, he started dealing drugs. He needs to be saved, and his whole family.

YOUTH GROUP
They’ll call him Holy Joey. Amen!

TRACY
He is sooo handsome.  I really had a really big crush on him.  I was planning to go out with him anyway, and wear a wig and dark glasses so Mama wouldn’t know.

FRED
                                                            (Shouts from across the corner)
I would have snitched on you!

YOUTH GROUP
Laugher

TRACY
This was before I got really radically saved. But anyway, he got another girlfriend, Mary Rague, and she got a baby from him, but she gave him herpes.

GEORGE
See what good sense your Mama had.

TRACY
I know, I know. And I tried to get over him. Oh, but he is soooo handsome. He needs to be saved, real bad. He has gotten soooo mean now. Last summer when we were doing a prayer station down-town, he comes up with this totally tattooed girl, and they are both high as a hand glider in a hurricane, and mocks us and asks a pray for him, for, “Wild sex and the biggest high of his life.”

ROBERT
What a jerk!

TRACY
He needs to be saved. What a witness he would make for the Lord.

GEORGE
We’ll pray for him and his tattooed girlfriend at our intercession time.  I understand Joey is out on bail again. Tracy, you stand in the gap for him for a divine encounter and deliverance for him when we get to the intercessions.

YOUTH GROUP
Amen, PTL, ETC.

TRACY
(Standing and shouting)
Yes! We agree on that divine encounter, right now. He will be saved!

YOUTH GROUP
Amen. He will be saved and filled by the Holy Ghost! Amen.

GEORGE
Amen to that. Well anyway now, getting back to Chief Wasaluski and our policeman. He is happy about this drop in crime. He has never seen anything like it.  He says the department has had to set aside a cell room in jail just to store stolen property that people are returning. The jail cell wasn’t being used anyway.

YOUTH GROUP
Clapping, cheers, Awesome! etc. The Holy Spirit is a crime buster! Amen!

GEORGE
Yes, amen. But he’s worried too. In the next budget the police force is supposed to be axed in half, and the money transferred to other things. The budget is being considered by the city council next week. He will probably lose eight patrolmen.

ROBERT
Pastor George, how should we pray? I mean, do we pray that the budget not pass and the cops drive around doing nothing and don’t lose their jobs? Or maybe we’ll ask the Lord for a crime wave?

YOUTH GROUP
That’s right, stealing for Jesus! (Laughter)

GEORGE
No, no. We always pray for God’s best for everyone. We’ll ask the Lord to give every one of them better jobs, so that when they do get that nasty pink slip they -
                                                            (Acting out the narrative)
will just smile, wave goodbye, and walk into a really good jobs at better pay.

YOUTH GROUP
Yes, Right on, PTL, etc., The Lord will do it!

GEORGE
But it gets better. Listen, let me tell you about the talk I had with Pastor Strickland of the first Baptist Church at the minister’s prayer breakfast. He tells me that one of their healing and deliverance teams was doing a house call on a man sick with a really bad type of leukemia. Doctors had sent him home to die, nothing more they could do. So they arrive at the house, the wife and teen daughter, and a six year old are all there. All are really upset, naturally. Right then and there the man dies. No breath, no heartbeat. The family starts boo-hooing, naturally. But the prayer team doesn’t even stop to give consolation. They get into action and start rebuking the spirit of death, laying hands on the corpse, and the deacon puts oil on him. Then he does like “Smith Wigglesworth” on the corpse,
                                                            (Acting out elders’ motions)
Grabs him by the collar and ticks his finger to his face and shouts “Live, in Jesus’ name!” Hey, that’s’ just the way you guys would have done.

YOUTH GROUP
That’s right, Amen. PTL.

GEORGE
But these folks are Baptists. And low and behold after a few seconds, the dead man wakes up, as if from a nice nap.
                                                            (Yawns and stretches)

YOUTH GROUP
(Clapping and shouting) PTL, Thank you Jesus! Etc.

TRACY
(Standing and shouting)
Praise the Lord for Bapticostals! They are sooo awesome.

SHARON
(Raising her hand)
GEORGE
Yes Sharon?

SHARON
Who is this Smith Wiggly-swiggly, or whatever?

GEORGE
Good question, I’ll have to tell Pastor Greg to give you folks a slide show on him. Smith Wigglesworth.  He was a great plumber, never charged very much.

ROBERT
An awesome miracle!

YOUTH GROUP
Giggles and chuckles.

GEORGE
That’s right. Besides that he was a great prayer warrior and had a terrific healing ministry in the early Twentieth Century when those things were very rare. He raised several people from the dead at a time when no one did that. On one occasion he heard that his friend had died, so he charged into the funeral parlor and grabs the corpse and slams it against the wall and shouts, “Walk! In the name of Jesus!” And the man comes to life.

AUDENCE
Cheers, Amens, PTLs

GEORGE
Now the interesting thing is that the man had been embalmed, but that didn’t stop the power of God and the name of Jesus from doing a tremendous work.

YOUTH GROUP
Clapping, cheers, shouts of “awesome.”

GEORGE
Now, getting back to what Pastor Strickland told me. When this man with leukemia comes to, he is completely healed. No symptoms of leukemia. The big bed sores he had, gone. No weakness, Zip! Verified the next day by his doctor.  But there’s more.

YOUTH GROUP
More, more. PTL, etc.

GEORGE
The next day. Blood work was done on him and even his “hepatitis C” was gone. Then, the doctor after examining him says, now, get this. He says, “Oh, this is the second resuscitation from the dead I know of this month.”

YOUTH GROUP
Wild clapping and shouting, PTL, etc.  

TRACY
Hi fives for Jesus!
(Passes on hi fives to kids around her, and YOUTH GROUP pass on hi fives)

GEORGE
This is revival. Isn’t this great. The Baptists believing and behaving likeus Pentecostals. That is really awesome! Kids this is happening to the last of the cessationist churches all over America. They are finally becoming Pentecostal. It’s wonderful!

