From Death to Fruit (Awana opening skit presenting Salvation and introducing the Fruits of the Spirit)
Setting: Puppet stand decorated like the front of a pirate ship. A green branch in a bucket is on the stand’s left filled with fruit ornaments. A black branch is in a bucket on the right with rotten fruit ornaments.
Puppets: TrueBeard, a pirate who is filled with the Holy Spirit.
Perry PiRat, a rough and gruff pirate not yet saved. A lot like Oscar the Grouch
TrueBeard: (singing) I got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in me heart…
Perry: (gruff) Whater ya so chirpy for, lad. Carn’t ya see it’s a crimany day? I ain’t seen a day so crimey in all me days.
TrueBeard: Blimey if it ain’t Perry PiRat. I didn’t see you sittin’ there, chum. What’s got ya callin’ this day crimey?
Perry: (continue gruff) Me cereal be soggy this mornin’ and I ripped me favorite shirt. Not to mention me favorite swords gone a missin’.
TrueBeard: Sorry, Mate. Sounds like a good dose of joy is just what ya be needin’.
Perry: Joy, shmoy. That’d just be what pirate’s with no troubles have. It ain’t for poor pirates like me.
TrueBeard: Sure it is, mate.
Perry: Well for the love of Davey, I’m sure it costs more gold than I be willin’ ta part with if ya know what I mean.
TrueBeard: No, actually it’s free.
Perry: (in an arguing tone as if TrueBeard had stated a price) See, just like I told ya….It’s free? Well, blow me down, taint nothin’ for free.
TrueBeard: It is when it’s a gift.
Perry: Now oo’d be givin’ out such a gift as that.
TrueBeard: The Holy Spirit
Perry: Oh, I get ya. It’s a “mind thing’ eh? Spirits and all.
TrueBeard: Quite wrong, actually. It’s a heart thing. It’s a free gift born in our hearts when we accept Jesus.
Perry: I not be followin’ ya, mate.
TrueBeard: It’s like this, ‘ole chap. Romans 3:23 tells us that we all fall short of God’s glorious ideal. In verse 24 it says that God will declare us “not guilty” of offending him if we trust in Jesus Christ who in his kindness freely takes away our sins.
Perry: (sniffing under his arms) I offend quite well, thank you.
TrueBeard: (ignores Perry’s comment and asks the leader) Anyone got a Bible my dear chum can use?
(Leader brings one over and holds it open for Perry to read from)
TrueBeard: Read Romans 3:21-24
Perry: I ain’t readin’ no scriptures, I ain’t.
TrueBeard: Pity. I have a nice juicy apple in the galley far too big to be eatin’ all a lonesome. I think it only right I share it with someone willin’ to share with me, if ya know what I mean.
Perry: Give me thar book. (reaches out to book) “But now God has shown us a different way to heaven – not by being “good enough” and trying to keep his laws, but by a new way (though not new, really, for the Scriptures told of it long ago). Now God says he will accept and acquit us-declare us "not guilty"-if we trust Jesus Christ to take away our sins. And we all can be saved in this same way, by coming to Christ, no matter who we are or what we have been like. Yes, all have sinned; all fall short of God's glorious ideal; yet now God declares us "not guilty" of offending him if we trust in Jesus Christ, who in his kindness freely takes away our sins. (TLB) Hmph. (in an “in your face” tone)
TrueBeard: Romans 6:23 says again that it’s all free. It’s really free, mate.
Perry: Aye, so now I gotcha that it’s free for the takin’, but why’d the bloke do it? He could make a fortune chargin’ fer his goods.
TrueBeard: (flips Bible a few pages) Read Romans 5:8
Perry: (mutters under his breath) Not this again.
(reads) But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. (TLB)
Me gets it, me gets it. But where the fruit be fittin’ in all this?
TrueBeard: Once ye accept that free gift ye begin a new life led by the Spirit of God. Ye’ll know ye have the Spirit by the fruit ye bear in ye life.
