by Ron Unger
Download a PDF of the Skit: The Sower.
This drama is based on the Gospel for Proper 10, the Fifth Sunday after Pentecost (Series A), Matthew 13:1-9,18-23.
CAST: N =Narrator (in pulpit or at lectern)
Dirt #1, #2, #3, and #4 stationed around the chancel
N: (Reads Matthew 13:1-9)
S: (throws seeds-bits of colored paper – all over the chancel, pauses, then ruminates aloud) Now I wonder if I did that right.
N: (to audience) Sure got good distance; what a mess!
D1: You missed a little over here.
S: (throwing more in his direction) Oh, thank you. I don’t want to overlook anybody.
D3: That’s all right. He wouldn’t miss it. He wouldn’t know if he were kicked by a cow.
D1: (grinning) Watch it; you’re being pompous again. Remember your place. In this drama you’re simply “dirt number 3.”
D3: I prefer the word “ground.”
D2 : Couldn’t we settle on the term “earth”?
D1: Dirt is fine by me, and so it will be. But whatever we are, I think we’re being invaded.
N: A very observant fellow.
D4: Invaded by what?
D1: (picking up a “seed”) Invaded by this, whatever it is. (addressing S) Pray thee, what kind of existential significance doth this have?
S: That’s a seed, dummy.
D1: What was it doing at my feet?
D2: I imagine it was trying to grow. If you’d be a little more patient, give it some time.
D3: What, without peat moss?
D4: (gazing up) I’m sure that this indirect lighting isn’t the best for proper photosynthesis.
N: (interrupting) Wait a minute, wait a minute, let’s give the person a chance to explain.
D1: I agree. What were you doing, sowing some wild oats? (chuckles to D2)
S: Look dirt! I mean, Mr./Ms. Dirt. I was just innocently scattering some seed.
D1: Oh yeah? Well go scatter it someplace else. Nothing grows around me unless I want it to. Do you understand?
D2: I think you’re being rather rude.
D1: Well, why shouldn’t I be? Who knows what’s in the stuff, anyway. What kind of seed is this? What’s it supposed to do?
N: (to audience) Here we go!
S: I don’t know for sure. I got it out of a sack with a label on it that said “The Word of God.”
D1: Oh yeah! Well which Word and what God?
D3: I think you know what she/he’s talking about, Dirt 1.
D1: No, I don’t. I don’t have the slightest idea what she’s talking about. Suppose you explain.
D3: The Word of God… What he has to say to us. It’s supposed to be like seed, it’s supposed to grow in us.
D1: You have any growing around you?
D3: (stooping to look) I think I can make out a few green shoots. Nothing much yet. How about you, ground (to D2)?
D2: Yeah, yeah, there’s something there. Look at it.
D4: (grinning) Sure sneaks up on you fast, doesn’t it?
N: (reads Matthew 13:18-23)
D1: Well, there’s nothing around me.
S: That’s because you won’t let there be.
D1: You’re right! I’ve seen what happens when that innocent looking seed takes root. It changes the whole landscape. No thank you; count me out. (to D2) How about you?
D2: Gee, I don’t know. I’ve never seen a plant like this before. Not much has ever been able to grow around me. It’s kind of exciting to watch!
D1: Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
D3: I think you’re just jealous, Dirt 1. Everything around you has a way of dying.
D2: Yeah, but he may be right. It is kind of risky. I’ve got my reservations about it. (to S) Tell me, how big will it grow?
D4: It will grow so large that even the birds of the air will be able to make their nests in it.
D2: Is that true?
N: (to audience) I think we can scratch Dirt 2.
D2: Gee, I don’t know. Things have been going along pretty well up until now. I don’t know if I’m ready for any changes just yet. I think I better listen to Dirt 1. (handing seed back to S) Maybe next year. Thanks just the same. It was kind of you to think of me.
D1: Way to go!
D3: I don’t know why you all are so uptight about a little innocent seed.
D4: Are you sure that’s all it is?
D3: What else? I think it’s kind of cute. It certainly won’t hurt anything. Those little shoots kind of spruce things up a bit, if you know what I mean.
D1: Once they take root, there’s no stopping them.
N: He/She’s right, you know.
D3: Maybe, but what’s wrong with that? It could be just the sort of thing I’ve been looking for.
D2: How’s that?
D3: Who pays any attention to just plain dirt—sorry number one. But I think it suits me well; I look good in it.
D4: Like a new suit.
D3: Well, it dresses things up a bit. Just what I’ve needed to give me a little character. The trouble with you fellows is that you don’t have any sense of dignity or self esteem.
N: Or maybe too much.
D1: Are you one of those self-improvement nuts?
D3: I don’t see anything wrong with that. Every little bit helps.
D1: I wonder what you’ll say when you’re up to your neck in all of that character growing around you.
D3: Oh, no, I’d never allow that. I’d keep it neatly pruned and well trimmed.
N: Easier said than done.
D3: You mean I’ll have no control over it? It could engulf me, get out of hand?
N: I think it’s three down and one to go.
S: Oh, you could always exercise some control over it, regulate its growth. Plenty of ground does. It’s not difficult; make sure it doesn’t get enough water, keep its roots from going too deep. But then you’ll end up with a stunted, malformed, and fruitless plant.
D3: Well, there are plenty of other things for dirt to do in life than provide a home for every Tom, Dick, and Harry seed that comes blowing by.
D4: Name one.
D1: Pollination is a form of pollution.
D3: I’ve been fairly happy until now without a plant. Other things demand my attention. I can’t give those all up because some plant has taken up permanent residence on me.
D1: Let it roam to some other loam.
D2: He’s built of different silt.
S: Please, give him a chance.
S2: I’m afraid he’s already talked himself into it.
N: Or out of it.
D3: I think so. Sorry, but I didn’t know a few seeds would demand so much from me. A few little unobtrusive flowers here and there perhaps. Something I could handle in my spare time. I have other responsibilities (handing seed back to 5).
N: I hope this homiletical drama isn’t an entire failure.
S: Is it, number four? Is all of this seed I’ve thrown wasted?
D1: I think I detect shades of “pearls to the swine” in that remark.
S: How about it, number four? (approaches D4)
D4: Please, be careful. Don’t come too close. (looking down) It’s growing nicely.
S: Is it? Is it really, number four? (joyfully) Oh, number four…
D4: (interrupting) You can call me “soil.”
S: Oh, MrJMs. Soil, good soil, you don’t know how happy you’ve made me.
D4: What do you mean? I really didn’t have a thing to do with it. I just happened to be here when you started scattering that stuff. I should be thanking you for throwing some my way.
S: You’ll never regret it. I assure you.
D4: I don’t think I will. (looking down and musing) Gee, it’s beautiful.
N: I guess one out of four isn’t bad. (to 5) Maybe you’d get even better odds tossing some that way (pointing towards audience.)
S: I should, shouldn’t I? (S, N and D4 throw “seed”-confetti at audience.)
Reprinted from Resources for Youth Ministry 1974:1.
Updated for youthESource in August 2016.