ROBERT
                                                (Holding up his hand)

GEORGE
Yes Robert?

ROBERT
What is cessationist?

GEORGE
                                                (Winking at Tracy)
Oh I am sooo happy I have to explain this to you, and you are soooo innocent of it.

YOUTH GROUP
Chuckles and giggles

GEORGE
Cessationism is a really a big, big heresy, that most churches held for a long time. I bet if you ask your parents or grandparents they’ll tell you about it.  It was a theory that said that healing, casting out demons, and the gifts of the Spirit were stuff that only the Early Church, the Church of the Apostles, did, and after they died off all those powers ceased.

YOUTH GROUP
 (Murmuring) What! Awful, That’s crazy. No way Jose.

ROBERT
                                                            (Standing up, and shouting)
That’s the stupidest thing I have ever heard.

YOUTH GROUP
Right on, Amen, etc.

TRACY
It really is soooo ridiculous!

GEORGE
Yes, and destructive too.  But let’s not be too hard on the Baptists. Understand it this way.  When you came to Christ you also came into a church, and there you went to Sunday school, and the pastors and elders showed you how to read the Bible, and what doctrines are central, like the Trinity and the atonement by the blood. So what happened was that cessationism snuck in and became established, and so generation after generation of Christians got taught this heresy as true doctrine. The Baptist swallowed it whole.

ROBERT
You mean they didn’t read the Bible and all the times Jesus says to go and heal the sick and cast out demons?

GEORGE
Oh yes they did. But every time they read that they thought, “Oh, that only happened in Bible times.”

TRACY
That is soooo ridiculous!

GEORGE
It was Satan’s biggest triumph over the church. Believing this heresy meant that even the most devout Christians never prayed for the sick or cast out devils, because they didn’t believe they could do it. Remember how often Jesus says, “According to your faith.” Well, this cessationism destroyed their faith in doing healing or miracles of any sort. Their faith was zero, zip, nada.

SHARON
You mean, back then, even a pastor, if he had his child or wife dying of some disease, wouldn’t lay hands on him and cure him?

GEORGE
That’s right. That happened countless times. This heresy completely destroyed the faith to do those things.

FRED
And Christians didn’t figure out it was a demon idea?

GEORGE
It took a long time. It was a stealth heresy. Everybody believed it so no one understood what was going on. But… understand it this way. Remember the deliverance you kids did on Deacon John last month. He was at our Sunday worship service and started coming out with those nasty words.

TRACY
That was sooo nasty.

GEORGE
Now note, he was and is a great Christian man, doing all sorts of good stuff for the Lord in outreach, and a man of prayer. A year ago I was having a bout with arthritis in my knee, and he prayer for me, and, bingo! Gone! But he had this demon of obscenity lurking at the edge of his soul, something that snuck in long before he made a commitment to the Lord. It finally couldn’t take any more worship and stats identifying itself. And then you guys pounced on him and delivered him.

YOUTH GROUP
Yes PTL! Awesome! We said get out and the demon got going, PTL

GEORGE
Well, cessationism was sort of that. It was something that lingered in a corner of the soul of the Church, and no one knew it. It wasn’t understood as an evil, demon inspired, heresy. It was thought standard doctrine.

TRACY
Soooo awful and soooo stupid!

GEORGE
Yes. It took wave after wave of pioneer heroes of the faith to overthrow this heresy. They were called all sorts of nasty things like witches and heretics.

ROBERT
By the cessationist heretics?

GEORGE
Yes, that’s exactly right.  Hey, when you kids have a chance, import the book “Sealed Orders” by a lady called Agnes Sanford into your master reader. It now comes with a nice audio selection of her sermons and talks. And the latest version even has an 8mm. film section from some camp meeting in the 1950s.

ROBERT
What is 8mm film?

GEORGE
It’s like video; except it was film and you had to send it some place to have it developed. Well, anyway, Mrs. Sanford, one of the great saints and pioneers of the healing ministry who helped the Church remember it’s Holy Spirit power, just like Smith Wigglesworth. Well, back in World War II, in 1945, she was a Red Cross volunteer at the Army hospital at Fort Dix, where wounded soldiers were recovering, or…sometimes dying from their wounds. She would lay hands on them and they often hand awesome, miraculous recoveries. But that was against regulations, and a nurse caught her doing that nasty, evil thing, praying for the wounded, and calls her a witch and heretic and throws her out of the hospital.

TRACY
That is sooo disgusting.

GEORGE
Yes. And that nurse was a Christian too! A stealth heretic, like most of the folks in her generation. That you young’uns don’t remember cessationism, and thinks it’s a crazy idea.
                                                (Winking at Tracy)
This is sooo wonderful.  When I was a child…
                                                (Seeing Greg walking in)
Oh, here is Greg.
                                                (To Greg)
Come up here and tell us the news.
                       
GREG
                                    (Enters and arrives at the podium)
This morning I had a ring-side view of a really horrendous accident. Mrs. Maria Kelly was in it, survived, but is in very critical condition.

YOUTH GROUP
Groans, Lord help her! The Lord will be glorified even in this, etc.

GREG
She was coming off the interstate ramp at exit nineteen, and this big, old gasoline powered Chevy pickup comes high speed barreling in the wrong way, cops chasing it. It was a… partial head on to Mrs. Kelly’s Toyota. The driver, Joey Castalino, a drug dealer.
TRACY
                                                            (Loudly)
Handsome Joey! He needs to be healed, and saved too!

GREG
I’m sorry. Too late for him. His truck demolished and tossed aside Mrs. Kelly’s Toyota, and then hits a telephone pole.  He and his pickup burned up in a cloud of gasoline and heroin.

TRACY
Oh no! Lord, that can’t be!

GREG
I’m afraid so. They hauled off his badly burned body after the fire was put out.  

