The Replacement Disciple
© 2000 by David Ian (Revised 2003)
(As first performed by David Ian for the Christian Drama Improvement Conference 2000)
(Speaks with a British accent)
My friends tell me that if I’m going to go on a speaking circuit that I must have some sort of “celebrity status” or “claim to fame”. Well, I’ll demonstrate my celebrity status, shall I? (Puts on some dark glasses) Hello, ladies and gentlemen, my name is Matthias. (waits)
Well, the rafters aren’t coming down from your thunderous applause are they? (or, “I’m not suddenly deafened by the thunderous applause” if outdoors, etc.) So much for my "celebrity status." (Puts dark glasses away)
But I do have a claim to fame, and that is I’m one of The Twelve Disciples, though you won’t find me if you go looking through Matthew, or Mark, or Luke, or John, and therein lies a story, innit? You see, when Judas Iscariot went out and did his bit, then went off and died -- Wellll, that left them straightaway without a disciple didn’t it? Things started getting awkward after that. I mean, you go to a restaurant and its: “reservations for The Twelve Disciples, seating for eleven, please.” Or you go on one of those morning talk shows and you say, “Yes, well, we’re The Twelve Disciples, but we’re sort of missing one indefinitely,” and then they bring up the whole Judas thing and things go downhill from there.
So they decided that they needed a replacement disciple, to fill in the vacancy, and that’s what I am, I’m a REPLACEMENT DISCIPLE.
There’s a job, innit? A “Replacement Disciple”. People ask me what do I do and I tell them I’m a Replacement Disciple, and they say, “oh, very nice, it’s about time we got some new faces around here, who’d you replace?” And I tell them, I tell them I replaced Judas Iscariot. And they look at me askance and they say, “Well, you don’t have to do much to fill his sandals, do ya? What did you put on your resume to get the job, eh? ‘Haven’t betrayed the Son of God twenty years’ running’? ‘Kept yer fingers out of the money pouch twelve years in a row’ eh?” (throw away line) Well, eight years, anyway.
People think I’ve got a soft job, people think I’ve got it easy. They don’t realize what kind of pressure I’m under as a new disciple – it’s tough to hang around with that lot and hold your own. There are some heavy hitters in that group, some of them are household names. They’ve got the celebrity status, don’t they? I mean, you go to one of those “Twenty-Year Disciple Reunions”, right? And everybody is there, and people are pointing around and they’re saying “oh, look over there, there’s Peter, he walked on water, didn’t he? And over there, that’s John, he’s known as “the disciple whom Jesus loved”, very nice, and who’s that? Who that over there? That’s James, he’s one of the “Sons of Thunder” Jesus called him, how exciting. And who’s that? Who’s that over there? Oh, no bother for him, that’s just Matthias, he’s just THE REPLACEMENT DISCIPLE!
I don’t get much respect! People waggle their finger at me and say “Oh, well, you’re not one of the originals, are you?” Huh. “One of the originals…” Sounds like I’m one of The Beatles or something.
(Affecting a Liverpool accent) “Oh, no, I’m not an original, but I do hang around a lot with John and Paul, don’t I? What do you think, John?” (Answering as John) “ Well, I think it needs more rehearsal, don’t it?”
We do sound like some sort of pop group, don’t we? “The Disciples”. It’s no wonder people get puzzled as to what we’re on about. I mean, it’s bad enough that Peter, Paul and Mary are hanging out together. That joke was for the older crowd. You younger lot, did you get that last bit? Good, I don’t want to be showing me age, here…
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