This is the story of John the Baptist in Matthew 3 retold. Bob thought it might be nice to have some visual symbols to help us work our way through the story. They could be laid on a table at the front, or held up so everyone can see, either by the reader or by a helper. A child, perhaps, or several children, in order.
This is adapted from a version in Bob's "Bible Stories Through the Year" book, and once again we're grateful to Lion publishing for letting us use it.
Extract from the script:
The story begins with a desert.
(Place a jar of sand on the table - maybe even one of those multi-coloured, multi-layered jars, like you can get on holiday. Whatever you've got!)
That's where John the Baptist is preaching. And what's his message?
"Repent. The kingdom of heaven is near, here, close at hand. So close you can almost touch it."
And his arrival is not by accident. It is the fulfilment of the prophecy that came through Isaiah.
"A voice. Someone calling in the desert. Prepare a way for the Lord. Make a straight path for him."
Next, there is honey.
(Place a jar of honey or a honeycomb on the table.)
That's what John eats. Well, that and locusts, but Sainsbury's was fresh out of those.
He wears camel-skin clothes and a leather belt. He's quite an attraction. People come from Jerusalem and all across Judea to see him. And when they hear what he has to say, they admit that they are sinners, not ready for God's kingdom.
So there is water.
(Place a jug of water on the table.)
And John baptises them in the Jordan River.
Then the snakes show up.
(Place a big rubber snake on the table.)...
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A jar of sand.
A jar of honey.
A jug of water.
A big rubber snake.
A big stone.
A piece of fruit.
A candle and lighter.