TRACY
                                                            (Places her hands over her face and begins to sob quietly)

GREG
And Mrs. Kelly is at Wellstar in very critical condition.  Not expected to make it. I just came from there, and anointed her, and prayed with her family.  But the doctors don’t think she will make it, and if she does, it will be an awful process of plastic surgeries to repair her smashed pelvis and other bones and wounds.  Everything is just awful from the natural, medical viewpoint. Pray, pray, pray!

YOUTH GROUP
Right on! Amen, PTL, Jesus is an awesome plastic surgeon! etc.

GEORGE
Tracy, are you OK?

TRACY
Oh, I guess I shouldn’t cry. But he really was my first love. I mean it didn’t get serious, and he broke my heart when he started dating this other girl from the cheerleaders.

GREG
(Moves next to Tracy and motions to two youths to come and join him in laying hands on Tracy.)

TRACY
                                                            (Sits up)
This is sooo terrible and sooo disappointing. When I recommitted my life to the Lord and was touched by this revival, well… every night I would pray for his salvation. Once I had a vision which I thought was from the Lord about Joey. I guess it was my imagination, and wanting something and not the Lord.

GEORGE
Can you share that vision with us?

TRACY
It is a bit personal, but I guess it’s alright. I saw JOEY and me at this big church. It was a special healing service for druggies. They were throwing their needles and pipes and packets of dope on the stage, Joey was laying hands on their heads one by one. I was playing a song on my guitar.
                                                            (Pause)
I was sure this was from God… I guess it wasn’t.

YOUTH GROUP
Several are praying in tongues softly.

GEORGE
Tracy, sometimes, no, very often, God gives us visions of His best will for our lives. These are heavenly possibilities, but not set-in-concrete prophecies. It may have been what God intended for you and Joey. I bet, yes I feel this is right, that Joey had several chances of getting out of his lifestyle of drugs and all that other stuff, and becoming born again and Spirit Filled. And like your vision, becoming someone who could minister to druggies… much better than me or Pastor Greg could ever. But he chose not to, and his best for him…slipped away.

TRACY
                                                            (Holding her face in her hands, sobs)

GEORGE
Hey everyone, hold up your hands of benediction towards sister Tracy here.

YOUTH GROUP
All turn in Tracy’s direction, some praying softly in tongues.

GEORGE
Greg, you lead us in prayer for Tracy.

GREG
Sure….Ah…Heavenly Father, we know how hard it is to have a cherished dream come to nothing. Lord, Tracy has so much talent and goodness in her, that now, we ask you to heal her heart, and to quickly come again to that joy that she so generously radiates all over this church.

GEORGE
And the Church says…

YOUTH GROUP
Amen!

TRACY
                                                            (Sits up straight, no longer sobbing)
Thank you all, brothers and sisters.               

GEORGE
OK Greg, you know the situation of Mrs. Kelly, so you go ahead and lead the prayer for her too.

GREG
                        (GREG steps back from Tracy, and lifts his hands in prayer.)

GEORGE
We’ll pray for God’s glory in this, and awesome miracles. Let’s hold hands on this, and be in one accord.

YOUTH GROUP
                                                (All hold hands)

GREG
Those of you who have tongues, this is the time and place.  OK? OK.
                        (Others in YOUTH GROUP pray in tongues quietly.)
Heavenly Father… It has been a joy to see Maria come into the Church…out of her years in atheism.  It seems Lord, that she has just begun her work in the Kingdom.  Her ministry in the nursery is a wonder.  You know Lord, how she had become everybody’s grandmother at Faith Church. So now Lord, we agree for a mighty miracle that she would live and not die.

YOUTH GROUP
Amen, Yes Lord, tongues, etc

GREG
She would be completely healed, and not need a single surgery.

YOUTH GROUP
Not a one, Amen. Jesus is the surgeon!
GREG
Maria is not finished the work you appointed her to do, but just starting. By the stripes of Jesus her body is now healed and restored to its normal state, with no hint of scaring!

TRACY
                                                            (Loudly, and with hands upraised)
We agree that she will be upgraded from critical to serious, and walkout to the total and awesome amazement of the doctors and nurses.

YOUTH GROUP
That’s right on, Amen, etc.

GEORGE
I’ll amen to that.  But you know, Tracy, the doctors there have seen one miracle after the other in the last years. It would be hard to astonish them

TRACY
But the Lord is….
(In tongues for a moment)
preparing us for an unbelievable miracle, something never done before by the power of the Holy Spirit!

YOUTH GROUP
Amens, Slam it on us Lord! PTLs!

ROBERT
Pastor George, the Lord is saying to us that we need to go over to the hospital and add to the prayers that have already said with our laying on of hands, and our faith.

YOUTH GROUP
Amen to that, yes.

ROBERT
And as senior pastor you need to lead us. Maria needs that point of contact of more laying on of hands.

GREG
That’s right.
GEORGE
But Greg, this is your crew.

GREG
I know, but… I sense Robert is right. His discernment is awesome. I’ve prayed for Maria and gave her my best shot.  You need to lead this team.

GEORGE
Well OK. Nancy won’t be happy, but…I guess she is used to this. But we can’t take everyone. Let’s get a car load down there. Look, we need parents’ permission. Kids, go ahead and call, and the ones that get permission first go, and the rest stay here and pray intercessions. Kids, as your parents answer, split and vector to my ECP. I’ll tape it to keep the legalities in order.

YOUTH GROUP
(All the youth begin manipulating their ECP,s and saying :),
Hi Mom, I need to go to hospital with Pastor George for healing prayer., Oh Please answer. Hi Dad!, I need to talk to Mom, etc. Hi sis...

GEORGE
(Walks away from the podium, spotlight on him, dials his ECP and looks to his right)
Hi hon.
                                                            (Pause)
You guessed it, I’m sorry.



SCENE 2
At the corridor of the ICU section, in front of a unit. The door to the unit is closed, and backed by a curtain. GEORGE, TRACY, ROBERT, FRED and SHARON enter the hall. GEORGE is wearing his Wellstar Chaplin’s badge.

