Posts Tagged ‘Play’

Accused! © Ross Cochrane

PSALM 7:1-2 – WHEN YOU ARE FALSELY ACCUSED (Part 1)  

NARRATOR: Wandering and isolated, David runs from the anger and unjust persecution of his accusers, perhaps Saul or Absalom, into the arms of God. He has been falsely accused. His reputation has been slandered.  

What would it look like today? David is at the Police station, sitting at a table waiting to be questioned. A Psychologist waits behind a one-way glass screen ready to record impressions of the interview to determine David’s state of mind.  

David prays. 

DAVID: “I come to You for protection, O LORD my God. Save me from my persecutors—rescue me! “If You don’t, they will maul me like a lion, tearing me to pieces with no one to rescue me” (Psalm 7:2 NLT). 

PSYCHOLOGIST (looking through a one-way mirror at David, records some observations): “Defendant has what appears to be a deep faith in God. Talks to God as if He is in the room with him. Almost like Father and son relationship. Almost like he wants God (his Father figure) to come to pay his bail money. Observations of possible religious fanaticism… 

  • Believes he is taking STEPS TOWARDS GOD. Says – “I come to You, … O Lord” 
  • Finds his SECURITY IN TRUSTING GOD? – Says, “I come to You for protection” 
  • Uses the word “Lord” in a respectful way, somewhat like “Sir” but I think when he uses the words “O Lord,…” he is indicating that he REGARDS GOD AS HAVING AUTHORITY OVER HIS LIFE. 
  • Considers that He is CLOSE TO GOD (uses possessive pronoun – “…my God…”) 
  • ASKS FOR GOD’S HELP – “….Save me from my persecutors.” 
  • AWARE THAT OTHERS HAVE MADE ACCUSATIONS – “persecutors” 
  • ALERT TO THOSE WHO WANT TO BRING HIM DOWN – “If You don’t save me, they will maul me like a lion, tearing me to pieces…” 
  • DEPENDS ON GOD TO GET HIM OFF – “If You don’t rescue me, there will be no one to rescue me.” 

I am as yet unsure that this indicates religious fanaticism. The Accused seems to think that the accusations that have been made against him are the result of persecution. He thinks that the perceived persecutor has the intention to cause him harm. This may well be the case, but could also be a persecution complex. 

NARRATOR: David is feeling the pressure from those around him, but so far he gives us an example of how all of us can remain close to God, and trust Him when we feel under attack from our circumstances. 

Pay attention, David! “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8 NLT) 

In another Psalm, David writes, “Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; He is my God, and I trust Him” (Psalm 91:1-2). What about me? In what or who do I place my trust?  

Pastor Ross 

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Manger and the Cross

A NATIVITY PLAY – FROM THE MANGER TO THE CROSS (© Written by Ross Cochrane 2018) 

PASTOR: Christmas celebrates the birth of Christ, of course, but some years ago I remember a woman saying to me, “Without the manger, there would have been no Cross and no Salvation” 

So it made me think about the SIMILARITIES AND DIFFERENCES of CHRISTMAS AND EASTER. Christmas – the BIRTH of Christ. Easter – the DEATH of Christ. 

ANGEL 1: So over here we have the MANGER. (Spotlight – Mary, and Joseph beside Jesus in the Manger. Angel stands behind them) 

ANGEL 2And over here we have the CROSS (Spotlight – Angel stands beside a large Cross) 

PASTOR: 

  1. WITHOUT CHRISTMAS AND EASTER WE WOULD HAVE NO HOPE OF HEAVEN. 

MARY (at the manger): SO JESUS IS GOD’S GIFT FROM HEAVEN… 

JOSEPH (at the manger):  AND HEAVEN IS JESUS’ GIFT TO US  

ANGEL 1 (at the manger): Romans 6:23 in the Bible says “…the GIFT of God is ETERNAL LIFE through Jesus Christ our Lord” DO YOU KNOW HIM? (Said to the audience) 

PASTOR: 

So without Christmas or the Cross, there would be no hope of heaven. 

2. AND SECONDLY, CHRISTMAS AND THE CROSS SPEAK OF OUR NEED TO FIND CHRIST  

WISE MAN 1 (at the manger): I am one of the MAGI, or as you know us “The Wise Men” and we followed God’s directions intentionally and found Christ in a house some time after He was born. We searched for Him and in finding Him, we also found faith and hope.  

FOOLISH MAN (At the Cross): I was one of the FOOLISH MEN who  jeered at Him and rejected Him at His death. I was once lost and needed to find forgiveness. Yet Jesus said on the Cross, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.” He still offers His forgiveness for our sins.  

