Reflecting and Doing
This passage has a lot of themes to do with this time of year. Grapes and harvest, thanksgiving (or lack of, in the case of these tenants) but mostly, about stewardship. Although they worked to produce the harvest, the vines and the vineyard did not belong to the tenants. They were accountable to the real owner, and owed part of the harvest to him.
This got me thinking about the world I live in. How much do I think about the people who work to make to food I eat? What is my part in looking after the world that I have been lent? What do I owe to the owner?
The result of these musings was the following sketch. It is now part of a book, (A Bucketful of Ideas for Church Drama by Fay Rowland) and the publishing contract does not allow distribution it elsewhere. However, I can give away samples, so here is a (huge) sample.
If you like it, why not buy the book?
This skit is great for a school assembly, or for a Harvest or Thanksgiving service. Andy wants to know where grapes come from, and Rod helps him to understand, both the supply chain and right back to creation.
The sketch lends itself well to interaction. You can ask the audience / congregation to answers Andy’s questions, and they can have their own sticky note ‘grapes’ to add to the bunch at the end.
- Rod – person (needs to be able to click fingers)
- Andy – person or puppet
Costumes & Props
Rod needs green sticky notes, cut in circles or ovals, and marked with things we are saying ‘thank you’ for. We will use 10 in the drama, (atoms, stars, soil, grapes, farmers, sailors, truck drivers, warehouse workers, people on the supermarket checkout, you), but you may want to give one to each person present so that they can add their own thanks at the end.
You will also need a board or wall to put the sticky notes on, and a large bunch of green grapes.
Andy and Rod start off stage. There is a large bunch of grapes on the floor at one side. During the drama, Rod steps across the stage imagining 10 places to visually place the chain from God’s ‘click’, through the grapes, to Andy.
The places are: Andy (1), supermarket (2), warehouse (3), truck (4), ship (5), farm (6), grapes (7), soil (8), stars (9), ‘click’ (10).
You can have a small table for the grapes (7) at centre stage.
Harvest from the Stars
I really like grapes. I don’t mind that they’re on the floor, so …
[holds grapes high above head and is about to eat them when Rod enters]
Stop! You can’t eat those grapes!
Why can’t I eat them? They look really yummy.
You just found them on the floor.
You don’t know where they’ve come from.
Yes, I do. They’ve come from the floor.
No, I mean before that.
Well before that they came …
Oh I get it.
This is Harvest, right? We’re supposed to say that they came from God.
And ‘Thank you God for the grapes’ and all that, yes?
Well, yes, I suppose so.
But I was more thinking that it’s not good to eat stuff you’ve found on the …
[not really listening]
But … they don’t really.
They don’t what?
They don’t come from God.
Grapes come from Tesco’s.
(substitute supermarket of your choice)
That’s true. Grapes do come from supermarkets.
So we can thank God for supermarkets and all the lovely food …
[not really listening]
Yes, how? Grapes come from supermarkets, but how?
Do they have big grape plants in the fruit and veg aisle?
[wiggles hand upwards for growing plant]
No, they don’t have big grape plants in the fruit and veg aisle.
[steps sideways to place (2) and wiggles hand upwards for growing plant]
So where do grapes come from before the supermarket?
(I know where they go to afterwards – my tummy!)
You want to know where grapes come from before the supermarket?
That’s a very good question.
They come from a big warehouse.
[steps sideways to place (3) and mimes stacking boxes]
And they get there in a lorry.
[steps sideways to place (4) and mimes lorry]
And where do they come from before that?
They come in huge ships from sunny countries where they grow grapes.
[steps sideways to place (5) and mimes ship]
And where do they come from before that?
They don’t come from anywhere before, they grow there, on a grape farm.
[steps sideways to place (6) and mimes farm]
[indicating supply chain from farm to tummy]
And lots of people farm them and sail them and drive them and stack them and sell them …
And I eat them!
But … where do they come from before that?
I’ve told you. They don’t come from anywhere. They grow here, on the grape farm.
[steps sideways to place (7) and places grapes on table, centre stage]
But they must come from somewhere. You can’t just magic nothing into a grape. Where does all the juicy juice inside a grape come from?
Well, I suppose the juicy juice comes from the water that the farmer gives to the plant.
And what about all the grapey bit that keeps the juicy bit in?
That comes from all the goodness in the soil.
[steps sideways to place (8) and mimes soil]
Grapes are made from soil?
Everything in this world is made from other things. You are made from grapes! Your body breaks down the grapes into all the little molecules and atoms, and then rearranges them to make you. It’s rather clever.
So I come from recycled grapes?
And grapes come from recycled soil … and soil comes from …
[end of sample]
The sketch continues to trace where grapes come from, ultimately back to God and his ‘click’. The whole sketch is in my latest book, A Bucketful of Ideas for Church Drama, available from your local Amazon at the special introductory price of £2.99 until the beginning of November.
Go buy it now!
Matthew 21:33-46 Lexham English Bible
“Listen to another parable: There was a man—a master of a house—who planted a vineyard, and put a fence around it, and dug a winepress in it, and built a watchtower, and leased it to tenant farmers, and went on a journey. And when the season of fruit drew near, he sent his slaves to the tenant farmers to collect his fruit. And the tenant farmers seized his slaves, one of whom they beat, and one of whom they killed, and one of whom they stoned. Again, he sent other slaves, more than the first ones, and they did the same thing to them. So finally he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ But when the tenant farmers saw the son, they said among themselves, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him and have his inheritance!’ And they seized him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. Now when the master of the vineyard arrives, what will he do to those tenant farmers?” They said to him, “He will destroy those evil men completely and lease the vineyard to other tenant farmers who will give him the fruits in their season.” Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the scriptures,
‘The stone which the builders rejected,
this has become the cornerstone.
This came about from the Lord,
and it is marvellous in our eyes’?
For this reason, I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and will be given to a people who produce its fruits. And the one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces, and the one on whom it falls—it will crush him!” And when the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they knew that he was speaking about them, 46 and although they wanted to arrest him, they were afraid of the crowds, because they looked upon him as a prophet.
Lexham English Bible (LEB)
2012 by Logos Bible Software. Lexham is a registered trademark of Logos Bible Software