GEORGE
                       
Listen gang, you not supposed to go in. I can because I’m clergy. You guys pray out here and I’ll go in and lay hands on Mrs. Kelly and anoint her. Maybe I can get permission from the nurse for you guys to come in one at a time and lay hands on her. But don’t make too much noise out here. Neither the Lord nor Satan is hard of hearing.

GROUP
OK pastor Gorge, yes. OK

                                                (GEORGE enters ICU and closes door behind him.)

GROUP
                                                            (Raising their hands and praying in tongues)

TRACY
Here we are Lord. In your presence. We are in total agreement.

GEORGE
                                                            (From inside)
Oh, OK Lord.

GROUP
Amen. Jesus, in your name we agree. Let your power flow

TRACY
This horrible, gross thing will not stand. We rebuke it and all its consequences.
(Pointing to inside the room)
You are healed and restored!

SHARON
Totally restored in Jesus’s name! Blessed be the name of the Lord! This is life and not death. Spirit of death leave! Be gone!
TRACY
                                                            (Loudly)
The Lord is healing and restoring you, by his stripes…

ROBERT
Shush!
           
TRACY
                                                (Giving Robert a disgusted look, but with voice lowered)
You are healed. Restored from all infirmity and injury.

GROUP
Amen, etc. (Tongues)

NURSE
                        (Comes in walking quickly, looking to her upper right and manipulating her ECP)
And you folks are from?

TRACY
Faith Church.

NURSE
Oh, Pastor George’s. Well, you keep doing your praying. This lady is critical and expected to die soon.

SHARON
No, she will live a long life in service to the Lord.

NURSE
Well, OK.
                        (Enters room, leaves door cracked open, enough to hear the conversation.)
Hello pastor George.

GEORGE
Blessings to you.

NURSE
I saw on the monitor the patient’s vital signs start to improve all of a sudden, and I wondered what was going on. But I see you brought your prayer power house with you.

GEORGE
Yes. They have terrific faith. They never had to un-learn the false theologies we grew up with.

NURSE
She is coming to. I’m going to give her doctor a ring.

GROUP
                                                (Cheers and give hi fis to each other)

TRACY
Thank you Jesus!

NURSE
Dr. Pataswami,
                                                            (Pause)
 I’m calling from the bedside of Mrs. Hernandez.

GROUP
                                                            (Surprised looks all around)

NURSE
No, she has not passed away. On the contrary her vital signs have recovered. Blood pressure is now 120 over 75, breathing is normal
                                                            (Pause)
No I am not mistaken. Tune in with your ECP and check it out.  The code for room 114 is on your EPC. And the tumor at the side of her forehead just shrunk to …practically nothing. Like a deflated balloon. Correction, it has fallen off and looks like a pink prune on the sheet. I am taking a picture of it right now…you should have it.
                                                            (Pause)
Yes I know, no medical reason. A real miracle. She is awake now and you can speak to her when you get here.
                                                            (Pause)
Thank you pastor George, your prayers and anointing oil did it again.

GEORGE
You need to thank our prayer team.
                                                (Coming to the door and opening it full)
Great job, a wonderful miracle!  But it wasn’t Mrs. Kelly.

GROUP
Ah shoot, Oh…

GEORGE
Hey look, I’m sure this is all providential, we were just at the wrong room. But it is providential. Who knows what the Lord will now do with Mrs. Hernandez’s life? Now all we have to do is find Mrs. Kelly’s room and do this all over again.

GROUP
Amen. PTL, Another awesome miracle Lord!

NURSE
                                                            (From inside)
You mean Maria Kelly?

GEORGE
Yes. Could you check the correct room for her?

NURSE
I’m sorry, too late. She died an hour ago. It may be God’s best for her. She was horribly mangled. Her body was taken to the McDuffy’s funeral home, I believe.

GEORGE
Oh shoot!

SHARON

No, this must be providential also.  I know, I feel it in my spirit.  It’s an opportunity to do resuscitation. After all, we can’t let the Baptists have a better score than us.

ROBERT
Let’s go and lay hands on the corps and watch it dance!

GEORGE
Well, I wouldn’t phrase it quite like that. But I believe we have the faith for it.

GROUP
Amen, Yes, PTL, Let’s go to McDuffy’s.

ACT II

SETTING
At Johnson’s Funeral Home. The stage is divided by a wall and door. One side is the viewing salon with large sign, “The Staff at Johnson’s wishes to give you excellence of service at your time of grief.” It is furnished in antique decor, with a small round table covered in white linen, with a picture of elderly gentlemen, and a sofa chair. On the other side is a water cooler and a simple office chair and desk.

Scene 1
GEORGE, TRACY and GROUP enter the salon area.

GEORGE
Well, this wild goods chase is over.

SHARON
As you say, “It must be providential.”

GEORGE
Driving across town and wasting all that electricity? Hardly. God doesn’t like waste. This time it’s just a plain stupid mistake. We should have called and checked.

JOHNSON
(Comes in from the office area and through the door to the salon area.)
GEORGE
Mr. Johnson, good to see you again, and blessings.

J0HNSON
Good see you Reverend. I see you have some friends today. How can I help?

GEORGE
Well, we called and your assistant told us they brought Mrs. Kelly’s body here.

JOHNSON
Yes, that’s right.

GEORGE
These are very special prayer partners. We’re all set to do a miracle for the Lord.

JOHNSON
I’m all for that, this revival has been amazing. You should see what our Baptist healing team did the other week. An honest to God resuscitation from the dead, and a total healing of leukemia. Isn’t that amazing!

GEORGE
Your pastor told me all about it. And that’s why we’re here. We want to pray over the body of Mrs. Kelly. We’re all believing the Lord wants her restored to life to finish her divine assignments, just like that man with leukemia.

GROUP
Yes, PTL!  Another resuscitation! The name of the Lord be praised!

GEORGE
I know this is unusual, but we need to have access to Mrs. Kelly and lay hands and anoint her. It’s called the “point of contact” for a miracle. And we need to and speak the words of faith for her resuscitation. Can we go in to where you have her laid out?

