JONAH AND THE BIG WORM (1000 words)
(Caring about people should motivate us to reach them; Jonah 4)
by Deb Brammer
[uses a boy and girl puppet and a worm puppet]
(Sam and Suzy enter.)
SAM: Guess what? Today in Sunday School we heard all about the world’s worst missionary.
SUZY: The world’s worst missionary? You mean (in hushed voice) the devil?
SAM: No. The world’s worst missionary is someone from the Bible. God sent him to tell some people they had sinned and God was going to destroy them. But the missionary hated the people. He wanted to see them die. He was afraid God would forgive them, so he ran away in the other direction!
SUZY: Didn’t he love God?
SAM: I don’t know. Not as much as he should have, I guess. Anyway, before long he was in the belly of a humongous fish.
SUZY: Oh, you mean Jonah. I guess he was the world’s worst missionary. God sure taught him a lesson, though. Imagine living inside a fish for three days. Smelly, gross, then you wake up on land in a big pool of … Sam, I don’t think I feel so good.
SAM: You don’t look too good either. I think I’d better let you get some sleep.
(Sam leaves. Suzy moans and falls asleep on her hands. Wilbur Worm enters opposite side of stage.)
SUZY: (mumbles sleepily) Just think. Whale slobber, yellow teeth, little dead fish, big dead fish. (snores)
WILBUR: Hi there.
SUZY: (scared, steps back suddenly) Who are you? You look like a worm!
WILBUR: How very observant of you to notice.
SUZY: (hiding behind one side of the stage) But I don’t like worms. Worms are dirty and gross and ….
WILBUR: Hey, don’t get so personal! Worms have feelings, too, you know.
SUZY: (walks out a little ways) How can worms have feelings? They’re icky and slimy and ….
WILBUR: …and incredibly useful creatures.
SUZY: Yeah. They’re especially good for bird food and fishing. I wouldn’t want to touch one, though. Now if you were a fish God could use you. I just heard a story about how God used a big fish.
WILBUR: You mean the story of Jonah—a classic example of how God used a worm.
SUZY: God didn’t use a worm with Jonah.
WILBUR: Did, too.
SUZY: Did not.
WILBUR: Did, too.
SUZY: I know the story of Jonah very well, and God used a big fish to teach Jonah a lesson. I can’t believe I’m arguing with a worm. I must be dreaming.
WILBUR: Whether you’re awake or not is of no concern to me. If you don’t know about the worm, you don’t know the story of Jonah very well.
SUZY: Sure I do. God told Jonah to go one way (starts walking one direction) but Jonah went the other way. (turns around and walks back.)
WILBUR: Then God caused a great storm that made the ship Jonah was in bob up and down and this way and that (moves up and down and sideways while saying this. Suzy’s head moves the direction he moves) until everyone was quite sick.
(Suzy hangs her head over the side of the stage as if sick.)
WILBUR: Then they threw Jonah overboard. (Wilbur bobs up, then down behind the stage and keeps talking.) And a big whale swallowed Jonah. He lived three days among the dead fish and digestive juices in the whale’s stomach.
SUZY: I know what you’re doing, Wilbur. You’re trying to make me sick so you’ll win the argument. Well, I may not feel very good, but I know the story and God used a whale to teach Jonah a lesson.
WILBUR: (coming back onstage) The whale did play a small part. I won’t argue with that. But I can prove God used a worm, too. (looks the audience over from side to side and chooses a person out of the audience) _______, would you read Jonah 4:6 and 7 for us?
(They wait for it to be read.)
SUZY: I don’t get it. What’s that talking about anyway?
WILBUR: Well, Jonah told people in Ninevah that they were sinners and they needed to repent. And they did. The whole town turned to God! It was a wonderful revival!
SUZY: That was good.
WILBUR: Jonah didn’t think it was good. The Ninevites were Israel’s enemies and Jonah hated them. He went to a hill outside of town to watch God strike them dead. When God forgave them instead, he sat under a big gourd plant for shade and pouted.
SUZY: I guess Jonah really was a bad missionary.
WILBUR: Yeah, God wanted to teach him something. So God had a very prestigious worm come along and eat the gourd plant.
SUZY: One worm ate the whole gourd plant? Must have been a fat worm!
WILBUR: Maybe. But Jonah got hot without the gourd plant. He was sorry the plant died. Then he started to pout about that!
SUZY: He sure was a good pouter.
WILBUR: Yeah. But God showed Jonah that he was sorrier about the plant that died than the Ninevites who would die. That wasn’t right. So God used one very important worm to teach Jonah an important lesson. See? I told you I was right.
SUZY: Imagine! If God can use a slimy, old worm, I guess God can use just about anything—or anyone. Do you think He can use me?
WILBUR: It’s possible. In fact, I hate to admit it, but God would rather use people than worms.
SUZY: I should hope so. I wonder what I could do for God? Wilbur, you’re getting fuzzy. I must be waking up. Tell me quick. How did you ever find out so much about the Bible?
WILBUR: (starts going backward, his voice is fading) Haven’t you ever heard of a bookworm?
SUZY: Next Sunday I’m going to Sunday School like Sam. I don’t want to miss out on another great story!