Retelling parables is a little bit like retelling a good joke. You can’t expect people to laugh as hard as they did the first time. Jesus’ parables are masterpieces that stand for all time on their own. There is no competing with them. Still, one tries to grasp the depths of their meanings. These dramas represent such an endeavor. They are parable on top of parables. Some nugget of truth from Jesus’ stories has been pulled and recast in contemporary terms. Hopefully, the recasting enhances rather than detracts from Jesus’ first and best intentions.

These are Gospel dramas. By that I mean that they are meant to enhance the reading and preaching from the Gospel (Series C) for a particular Sunday. The dramas require little staging and rehearsal. Usually, one rehearsal is adequate for production. The Focus section might be included in the morning worship folder or read before the drama is presented. The best place for the drama in the service order is probably after the Gospel has been read.

Have fun with these dramas. Probe your characters and make the lines alive with feeling. True, you’re piling parables atop parables, but you’re working with stories that have stood the test of centuries of retelling, You can’t top the one who first told them, but you can help ensure that people today hear His message, and maybe even laugh well—twice.

Who Gets the First Pew? – Based on the Gospel for the 15th Sunday after Pentecost, Luke 14:1-14

But the Sheep was Mine – Based on the Gospel for the 17th Sunday after Pentecost, Luke 15:1-10

A Matter of Trust – Based on the Gospel for the 18th Sunday after Pentecost, Luke 16:1-15

The Least I Can Do – Based on the Gospel for the 19th Sunday after Pentecost, Luke 16:19-31

The Benefits of Nagging – Based on the Gospel for the 22nd Sunday after Pentecost, Luke 18:1-8

You Can’t Come Empty-Handed, Can You? – Based on the Gospel for the 23rd Sunday after Pentecost, Luke 18:9-17