JOHNSON
Her resuscitation would indeed be a miracle of the greatest order.

TRACY
We know she had been dead since the morning, but Smith Wigglesworth, a man of great faith in England long ago brought back a person from the dead who was already embalmed.  Isn’t that awesome!

ROBERT
And Jesus brought back Lazarus who was dead three days. And John 14:12 says, “I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things.”  We’re standing on that promise! We’re ready for a miracle

GROUP
Amen, PTL, etc.

GEORGE
See, these kids have a mighty faith.

JOHNSON
Indeed. It will take a mighty faith to resurrect Mrs. Kelly, indeed.

TRACY
Yes, we have that faith; I can feel it welling up in us right now. To do all the works that Jesus did. Mrs. Kelly has to finish her work with children and who know what good works the Lord had planned for her from the foundations of the earth.

JOHNSON
I guess it’s alright to give it a try.

GEORGE
Thank you Mr. Johnson, can we go in, or help you wheel her out or anything.

JOHNSON
Oh no, that won’t be necessary. Stay here and I’ll bring her out myself.
                                                (Exits through the office door and off stage.)
TRACY
Let’s get into prayer and faith.

GEORGE
Good idea, lets hold hands
                                                (Group moves to form a circle and hold hands)
Tracy you seem to have great faith, in spite of your setback this afternoon. You begin.

TRACY
OK. I guess you are right. I feel OK as a matter of fact, and with this joy that I don’t understand. OK…Father, we give you thanks for what you did in the hospital today for Mrs. Hernandez. Holy Spirit come and help us magnify the name of Jesus, and incidentally show Mr. Johnson that Christians in faith can do all, everything that Jesus did and more.

GROUP
Amen, PTL, How awesome for your name and power Lord!

(Mr. Johnson returns caring a funeral urn and places it on round table. Everyone looks dumbfounded.)

JOHNSON
A great miracle indeed. Mrs. Kelly’s husband requested a cremation as soon as possible, in view of the terrible condition of her body. He mentioned he wanted the memorial service at your church, but I guess he has not communicated with you yet. He was very broken up. He and his son selected an urn and then left immediately.

GEORGE
Oh good grief! I guess the Lord felt her work was done.

JOHNSON
It appears so.  Excuse me. I have to attend to a customer who is looking over a casket in the display area.
GEORGE
Yes of course. Thank you for bringing the remains in.
  (Johnson Exits through the office)
Well I guess we might as well go back to church. And I need to be with Mr. Kelly for a while.

TRACY
Yes, but wait a minute.
(Praying in tongues for a few seconds)
Here’s the situation. We have Mrs. Kelly’s ashes here. We got lost and confused all this time. But I feel all of this was providential. God wants us to do one of the “greater works” that Jesus promised. This is sooo beyond being a rotten corpse for three days like Lazarus.

ROBERT
I’m thinking the same thing

SHARON
I witness to that in my spirit. What difference does it make to the Lord’s awesome power if the corpse is dead five minutes, three days and rotting, or ashes?

FRED
When the angel blows his horn and Jesus comes back, everyone who had become mere dust of over the ages.

TRACY
The same Holy Spirit power and authority, we have

GEORGE
Well…I’m not sure…a resuscitation is not the same as the Second Coming.

TRACY
We’re told to do more than Jesus did!

FRED
That’s right. Let’s do the more!

GEORGE
OK, let’s give it a try, let’s hold hands

TRACY
(Tongues for a few seconds)
Ah… wait.  The Lord has reminded me of a scripture. Oh…Pastor George, we all love you and thank you for the loads of stuff you have taught us. Like, just three years ago I had never even laid hands on anyone for healing. But remember that scripture, when Jesus raised up the twelve year old girl. He put out of the room anyone who doubted.

GEORGE
Yes…oh…you think I don’t belong here?

TRACY
I think the Sprit is telling me this is very special. It needs faith without doubt.

GEORGE
I see. And…To tell the truth, I don’t have faith for this one.  I’ll go to the next room and check in with Nancy while you guys do the more stuff.

ROBERT
Thank you Pastor.
(GEORGE exists to the office side. Group gathers round urn and begins to pray, quietly at first, in tongues but with increasing volume. Lights dim in main salon as GROUP circle around the erne and lay hands on it.

GEORGE
(Spotlight on George dialing his EPD, and looking to the right as he paces.)
Hi Hon,
                                                            (Pause)
Well, so far pretty normal, youth group and I went over to the Hospital and we prayed over a lady with terminal cancer who was instantly healed. I saw the tumor on her face go down like a punctured balloon. Something like the Julie Douglas case we prayed for two weeks ago.                                              (                                   Pause)
Yes, I know. The full story is that Maria died soon after she got to the hospital. A real shame. The Kids are here at Johnson’s funeral home praying for her resuscitation.  I’m not too hopeful.
                                                            (Pause)
Well, because she’s been cremated.  
                                                            (Pause)
Well, I’ve been declared an old foggy without enough faith and put out. I guess I should be happy I have taught them so well.
                                                            (Pause)
No it’s OK, really. I feel fine. I’ll give the kids fifteen minutes before I suggest that it is not possible to do this. Then I have to head back to church with the kids, and then I have to run over for a while to Mr. Kelly.
                                                            (Pause)
Put my dinner in the freezer.  I’ll grab a burrito on the way to see Mr. Kelly.                     
                                                            (Pause)
I know the freezer is full of my dinners. I’m sorry.
                                                            (Pause)
Well maybe you can give some of the freezer burn dinners to the dog.
                                                            (Pause)
No, it wasn’t meant as a comment on your cooking. I’ll make it up to you tomorrow, dinner as Mario’s.
                                                            (Pause)
Love you, by.
                                                            (Signs off)

                                                (Group is now speaking loudly, light turn on full at salon)

ROBERT
Satan, you are Lord of death, but Jesus is Lord of life!

TRACY
(Shouting)
You have no authority here. Jesus is lord, and lord of life!

