- The leader talks about the Sabbath and
what it means today.
- Children act out Luke 13.10-17.
- The leader talks about Jesus' approach to
the Sabbath, and why it still matters today.
- Adult(s) to lead the service and the
- 4 competent readers for the drama.
- Scripts for
- Any appropriate dressing-up clothes for
Jesus, the old woman and the synagogue ruler.
- A cricket bat and/or ball.
- A (picture of a) whip, chain or other
representation of slavery.
- An empty cross.
- Select readers either at the start of the
service or beforehand, depending on your usual practice.
Before the Drama:
- Explain that today's reading is about the
Sabbath: a special day of the week, when God commands us to rest and keep
the day holy. What does that mean, though? 'Resting' means different
things to different people, and 'observing the Sabbath' can mean
different things to different people.
- Ask the children if they know which day of
the week Christians call the Sabbath - Sunday. For lots of families,
Sunday is a different and special day of the week. Ask the children to
tell you if there's anything special or different that their families do
on Sundays. Take several answers - be prepared that for some children the
answer will involve spending time with a non-resident parent. They might
also involve special meals, sports fixtures and clubs, visits to family
and friends, not being at work and school, as well as going to
After the Drama
- By the time that Jesus was alive, lots of
rules had been made about what you were and were not allowed to do on the
Sabbath. For example, it was lawful to draw water for animals on the
Sabbath, but not lawful to carry it to them.
- When Jesus healed the woman in the
synagogue on the Sabbath, the synagogue ruler was outraged at what he
perceived as a breach of the Sabbath law. Jesus didn't say that the
Sabbath doesn't matter any more - but he challenged the ruler's
interpretation of the law. Even today, people can disagree about what we
should and shouldn't do on the Sabbath. Let's look back, now, at God's
- God said, "Remember to keep the Sabbath
day holy. Do all of your work in six days. But the seventh day is a
Sabbath in honour of the Lord your God. Do not do any work on that day.
The same command applies to your sons and daughters, your male and female
servants, and your animals. It also applies to any outsiders who live in
your cities. In six days I made the heavens and the earth. I made the
oceans and everything in them. But I rested on the seventh day. So I
blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy." God also said, "I want your
male and female servants to rest, just as you do. Remember that you were
slaves in Egypt. The Lord your God reached out his mighty hand and
powerful arm and brought you out of there. So he has commanded you to
observe the Sabbath day."
- So God gives us three reasons why it's
important to keep this as a special day. Show the children the cricket
ball/bat. Ask them what happens to the grass in the Summer during the
cricket season - it can become dry and worn out - and if we keep on and
on using it, then it will eventually die. But if we give it a rest and
the rain falls on it, then it will recover. God made everything to have
its natural cycle or seasons, and He made humans to need one day a week
to rest and remember God. This is just the way that the world is made,
and there's no point in fighting it. People who don't bother to take
regular rest just end up feeling burnt out and exhausted in the long run.
Not everyone will be able to manage to make this day a Sunday, but God
says that one day a week is what we need. So this is the first reason
that God gives us: keeping the Sabbath day holy is good for us.
- Show the children the representation of
slavery. Explain that this is the second reason God gives us: He commands
us to keep the Sabbath day holy not only for ourselves but for everyone.
We mustn't insist that other people should work every day of the year,
while we rest. So this is the second reason God gives us: the Sabbath
protects vulnerable people.
- Show the children the cross. Finally, God
said that the Israelites should keep the Sabbath day holy, as a time to
remember and thank God for how He saved them from Egypt. Christians go to
church on the Sabbath to remember how God saved us, not from Egypt but
from the bad consequences of our wrongdoing, when Jesus died on the cross
and rose again that first Easter Sunday.
- Very briefly recap: the fourth commandment
is to keep the Sabbath day holy, because [show the cricket things] it's
good for us to take rest, [show the whip/etc.] it protects other people
and [show the cross] it's a time to thank God for all He does for