The Parable of the Good Samaritan
parable of the good Samaritan is read by a narrator while children and
adults perform the actions.
- An adult
leads the discussion about why Jesus told this story and what we can
learn from it today.
- An adult
to narrate the story and another (or the same person) to lead the
and adults to act out the story as it is read. You will need a
traveller, robbers, priest, Levite, Samaritan and innkeeper.
- The parable: you could use Luke 10.25-37,
a children's Bible or Butterworth and Inkpen's Stories Jesus Told. The latter is an
imaginatively extended version that works very well.
'stage': you could go outside to act out this parable (having the rest of
the service in church as normal) and make use of the church path.
Depending on your local circumstances, the robber children might be able
to hide behind the gravestones until their cue, at which point they leap
out with fearsome cries!
- You might
like to provide dressing up clothes for the actors: even simple costumes
like dressing gowns and tea-towels on the head are great fun for the
children, and roles like priest or judge can be improvised with a paper
clerical collar, head-dress or wig.
traveller should be carrying a bag or rucksack that the robbers can
robbers could have some sort of sticks or swords as weapons, but do make
sure that these cannot inflict real damage and that the children have
strict instructions about pretend hitting!
Samaritan needs a donkey, and the traveller could also have one.
You could use a hobby horse or other toy, or a child could dress up in
donkey's ears or a donkey costume if available. It's always worth asking
round about what costumes families are prepared to lend for these
occasions, as fancy-dress parties and school plays often leave very
useful legacies in dressing-up boxes.
Samaritan should also have cloths or bandages to bind the traveller's
wounds. If these are partially pre-stained with ketchup then with
a little sleight of hand the clean part could be visible at first and the
'blood-stained' parts revealed when the wounds have been wiped.
Samaritan should also have some coins to give to the
- Choose a
narrator who will be able to adapt the reading pace to participants'
can volunteer and costumes be distributed at the beginning of the
- The road
from Jerusalem to Jericho is a grim mountain pass, dropping three
thousand feet in twenty miles, in which the path winds between
boulder-strewn hillsides with plenty of rocks and caves in which bandits
can hide. It was certainly a dangerous place for travellers.
children may not know that Samaritans would have been viewed by Jesus'
audience as foreigners: hated and feared.
parable was Jesus' answer to the question 'who is my neighbour?'
His answer calls us to offer practical help to all those in need: not to
make excuses for why we need to pass by on the other side; not to see
suffering and feel bad about it but do nothing; but to serve anyone who
needs our help.