FRED
I declare in Jesus’ name, all the good works the Lord assigned you to do, you will complete. Satan this death is a lie! The promises of scripture are true!

TRACY
(With both her hands on the urn)
All the works you are to do will be done on earth, as it is in heaven

ROBERT
Amen, and amen!

                                                (A rumble and urns top flies off)

TRACY
                                                (Tracy pulls back her hands)
Ouch! That got hot all of a sudden. But PTL!

GROUP
Look at that, Praise the Lord! More Jesus, more!

TRACY
Saints, let’s keep going
                                                (Pastor GEORGE cracks the door open and peeks in.)
Satan you are a thief and a lire. You will not hold this person in the jaws of death. The name of Jesus is Life!

GROUP
Life in the name of Jesus. Life and restoration, Return to life in Jesus’ name.
           
(A sudden rushing wind sound, a flash and smoke coves the table and the urn cracks open.  As the smoke clears JOEY stands, his face covered in ashes, his cloths filthy, and broken chains fall off his wrists.)

JOEY

Oh thank God! Oh, I was in hell! In hell! I don’t want to go back! Save me! How do I get saved? I want to be saved!

GROUP
(All fall back some while JOEY is talking).
Oh, What a stink. Poop is like perfume to this stuff!

GEORGE
Joey, oh wow! Hell really stinks.
(Fanning is face with his hand)

Gross. Hey, salvation is easy. These kids will lead you in the sinner’s prayer and fill you with the Holy Ghost.

JOEY
Oh please, right now, I don’t want to wait a second, I might have to go back!

TRACY
                                                (Smiling, takes JOEY’s hand)

GEORGE
Don’t sweat it. With this crowd around you, Satan can’t lay a hand on you. Great job kids! Tracy, after he gets saved and filled with the Holy Ghost, and gets cleaned up, bring him over to do a water Baptism on him, maybe tomorrow. He’ll be a sensational witness. The Baptist may beat us to the restaurants on Sunday, but they can’t beat us on this.

                                                (JOEY and TRACY look at each other lovingly)

JOEY
You saved me from hell!
TRACY
No, we prayed and Jesus snatched you out of there.

GROUP
Awesome miracle! Glory to Jesus.

ROBERT
Pastor George, we apologize for putting you out.

GEORGE
Hey, don’t apologize for doing the biblical thing, ever. You young’uns did a great job.

JOHNSON
                                                (Entering and seeing the situation)
Oh great God!
                                                            (Holding his chest, and breathing quickly)

GEORGE
Now don’t have a heart attack, this is just part of the greater works stuff. If you have a heart attack it’s a lot of work for my team to do another resuscitation.

JOEY
                                                (To JOHNSON)
I was in hell, being tortured by the demons!

JOHNSON
That I can believe without trouble…We can all smell the stink.
                                                (Breathing rapidly)

GEORGE
Sit down and enjoy the miracle. That is something you will have to learn in this season of revival.

JOHNSON
(Walks over to the sofa chair next and sits, jaws open, staring at JOEY)

GEORGE
I didn’t think this could be pulled off either. But don’t underestimate the great faith of children not confused with heresy.

JOHNSON
This is the greatest miracle, ever, anywhere.

GEORGE
Well, not really. Remember the stuff about the parting of the Red Sea. Hey, you remember in Sunday school being told that the greatest miracle of all is a sinner converted to Christ.

JOHNSON
Yes, but this thing…

GEORGE
Yes, you know, I always thought that line was a bunch of BS to cover that no one was doing physical miracles. But seriously, have you heard of some of the stuff going on in Africa and the Ukraine? It’s all over the Web. And last week in a church in Cincinnati a dozen Iraq and Afghanistan war veteran amputees were lined up, and all had their natural limbs restored, boing, bam, boom,
                                                            (Snapping his fingers)
like that.

JOHNSON
Someone told me of it. I thought it was an exaggerated rumor of some sort. But now….

GEORGE
Well, what is happening is that after over two thousand years Christians are taking the Bible seriously, and the Spirit has fallen the way it should have all along.

JOHSON
(To JOEY)
Young man, when I saw you last the right side of your face was burned to the skull. I would not believe this had my wife told me.

JOEY
I was in hell sir…

JOHNSON
Yes we can smell the stink.

JOEY
That was the least of it, sir.

GEORGE
(To JOHNSON)
But now, what about Mr. Kelly’s ashes? This has obviously been confusion here.

STEPHEN
Bring the ashes in!  Let’s do a Holy Ghost double header! The Lord can do it through our faith! Bring on her ashes too!

GROUP
Amen, Right on. The Holy Ghost will do it!

JOHNSON
Oh my gosh! Indeed a dreadful confusion.  This is terrible, but with irrevocable consequences. After Joey’s body was brought in, I started the incinerator, and then they brought in Mrs. Kelly’s, and I left the double job to be done by my assistant…but I must take full responsibility for this mix up.

TRACY
(Looking at JOEY, and holding his hand.)
Oh, this is all sooo providential.

JOHNSON
But there is an ugly element to this confusion.  Joey, I hate saying this in front of you, but… you need to know how much anger there is in your family towards you, and do something about it now that you have this extraordinary… second chance. Your uncle came in two hours ago and signed for the ashes. He said the whole family was furious at you, because of your life style and the disgrace you brought to the family name.  As he left with the ashes in their cardboard box, he did not even buy the cheapest urn, he said he was going home and flush the ashes down the toilet where they belonged. He said it with considerable vulgarity that I don’t need to repeat. I felt so bad about the situation. Young man, now that you have had this extraordinary, unprecedented second chance, you need to do some fence mending with your family.

JOEY
Yes sir, I’ve been terrible to them. I’m going to spend a lot of time with them and apologizing for everything.

GEORGE
When the Lord does a miracle, He goes all the way. With prayer it will be a breeze. Your parents are not Believers?

JOEY
Mom was before she died, but wishy-washy.  Pop has always been an atheist, and everyone on his side of the family. He doesn’t believe any of the miracle reports on TV. He says that some Christian billionaires are bribing the media.

