For my money some of the most hopeful verses in the whole Bible come in Jonah 3:1-2. The word of the Lord comes to a Jonah a second time. For someone who has messed up more than his fair share those verses are like diamonds.
This is the classic story of Jonah with a little fun thrown in in a couple of places.
You can’t run from God, but if you do choose to try the great God of second chances is willing to forgive you.
How it works:
This is an interactive story, (sometimes called a Spontaneous Melodrama.) Before you begin you need to gather people from the audience (as shown in the character list) and make sure that they know their character names. As you read the story give people their directions. Don’t worry if things get a little crazy, that is sort of the point, just keep going and encourage your actors to really ham it up.
- Word of the Lord
- 4 Sailors
- 2 people to be the boat
- 2 Waves
- Big Fish (2)
- The Beach
The Italic phrases include what you need to say to your audience
This is the story of Jonah and his second chance. The story starts when the Word of the Lord came to Jonah. (bring Jonah and the WORD OF THE LORD on stage) The Word of the Lord told Jonah to go to Nineveh ( direct THE WORD OF THE LORD to tell Jonah to go to Nineveh and point some direction off stage) But Jonah didn’t want to go to Nineveh so he went the exact opposite way and headed to the shore where he found some sailors and a boat. (arrange the sailors and the boat. Have the two boat people on their knees with their arms outstretched in front of them. Have the sailors and Jonah behind the boat people. Be sure the boat people are showing their profile to the audience) The Sailors began to row the boat and Jonah laid down and went to sleep. (tell the sailors to pretend like they are rowing and Jonah to go to sleep)
Suddenly a big storm came up. The waves began to dance wildly (bring the waves on stage and tell them to dance) The wind began to howl loudly (tell the wind to howl. Encourage the wind to howl louder and louder) The sailors were afraid (sailors look afraid) and they cried like little babies (sailors cry) and grabbed on to each other for comfort (sailors grab each other) and the wind kept howling (howl some more wind) and the waves beat against the sides of the boat, (make sure that the waves beat the boat softly) and the came over the sides of the boat and licked the chin of the sailors (see if the waves will do it) and the sailors began to cry some more.
The sailors tried to figure out why they were in such a storm. They didn’t know what to do, but they woke up Jonah and told him they were about to die. Eventually they decided that someone must have angered one of their gods and so they all played One potato, two potato to see who’s fault the storm was (have everyone everybody put their potatoes in).
Jonah wasn’t surprised when he was chosen. “I am running away from the Lord Most High. (Have Jonah say this line ) He is the one who sent this storm (and this line too)
“What should we do?” The sailors asked?
“Throw me over board and the storm will stop” Jonah said
The sailors looked at the dancing waves (get the waves to dance again) and listened to the howling wind (and the wind to howl some more) and threw him over board (Have the “board” lay down on the floor. Then get the the sailors to set Jonah over the board (get it thrown over board)) As soon as Jonah hit the water the wind shut-up and the waves were still (storm people should stop all of their actions. The boat, sailors, and storm people can move over to stage right. The Big Fish and the Beach come center stage)
As he fell into the sea God sent a big fish to come and swallow Jonah. The big fish opened his mouth real wide (Get the fish people to open their mouths real wide) and sucked Jonah in. (The two fish people hold both hands and put Jonah in the middle) While in the fish Jonah began to pray.
God heard Jonah’s prayer and the Big fish vomited (get the fish people to make vomiting sounds) Jonah out and he landed on the beach (Lay the beach down on the stage and have Jonah sits on the beach)
Jonah wiped the fish slime off of his face (get Jonah to do this) and cleaned the fish spit out of his ears. (and this)
Just then The Word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time (come on in WOTL) The word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time and told him to go to Ninevah. And what do you think Jonah did? He ran all the way to Ninevah as fast as he could go.
Give these guys a big round of applause. They were great!
So what can we learn from Jonah’s story?
When we started this story I said it was the story of Jonah and his second chance. Isn’t it cool that God gave Jonah another chance to talk to the Ninevites. When we mess up God offers us a second chance. The neat thing is that he offers us third, fourth, and even a millionth chance. God offers us forgiveness and grace.
God wants to give you another chance. He wants to give you his grace and send you on a mission for Him. Today why don’t you ask God what your mission for Him will be. And when he tells you don’t go the other way. You just might end up in the middle of a great big fish.