This was the sketch we performed for Kerygma Theatre Company's first set of performances at the Salvation Army Area Praise meetings around Essex last month.
(Simon Peter, Andrew and Matthew are waiting. Peter is sat quietly, Matthew is writing at a desk and Andrew is pacing impatiently. Andrew walks up to Peter as if to say something, thinks better of it and walks away. He sits on the edge of Matthew’s desk. He picks up one of the pieces of paper on the desk. Without looking, Matthew takes it out of Andrew’s hand and puts it back on the desk. Andrew picks up another piece of paper. Same happens. Andrew picks up the ink well Matthew was using and holds it above his head, attempting to get a reaction from him. Again, not looking, Matthew jabs Andrew in the leg with his pen as if he were dipping his pen in the ink well. Andrew yelps and drops the ink. Matthew catches it and puts it back where it was. Andrew paces a little bit more)
Andrew This is ridiculous. I have got to get out of this house.
Matthew (Not taking his eyes off his work) He said we had to stay here.
Andrew And do what?
Andrew And we have done that. Flippin’ heck we have done that in spades. In the whole history of commandments, there is not one that has been obeyed more than we have obeyed the command to stay here and wait. Surely it is now time to go. Come on.
Matthew (Looking up from his work for the first time) He said we would know when the time was right.
(Goes to argue back but decides against it)
Andrew Where’s John?
Matthew (Back to writing) He’s downstairs fixing dinner.
Andrew I might go and see if he needs a hand.
Matthew I’m under strict instructions not to let you in the kitchen.
Andrew What? Why not?
Matthew Because you’re annoying.
Andrew That’s not fair.
Matthew I know it’s not. Why I should have to put up with you is anyone’s guess.
(Andrew goes back to sitting on the edge of Matthew’s desk. Pause)
Andrew I think it’s time.
Matthew (Throwing his pen down and giving up trying to write) What?
Andrew I do, I think it’s time. It’s a warm glow right in the depths of my bowels. It says we should march out of here and get on with some ruddy work.
Matthew Andrew if we spent our ministry following the impulse of your bowels we would find ourselves in all sorts of trouble
Andrew (Moving over to Peter) Si, you get it right? I know you’d much rather be out there than stuck up in here. Come on Si, you’re in charge now, just say the word and we’ll go
Peter He said we had to stay here.
Andrew (Exasperated) Argh, till when?
Peter Till we’re ready.
Andrew I am ready.
Peter There’s a difference between ready and bored.
Matthew Or ready and impatient.
Andrew I know that. All I’m saying is we’re ready. All of us. We know what we’re doing. We’ve been doing it for the past three years. We have been taught, prepared and trained and now we are ready to just go out and do it. And we need to move soon. People are looking to us. To what we’re going to do next. But they’re starting to get restless. Si every day, every hour spent in this room is time wasted. We need to get out there.
Peter Not yet.
Andrew What are we waiting for?!
Peter For him.
Andrew He’s gone.
Peter He’s coming back.
Matthew Not as we’ve known him. (Pause. Peter and Andrew turn to look at Matthew) Simon maybe Andrew’s right. The master told us to wait but it wasn’t for him to physically return.
Andrew Yeah that’s right he said he was going to send a ghost.
Matthew His Spirit.
Matthew The point is, maybe he’s already here. Maybe he wants us to realise that he lives on in our hearts and in our words and in our actions. Maybe that’s what he meant. Maybe we are ready.
Peter (Thinks about it) No. No he said we’d know. He said when the time came we would all know it.
Matthew But how can you be sure that that moment isn’t right now.
Peter Because we don’t all know it.
Andrew I know it.
Peter I don’t. Brother please. Something big is about to happen I’m certain of it. But until it does we need to wait and get ourselves ready.
Matthew He refuses to go by any other name than that which the master gave him.
Andrew Are you serious?
Peter Of course I’m serious. Why wouldn’t I be serious?
Andrew Because I’m your brother. Because I have called you Simon for the past 22 years. Because that is your name.
Peter Not anymore.
Andrew Oh for goodness sake do you know how pretentious that sounds?
Andrew Actually, Peter, I’d rather you called me Delilah from now on.
Peter Oh grow up.
Andrew What so you’re allowed a new name…
Peter This isn’t about names!!!
Matthew Come on Simon…
Andrew Ah ah. It’s Peter now don’t forget.
Matthew Ah yes, of course
Peter Don’t you get it? Do none of you get it? Everything is about to change. Everything! Everything we’ve ever known and loved and valued flies out the window the moment we walk out of that door. We’re not being called to do what we’ve spent the past three years doing. This is something else. Something more. This is going to turn everything on its head. And you stand there and say that you’re ready for that but you can’t even deal with someone changing their name. What if we’re being called out of Judea? What if we’re being called out of Israel? What if we’re being called to leave our friends and family? What if we’re called to never see them again? What if we’re being called to die? What if we’re being called to die as he died? Are we ready for that?
Peter Sorry. We just need to be more patient. Especially with each other. Anyway, I’m famished. I’ll see how dinner’s coming along. I’ll call up when it’s ready?
Andrew Do you think he’ll let me call him Pete?
Andrew I know. I do. I’m just worried that we’re going to miss out because we’re waiting for something and we’re not even sure what it is.
Matthew Do you trust him?
Andrew What? Simon? (He thinks) Yeah. Yeah I do.
Matthew Then we wait.
Andrew And we make sure we’re ready.
Copyright © 2008 Glyn Harries