GEORGE
Mr. Johnson, did Mr. Castalino see JOEY’s body?

JOHNSON
Yes, he came in, identified it, and walked out without another word. No emotions.

GEORGE
Well, Joey, I believe this will move him to reconsider his conspiracy theory.

TRACY
All this is sooo providential!
(Loudly)
God is good!
GROUP
All the time!

FRED
Move another atheist into the Kingdom of God!

GROUP
Amen, yes, we agree.

GEORGE
It gets better all the time. But, oh, shoot!  We can’t let Mr. Kelly and his family know about Maria’s ashes. We have a memorial service to do. Mr. Johnson, can you give Mr. Kelly some ashes in the urn he bought so that everyone will assume they are Mrs. Kelly’s?  I mean Mrs. Kelly is in heaven now and doesn’t care a hoot about her ashes. She knows she’ll get her glorified body at the second coming with everybody else with no problem. But Mr. Kelly and his kids might be very distressed…

JOHNSON
Yes I understand. We have a dozen of urns filed with ashes that were never collected by families for one reason or another. Some dating a decade or more.

FRED
Is that lying?

GEORGE
No, nobody has to tell even a fib. The urn can be truthfully called “The Kelly urn” – the one he bought, and let everybody assume…

JOHNSON
Yes of course. You know, I always try to lower the family’s distress level during the funeral rite, that why everything has to be planned well. But if this ever gets out…

GEORGE
Hey young’uns, mums the word.  You are never to say a word about this. Now, I’m not going to ask you to swear, but Jesus say let your yes be yes and no, no.  So I’m asking you all to keep this secret so that Mr. Kelly and his children will not be upset unnecessarily.

GROUP
Yes, Pastor George, yes, yes.

GEORGE
Joey?

JOEY
My lips are tight on this.

GEORGE
Well I guess, as you say Tracy, this is all soooo providential. I suppose the Lord wanted Mrs. Kelly in heaven, where she will be happiest.

JOHNSON
I suppose so.

SHARON
Wait a second, I don’t feel right about not praying Mrs. Kelly back. She was only sixty, or about that. I mean, the Lord must have had a good twenty years planned for her among children and who knows what gifts she would have developed.

STEPHEN
Yes. I know for a fact she laid hands on one of the kids in the nursery with a bad rash, and the kid was healed before the parents picked her up at the end of the service.

SHARON
I bet the Lord has big plans for her. Like maybe, “Grandma Kelly, the amazing healing evangelist and harmonica player.”

ROBERT
That sounds right.

SHARON
For Pete’s sake! We have just seen the great, amazing, awesome, power of God here. Not just a rotten body, but ashes brought to life by the name of Jesus. This is like Ezekiel’s valley of bones miracle. But not way back then, but here and now. So why do we worry over ashes in the sewer system? The power of God is awesome!

STEPHEN
I witness to that.

TRACY
But wait a second. We don’t have her ashes to lay hands on. Joey’s ashes were our point of contact for the miracle to work.  We don’t have that point of contact with Mrs. Kelly, and, besides, maybe the Lord really does want her in heaven now.

STEPHEN
After what we have seen! Why doubt? I have the same faith Sharon has about praying for Mrs. Kelly
.
ROBERT
So do I!

JOEY
But wait, look, let me say something. If heaven is as good as hell is bad, and I know hell is really bad, I wouldn’t want anyone messing with me and bringing me back to earth. She must be having a great time.

SHARON
But she still has a lot of stuff to do for the Lord!

GEORGE
Hey, stop. This is becoming an argument. Let’s not. Look, this is what we will do. Tracy, me and Joey will go to the other room, close the door and let you guys pray for Mrs. Kelly’s resuscitation.  We’ll wait for a half hour to see if anything happens. Mr. Johnson, are you going to be with the kids in here or with us in the other room?

JOHNSON
I don’t know what to choose. I would not have believed anything like Joey’s miracle even remotely possible just fifteen minutes ago. My faith is up, but I’m not sure I’m up that high.

SHARON
Then it would be better to stay on the other side.

GEORGE
OK, OK. You guys pray, we’ll wait. In the meantime I have some calls to make. Tracy, you take Joey off there
                                                            (Pointing to the office room)
and lead him in the sinner’s prayer and Holy Ghost baptism while I catch up on some important calls and texting.

JOHNSON
I’m going to check our supply room.  I believe there is a jump suit there that could fix Joey well enough.
(Looking at JOEY as he gets up.)
Young man, there is a shower in the back of the men’s rest room for you to make use of when you finish you spiritual cleansing. I don’t want the stink of hell to linger here.

JOEY
Yes sir.


(JOEY and TRACY move to the far corner of theoffice, he kneels down and she begins to lead the sinner’s prayer. JOHNSON exits. GEORGE closes the door to the salon, and Sharon, Fred and Stephen raise their hands and begin pacing around with uplifted arms and praying out loud in tongues. GEORGE dials his ECP and looks up.)

GEORGE
Hi Greg, What’s going on?
                                                            (Pause)
Oh that is wonderful. So you have been able to minister to Mr. Kelly. What about the son?
                                                            (Pause)
I can be there in an hour or so, I have to distribute the kids.
                                                            (Pause)
Well, OK. I’ll go see the Kellies tomorrow.
                                                            (Pause)
Oh, we had a great miracle here. Please excuse my idiom, but It was one hell of a show. I’ll tell you all about it tomorrow morning.
(Pause)
Yes, thanks again, by.
                                                            (Redials)

GROUP
                                                (In the salon the Group’s voices begin to get louder.)
Spirit of death, get off Mary! It is not her time. The works assigned to her from the foundations of the earth have not been accomplished. In Jesus name return! Tongues, etc

GEORGE
Hi Hon.
                                                            (Pause)
Oh this is been amazing. Hey, would you get upset if brought in six hunger young’uns for late dinner?
                                                            (Pause)
Well how about cleaning out the freezer and defrosting the most recent of my missed dinners?
                                                            (Pause)
OK, great, and that Pizza we were saving for Tommy.
                                                            (Pause)
Great. We won’t be there for at least another hour. And some parents may not give permission. So I’ll call later when we are on the way. Love you.
                       
