Acting out a Bible story
2 Kings 5:1-15
||The following is borrowed from
Carolyn C. Brown (and just slightly adapted). The
characters, recruited ahead of time, come forward during
the hymn, “Great is the Lord,” and stand in place up front
in their designated spots. The
only speaking part) moves among the characters, commenting
on their actions. Feel free to ad lib.
their (Props/costumes) and
placement at beginning
(military headgear – a costume helmet or a modern
military/police officer hat)
– stands at the
bottom of the steps.
Naaman’s wife –
(hand held mirror) –
stands to the left (organ side) of Naaman.
servant girl – (hairbrush) –
stands to the left
of Naaman’s wife.
– (burlap sack or black garbage bag stuffed with paper to
which at first is placed beside the King of Syria)
– stands to the
right (piano side) of Naaman.
King of Syria –
(crown and a rolled
– stands off to the
far right (organ side) up front.
King of Israel
– (crown) – stands
off to the far left (piano side) up front.
Elisha – (no
prop) – stands
halfway back the center aisle, facing forward.
– (no prop) – stands
River shakers –
(2 persons with a long strip of blue or muddy brown cloth
to lay down in front of the worship table)
– sit on the benches
behind the organ and piano.
p.s. remain hidden after laying down the cloth when
Reader – (with
script and microphone)
– begins at lectern,
then moves among characters.
story today is only fifteen verses long but involves eight
characters, two kingdoms, and one river.
First, of course, the kings:
There is the king of Syria.
deferentially to the King of Syria in his crown, who nods back.
And there is the King of Israel – a much
smaller country and so a less important king, but still a king.
deferentially to the King of Israel in his crown who likewise nods
And there is Naaman the general of the army
of the King of Syria – another very important man.
Grandly point to Naaman.
Naaman has a wife - I forget her name.
And the wife has a young servant girl - who cares what her
dismissively to them.
Naaman also has a servant whose name we don't
know, but who was sort of Naaman's right hand man.
dismissively to him.
That is the cast in Syria.
Over here in Israel, there is also a prophet named Elisha.
The prophet also has a servant.
to Elisha and his servant.
There are several large, beautiful rivers in
Syria, but for our story the important river is the muddy little
Jordan River in Israel.
to river shakers, who spread out the muddy river. For the rest of
the drama, they shake the cloth to envision a flowing river.
Oh, our story involves a disease, a dreaded
disease, called leprosy.
It was and is a horrible disease.
Its symptoms are sores that do not heal but do spread.
Eventually toes, fingers and even whole limbs fall off.
In the time at which our story takes place, people were so
frightened of the disease that victims were sent away from their
homes and communities.
They lived together in caves.
Some of their families or kind folk from town left food and
clothes for them near the caves, but they never got very close.
When no food appeared the lepers had to call out to
travelers begging for what they needed.
Today we have drugs to treat leprosy.
But, in the days of our story there were no cures.
Shiver and shake your head as you conclude this description.
Now, we are ready for our story.
It begins with Naaman at home in Syria.
Naaman, the commander of the Syrian army, was
highly respected and esteemed by the king of Syria, because
through Naaman the Lord had given victory to the Syrian forces.
Naaman stands tall and folds his arms across his chest.
He was a great soldier, but he suffered from
a dreaded skin disease.
Naaman inspects the back of his hand and hides it behind himself.
In one of their raids against Israel, the
Syrians had carried off a little Israelite girl, who became a
servant of Naaman’s wife.
Servant girl pretends to brush mistresses hair.
One day she said to her mistress, “I wish
that my master could go to the prophet who lives in Samaria! He
would cure him of his disease.”
Servant girl pantomimes speaking.
Mistress turns to listen, then turns toward Naaman and
reaches out to him.
When Naaman heard of this, he went to the
king and told him what the girl had said.
The king said, “Go to the king of Israel and take this
letter to him.”
Naaman walks over to the king of Syria.
The king gives him a letter (rolled up piece of paper).
So Naaman set out, taking 30,000 pieces of
silver, 6,000 pieces of gold, and ten changes of fine clothes.
The letter that he took read: “This letter will introduce
my officer Naaman. I want you to cure him of his disease.”
Naaman bows to the Syrian king, picks up the large burlap sack or
black garbage bag stuffed to look heavy and full, hands the sack
to his servant who hauls it as if it were heavy.
Naaman keeps the letter.
He then goes to the king of Israel.
When the king of Israel read the letter, he
tore his clothes in dismay and exclaimed, “How can the king of
Syria expect me to cure this man? Does he think that I am God,
with the power of life and death? It’s plain that he is trying to
start a quarrel with me!”
Naaman bows before the king of Israel and hands him the letter.
The king opens it, reads it, and puts his hands over his
face or makes other signs of despair.
When the prophet Elisha heard what had
happened, he sent word to the king: “Why are you so upset? Send
the man to me, and I’ll show him that there is a prophet in
Elisha puts his hand to his ear as if listening, then sends his
servant to the king.
The servant bows to the king who looks
relieved. As the
servant goes backs to take his place beside Elisha, the king looks
at Naaman and points toward Elisha.
So Naaman went with his horses and chariot,
and stopped at the entrance to Elisha’s house.
Naaman and his servant go to Elisha. The servant pretends to knock
on the door.
Elisha sent a servant out to tell him to go
and wash himself seven times in the River Jordan, and he would be
completely cured of his disease.
Elisha’s servant standing in front of Elisha, pretends to open the
door and points toward the river, then closes the door.
But Naaman left in a rage, saying, “I thought
that he would at least come out to me, pray to the Lord his God,
wave his hand over the diseased spot, and cure me!
Besides, aren’t the rivers Abana and Pharpar, back in
Damascus, better than any river in Israel? I could have washed in
them and been cured!”
Naaman stamps his feet, scowls, and puts his hands on his hips.
His servants went up to him and said, “Sir,
if the prophet had told you to do something difficult, you would
have done it. Now why can’t you just wash yourself, as he said,
and be cured?”
Naaman’s servant, cautiously taps Naaman on the shoulder, pretends
to speak reasoning with his master using his hands to suggest the
possibility of trying the river.
Naaman listens, shrugs his shoulders, and turns and walks
to the river.
So Naaman went down to the Jordan, dipped
himself in it seven times, as Elisha had instructed, and he was
completely cured. His flesh became firm and healthy, like that of
Naaman squats beside the river. The river shakers pick up the
cloth and wave it in front of Naaman seven times as the servant
keeps count seven times on his fingers for both Naaman and the
congregation. After the seventh dip Naaman looks at his hand in
amazement, shows it to his servant.
Both show signs of joy (maybe a high five?)
He returned to Elisha with all his men and
said, “Now I know that there is no god but the God of Israel…”.
Naaman and his servant return to Elisha’s door.
The servant knocks again.
Elisha pretends to open the door this time.
Naaman and his servant bow before Elisha.
by Carolyn C.
Worshiping with Children
a marvelous resource for actively
including children in worship
(Biblical story is from Today’s