Perry: I ain’t in no hurry to be sproutin’ fruit from me ears. Where does this fruit, um, bear.
TrueBeard: Try reading this. (puppet turns a page in the Bible)
Perry: Gal 5:22-23 “But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”
I don’t need no spirit to help me be a model citizen. Ifn I choose, I can be a perfec’ ge’tleman. Remember that lost pup I brung to his main mate? I got it in me, I do.
TrueBeard: We’re not talking about sometimes here, mate. Read verses 17 and 18.
Perry: “For we naturally love to do evil things that are just the opposite from the things that the Holy Spirit tells us to do; and the good things we want to do when the Spirit has his way with us are just the opposite of our natural desires. These two forces within us are constantly fighting each other to win control over us, and our wishes are never free from their pressures.”
TrueBeard: Take a look at your tree, mate. That’s the kind a fruit ye bear when it’s all your own doing. Not too appetizing to be puttin’ in a pie, eh?
Perry: (leaning over and looking at TrueBeards tree) I am kinda hungry for that there fruit on yer tree, Mate. Ifn I was to choose to accept this gift, just what might I be needin’ ta do?
TrueBeard: That’s the beauty of it, Mate. All you got a do is believe all this in yer heart. When ya start ta tell others what ya done, it just confirms what’s happened in yer heart. Romans 10:9 and 10 sums it up like this, “For if you tell others with your own mouth that Jesus Christ is your Lord and believe in your own heart that God has raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in his heart that a man becomes right with God; and with his mouth he tells others of his faith, confirming his salvation.”
Perry: Aye, mate, I do believe, but I done some awful scurvy things. How can a holy God be accepting a pirate dog the likes a me?
TrueBeard: Have I got good news for ya, me scurvy mate. “If we confess our sins to him,” that’d be Jesus, “he can be depended on to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong. [And it is perfectly proper for God to do this for us because Christ died to wash away our sins.” That’s from 1 John 1:9.
Perry: What about that time in Tortuga? Ya know the “hmmm, hmmm, hmmm”? He carn’t be forgivn o that!
TrueBeard: Yup. He’s been wantin’ to forgive ya fer that, he’s been waitin’ to forgive ya, and in fact already has forgiven ya fer it. So what ta ya waitin fer, Chum. Seize the day and be free!
Perry: Um, well, okay. But I ain’t too el-o-qit with the words, ya know what I mean. What if the man upstairs don’t quite get what I be sayin’?
TrueBeard: He’ll listen to yer heart, Perry. Just give it a go.
Perry: Dearest, holiest, thou almighty rock of my salvation, heavenly Father. I be believin’ ye did all me Chum told me ye did. I’d be much obligin’ ifn ye’d forgive me scurvy ways and freshen up me fruit a bit. Thanks and we’ll be talkin’, um Amen.
TrueBeard: Welcome ta the family, Perry PiRat. (tries to give him a hug)
Perry: (pushing TrueBeard away) I may be a brother, but I ain’t yer sister! Ya touch me again and ole Davey Jones’ll be yer new pal! (shouting behind him) Now back to work, ye scabordous dogs! (after a pause and in softer tone) And thanks, Mate, I owe ya one.
Tammy: I think this piece will definitely keep the kids attention and drive home the salvation message! The only drawback I can foresee is a youngster's inability to understand pirate lingo, so I would make sure the puppets do an extra careful job at pronouncing their words. We just had our first night of AWANAS this past week and used puppets for the first time. It went great! The puppets sang "The Laughing Song" which was a real hit and did a short skit stressing the importance of Bible verse memorization. Also, I just went to Lifeway and bought an object lesson book using animals and toys (saved me a lot of time), so I admire your perserverance in writing your own skits! May God Bless your efforts!
Tammy, I was very drawn to your play. I think that it will capture the attention of the young and older alike. It is very creative. I would come to see it. I don't think you have any reason to pull your hair out on this one. I would go with it. Great job. Blessings! Chandra