ALL OF US NEED TO FIND JESUS, BUT OUR SIN GETS IN THE WAY. 

PASTOR: 

To solve this problem we need the help of the one who was BORN TO BE SAVIOUR. That’s the point of the story of Christmas and the story of the Cross. 
3. SO THIRDLY, CHRISTMAS AND THE CROSS SPEAKS OF CHRIST AS OUR SAVIOUR 

ANGEL1 (at the manger) I was one of the ANGELS who appeared to the Shepherds and declared the birth of the SAVIOUR.  

ANGEL 2 (at the Cross): Yes, and I was one of the ANGELS at the tomb who appeared to the women and declared He is RISEN. The Bible says “Death no longer has any power over Him.”  

He SAVES you by paying the price for your sin. 

SHEPHERD (at the manger): I was one of the Shepherds. We RAN TO FIND HIM in the manger just after His birth. It was so appropriate that Shepherds celebrated His birth because He was the Lamb of God, Saviour of the World.  

PETER (at the Cross): I am Peter, one of Jesus disciples. I acted very differently. At His death, jeering crowds gathered around Jesus and I ABANDONED Him, the sinless LAMB OF GOD who takes away the sin of the world. Yet, now I realise, He was wounded for my transgressions. 

PASTOR: Yes, Christmas and the Cross speak of Christ as our Saviour. 

4. But FOURTHLY, CHRISTMAS AND THE CROSS SPEAK OF OUR NEED TO RESPOND TO CHRIST IN FAITH 

MARY (at the manger): Yes, FAITH SPEAKS ABOUT FILLING UP AN EMPTY SPACE IN OUR LIVES THAT BELONGS TO JESUS.  

But just before Jesus was born there was NO ROOM for Him at the Inn and we had to LAY HIM IN A BORROWED MANGER.  

JOSEPH OF ARAMATHEA (at the cross): I am Joseph of Aramathea. At the end of His life there was NO ROOM for Him so we LAID HIM IN A BORROWED TOMB. My tomb. 

MARY (at the manger): Yet JESUS INVITES US TO MAKE ROOM FOR HIM IN OUR HEARTS AND LIVES. THAT’S CALLED ‘FAITH’ – MAKING ROOM FOR HIM. HAVE YOU MADE ROOM FOR HIM? 

SOLDIER (at the Cross): I remember that at His death, a strange Darkness fell on the earth to COVER HIM. Not even a star in the sky. 

WISE MAN 2 (at the manger): Yet at his birth, A STAR shone brightly to direct me and my fellow Wise Men to Him and REVEAL HIM. WISE MEN STILL SEEK JESUS. DO YOU SEEK JESUS TODAY? 

JOSEPH (at the Manger): How amazing that Jesus was BORN into our family. Our Son. I am just a simple carpenter and I taught Him my skills. 

ANGEL 2: (at the Cross): Yes, and Jesus was also the Son of God, He died so that you could be BORN AGAIN into His family, THE FAMILY OF GOD, as God’s sons and daughters. His heavenly Father is also a skilled craftsman. Jesus said “I came to do My Fathers business”. He’s still the Carpenter. He came to shape your lives. 

ANGEL 1 (at the manger): He is the Alpha  

ANGEL 2 (at the Cross): …and the Omega.  

ANGEL 1 (at the manger): He is the Beginning  

ANGEL 2 (at the Cross): …and the end. 

MARY (at the manger): Born in a manger, Born that we might be born again. Immanuel – God with us. 

PETER (at the Cross): Died on a cross. Died that we may never die. Saviour from our sins. 

BOTH ANGELS: He who Is and Was and Is to come. The great I Am. 

ALL: King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Our Lord Jesus. 

PASTOR:  

DO YOU KNOW HIM? I INVITE YOU TO SAY THIS PRAYER AFTER ME AND INVITE HIM INTO YOUR HEART AND LIFE THIS CHRISTMAS. 

Repeat this prayer as I pray out loud. Let’s all pray. 

Jesus, thank you for coming to this world as a baby,  

living a perfect life  

and dying on the cross for me,  

so that I can be forgiven.   

Thank you that you came back to life  

and proved that your death was enough 

to pay for my sin.   

Jesus, please forgive me.   

I now receive your offer of forgiveness  

and I put my hope and trust in you  

as my Saviour and Lord.  

Thank You for your gift of eternal life.  

Thank You for giving me an amazing life here and now 

And one day I will be with You in heaven forever.   

AMEN … 

If you did receive Jesus as your Lord and Saviour today, would you let me know?  It would bring great joy to me to hear how you have been made right with God.   

Pastor Ross