Download the full script here.
This play is designed to be in modern day and easy to stage. It takes the character of the older brother in the parable of the Prodigal Son. It helps young people to consider how important grace and worship are. This is one of three skits that take the same approach to Bible verses. You may want to have a costume for the character of the brother.
MOM- Clara’s mom
CLARA- Bitter daughter
OLDER BROTHER- The older brother from the Prodigal Son.
(MOM is in the performing space, CLARA enters.)
CLARA: Mom, on this beautiful Sunday morning, there are only three words you want to hear from your daughter. Three words to start your day out right with priorities in check.
MOM: I love you, too, Clara.
CLARA: No, my three words were “What’s for breakfast?”
MOM: Your sister Danielle is bringing over donuts.
CLARA: Danielle? Why is she coming over? Doesn’t she know we have church?
MOM: (Gushing with excitement.) Danielle wants to come to church with us! Isn’t that great?
CLARA: (Disinterested.) Sure.
MOM: It’s been so long since she fell away from her faith, but maybe this means she is getting right back on track!
CLARA: (Disinterested.) Great.
MOM: I’m just so thrilled to have her back again. When she left the house for school and then work, I know she stopped going to worship so it’s been years. But she really wants to be there now!
CLARA: What kind of donuts is she bringing? I hope something creme filled, that’s my favorite.
MOM: Clara, don’t you care about your sister coming back to church…at all?
CLARA: I don’t see the big deal.
MOM: Well, worship is where we hear God’s Word and receive the sacrament. It’s a big deal when you don’t have that for this long…
CLARA: Mom, I go to church with you every Sunday. Not only that, I lead a Bible study at church! You don’t make a big deal out of that.
MOM: Clara, I don’t think you understands what it means to have Danielle back at worship. I was so worried for her and it warms my heart to know God is working in her to bring her back again.
CLARA: Does it warm your heart to know I’ve been by your side every Sunday at church?
MOM: Sure, it does, but I am celebrating this new work God is doing! (Looks offstage.) Oh! I think she’s here. Let me go get the door. (Exits.)
CLARA: (Bitter.) Danielle, Danielle, Danielle. I’ve been here the whole time! Where’s my celebration?
OLDER BROTHER: (Entering.) Yeah, I really feel for ya, Clara.
CLARA: Who are you?
OLDER BROTHER: Someone who’s been mistreated, just like you. See, my brother took his half of the inheritance before my father died. He basically said, “You’re dead to me; give me your money now.” He then proceeded to squander the money on reckless living. His money ran out, so he came back to my father, looking for work. Instead, my father gave him a warm welcome and threw a party for him! (Scoffs.) He’s just a prodigal son!
CLARA: Wait, I know you. But I’ve always wondered what does prodigal mean?
OLDER BROTHER: Someone who lives recklessly and spends foolishly.
CLARA: Well, what did you do when he came back?
OLDER BROTHER: I refused to celebrate with them. I was the good son. I stayed and worked like I was told. Where was my party for being the good one!?
CLARA: You know my sister’s been out of church for some time and is just now coming back. My mom thinks it’s the greatest thing ever. I’ve been the model Christian child this whole time. I think I also deserve a party!
OLDER BROTHER: The two of us, we’re just not getting what we deserve! My father should have turned my brother away! After squandering the money, my brother deserved to be eating with the pigs he was feeding before he found my father again!
CLARA: Well, I wouldn’t say Danielle should be eating pig food, but I don’t get the big deal…I mean, worship is really important and it’s great that she’s coming back…you know I really did miss her there with me. I would try to talk to her about church or God and you could see her eyes just glaze over. She didn’t care. It really worried me.
OLDER BROTHER: But you’ve been going to worship and been active in your church the whole time! You deserve some kind of reward!
CLARA: Yeah, but I haven’t been perfect either. There are definitely times when I haven’t done what I’m supposed to. What if even we need forgiveness, even when we try and live the model, perfect life?
OLDER BROTHER: What do you mean?
CLARA: Like with your brother, isn’t the real point of the story God’s grace and forgiveness. Your brother realized his sin and turned around? That at the end of the day he was willing to repent?
OLDER BROTHER: Then why did I bother staying loyal by my father’s side if I could just repent at the end of the day?
CLARA: If you do reckless actions just because you know you’ll get forgiven, you’re not truly repenting, you’re trying to find a loophole. And just because we are faithful doesn’t mean we are perfect. We all need God’s grace and forgiveness through Jesus. Danielle was really lost for a few years, and I actually am really glad she’s come back.
OLDER BROTHER: But we deserve so much better than this! We were the good ones! We listened! We obeyed!
CLARA: And we should encourage others to do the same. But it’s not about how loyal you’ve been or how great you are, it’s about making sure we help everyone gets that love and grace of God none of us deserve. Even the best and most loyal have screwed up and need some grace.
MOM: (Enters again.) Clara, your donuts are here.
CLARA: Most importantly, is Danielle here and ready to go to worship?
MOM: (Smiling.) Yes, she is.