(Spotlight fades on GEORGE, as the voices of GROUP increase in volume.)
GROUP
Release, release from the jaws of death! Let Jesus be glorified…

                                                                        (Lights fade)

SCENE 2

SETTING

At George and Nancy’s dining room, at the dining table. The GROUP members are all seated around the table. Tracy is next to and very close to  JOEY, who is now cleaned and neatly dressed. Tracy is softly strumming the tune “Amazing Grace” on her guitar. GEORGE is seated at the other end, with the chair next to him empty.  Everyone has finished dinner, with dishes and utensils showing the scraps of food.

SHARON
This has been wonderful Pastor George, every dish was terrific. How did she have time to cook so many different and things?

GROUP
Yes, really awesome food.

GEORGE
Oh she really is an extraordinary cook. Almost miraculous you might say.

NANCY
(Enters caring a Coconut cake with a cherry on top. She walks slowly and with a  limp.)

                                                                        GROUP
Wow. Look at that! That looks awesome? That’s so nice of you Mrs. Simmons.

NANCY
Well when I was getting dinner for you folks I realized I didn’t have desert so I drove over to Publix’s.
(Places the cake in the center of the table, and sits next to GEORGE)

GEORGE
                                                            (In a mock pretentious voice)
And notice brothers and sisters, the providential nature of this confectionary masterpiece. The shredded coconut represents the “Lamb of God,” and the cherry is the type for the “blood of the Lamb.”

NANCY
Oh stop that! This is your favorite cake.

GROUP
Yeah, Oh. My favorite too.

GEORGE
Oh my gosh, you ruined my Bible lesson. It would have been awesome!

NANCY
No time for Bible lesson tonight. We have these folks out later than they should. I don’t want to get dirty looks from any parent on Sunday.

GROUP
Hey it’s Friday night, it’s OK. Not a chance. Mom lets me stay up till midnight on Fridays.

GEORGE
                                                            (Begins to chuckle)
NANCY
What’s funny? Can you share?

GEORGE
Well, when I was a little boy, this was in the 1950s, ancient history now. Well, one of my favorite movies was a war movie which starred Eddy Murphy.

SHARON
Eddy Murphy?

GEORGE
Not the Eddy Murphy you know, he wasn’t even born then. This Eddy Murphy was a paleface. He won the congressional medal of honor for action against the Germans, and then starred in a film about it.  It was a great movie. It was called, “To Hell and Back.” Well, anyway it seems we need to get one of the new Christian movie companies to make a new “To Hell and Back.”

JOEY
No, it would have to be called “From Hell to and Angel’s face.”

GROUP
That’s sweet. That’ll work. PTL!

GEORGE
Well Tracy, looks like your vision will turn out, in spite of Ol’Scrach’s best shot.

TRACY
Amen.

SHARON
Pastor George, why weren’t we able to bring Maria back? We had so much faith. That whole half hour there I felt we were before the very face of God.

GEORGE
You probably were.

TRACY
It was the point of contact thing, like I said.

GEORGE
Well maybe, but I think more likely what Pastor Joey said
(With a slight shudder)
- hey that’s a slip of the tongue that was a Holy Ghost prophecy. I’ve had a couple of those in my life. Well, like Pastor Joey said,  it’s very hard to make someone come back from heaven. But of course we really don’t know. We’ll have to settle the issue in heaven. I hate Christian arguments, like pre or post tribulation and all that. So let’s leave it that we don’t know why.

STEPHEN
You know, you have taught us to pray for the Holy Spirit to give us a scripture when we have an issue we don’t understand.

GEORGE
Well OK, we can do that. But sometimes the Lord just wants us to trust Him that it was for the best. Let’s pray.
                                                (As all bow their heads)
Father, there are many things about the Kingdom that we don’t know, but some things you delight in showing us. So if you wish to reveal to us why Mrs. Kelly is still in heaven we would like your word to show us.
GROUP
Amen, yes, tongues
                        (After a few seconds)

ROBERT
I have a scripture, Luke ten, forth-one and two

Tracy

Confirmed

STEPHEN
Yes that’s it.

GEORGE
Let’s see what that is. I think I know what it is. Let me go to “Biblegateway.”
                        (Opening the Bible from his  ECP, and finding the passage.)
Yes, the answer. Thank you Holy Spirit, and Tell Mrs. Kelly we’ll miss her.

JOEY
What is it?

GEORGE
                                                            (Reading)
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things,  but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
                                                            (Pause)
We wanted her to do the Martha stuff for the Church. –

TRACY
But she’s at the feet of Jesus.
GEORGE
That’s right.
STEPHEN
Awesome. Thank you Jesus! We’ll miss you Granma Kelly.

ROBERT
Oh, Mrs. Webster, Were you limping last Sunday and… just then when you brought the cake in?

NANCY
Listen dearie, at our age things start to wear out and its natural that things go…not their best. I have a cane to help on rainy days.
STEPHEN
Oh, that a lie from the pit! Just like that stupid cessationism thing. Hey let’s put Mrs. Webster in the hot seat and everybody lay hands on her.

GROUP
Yes, Charge! Let’s do it
                        (Everyone comes to lay hands on NANCY)
PTL!, By your stripe Nancy is healed! Satan you are a liar! Come Holy Spirit! Etc.

END
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   Announcement:

The noted Pentecostal scholar, Dr. Jon Ruthven, dis a very positive review on my recent book on Agnes Sanford, which can be accessed HERE


 This work can be bought on Amazon in the paper edition or in an inexpensive Kindle edition. Or you can get the paper copy direct form the publisher at a discount, HERE


My wife has published a funny, inspiring and well written work on our life and ministry together. It can be purchased HERE