Acting Up is OK!

Acting out the roles of different Bible characters associated with the week leading up to Easter is a wonderful way to help children learn the deeper lessons of Holy Week. Have fun acting up!

By Caryl W. Krueger

Categories: Easter (Passion Week), Spring/Easter

Role-playing is a great way to help youngsters learn about events as well as the thinking that goes on behind them. It also supports a more spiritual assessment of many familiar stories. So, for this Easter season, I suggest "acting up" in a number of memorable Bible scenes. It's easy -- no rules, no lines to learn -- just enjoy the thinking/acting process.

Here's how it might work. Choose several scenes from Holy Week. I've suggested three, but depending on the ages of those in your family, you might prefer to choose your own. The Bible stories will guide you, but don't insist on being too exact.

First, read the actual story from a good Bible translation (the citations below are from KJV). Then, let participants decide which characters they want to be in each skit. In some cases, one youngster can represent a group of disciples. Parents should also take part when needed. Don't rehearse, just give a few minutes for the characters to think alone about what they plan to say and do. Don't be judgmental about the skits - these are growing experiences -- but do correct major errors.

I've given the skits contemporary titles in order to heighten interest.

Skit One: "One Wonderful Word" (based on John 20:11-17).

  • The two characters are:
    • Jesus
    • Mary Magdalene.

      Jesus has very little to do aside from his one word, "Mary," but Mary should act out looking in the sepulchre, talking with the angels, and then recognizing her Master. Prior to the skit, ask the participants what they feel Mary was thinking before and after recognizing Jesus.

Skit Two: "Jogging to Emmaus" (based on Luke 24: 13-31).

  • The characters are:
    • Jesus
    • And one or more disciples.

      Before acting it out, discuss what the disciples were thinking. In this skit, Jesus must give some of his convincing arguments to prove who he is. Discuss what it means to have a "heart burn within us."

Skit Three: "Go Fish" (based on John 21:1-12).

  • The characters are:
    • Jesus
    • And one or more disciples.

      Kids will enjoy this fishing story and can use a few props. Then, let Jesus appear and serve bread. Actually do this as your "finale" - break the bread, share it, talk about the joy of the reunion felt then and today.

Role-playing skits will make these momentous events (and many others in the Bible) both real and useful for many years to come. And remember to use your Bible greeting during the Easter season: the wonderful phrase, "He is risen!"