Can We Be Friends?

This is based on the Book of Revelation, chapter 3, verse 20.

[This skit is more complex and sophisticated than the other stories, so you will have to choose your context carefully. Because of its complexity, it probably needs to be practiced once or twice. We were fortunate enough to have a carpenter on our team who was able to make a free-standing door, but you can improvise with a couple of chairs, or simply ask the children to imagine a door.

One narrator and two actors are needed.  They don’t need to memorize their lines—though in an ideal world they will!—but should be familiar enough with the script that they are not looking at it the whole time.]

Narrator: Jesus once said, “Listen! I am standing at the door, knocking; if you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to you and eat with you, and you with me.”

If we look, we can see Jesus in lots of places in the world: in a beautiful sunset, in people when they’re kind and loving, in our favourite music, and so on.  Where else might you see Jesus at work? [Take a few answers.] But there is one other place in the world he really wants to be, but he won’t come unless he’s invited.

Where’s that? Jesus wants to be our friend, and to be with us for ever. He wants to be with us, to help us be strong even when things are difficult, to love us even when we feel sad, to help us know the right thing to do.  But Jesus knows you can’t force someone to be your friend. [With angry face and voice:] “You WILL be my friend, whether you like it or not!!!” No: he waits patiently until we say, “Hi, Jesus, I’d love for you to be my friend.” And I’m wondering if some of us might like to do that tonight.

Think of it this way. It’s as if someone comes to your door.  If someone comes to your door, and knocks, what do you do?  Well, it depends who it is, doesn’t it?  

  1. [Alan comes to door, carrying clip board.] If there’s a knock at the door [he knocks], your mom or dad answer it. [Jen opens it, and says “Hi.”] But they don’t automatically ask the person in. It could be someone trying to sell them a new hot water tank, or to ask them for money, or offering to clean your windows. So what does this person want? [Alan: “I’m hoping you’re going to vote for me in the next election.”] They’ll probably be polite. [Jen: “Thank you for asking, but I haven’t decided yet who I’m going to vote for.”] But they won’t ask the person in: they’ll just talk to them on the doorstep. And then they’ll go away. [Alan: “Well, thank you for your time.” Jen: “Goodbye and good luck.”]
  • [Alan comes to door, this time carrying a pizza box.] Or suppose there’s a knock at the door [he knocks], and it’s someone different. Say it’s the pizza delivery guy. [Alan calls: “Pizza’s here!” Jen opens the door.] If it’s a cold day, your parents might say [Jen: “Hey, step into the hall while I get some money.” Alan comes through the door.] He’s not a friend, so they’re not going to invite him into the kitchen, or into the playroom. But they’ll be nice and polite, and they’ll give him the money and take the pizza [the exchange takes place], and then the guy will go away again. [Jen: “Thanks for the pizza!” Alan: “You’re welcome!” He goes back out.]
  • [Alan comes to door, carrying a soccer ball.] But suppose there’s a knock at the door [he knocks], and you open the door, and it’s someone from school that you kinda like, and you’ve been wondering if they liked you, and here they are knocking at your door! [Jen opens the door.] What are you going to say this time? [Jen: “Hey, Alan. Great to see you. Why don’t you come in? Come through to the kitchen. Wanna snack? Want some juice?” They go and sit at a table.]  You want to show them that you want to be friends—and asking them into your house is a good way to do it—if it’s OK with your parents.

So . . . it’s like that with Jesus. He wants to be our friend. [Alan comes to the door, looking Jesusy.] And so he comes and knocks on the door. [He knocks.] You go to answer the door [Jen opens the door], and there’s Jesus! Now:

  1. You might not know much about Jesus. So you don’t ask him in right away. [Jen: “Oh, hi. You’re Jesus, right? I’ve heard about you.”] You talk to him on the doorstep, and try to decide if he’s someone you actually want for a friend. That’s very sensible. You don’t want to ask someone into your house unless you’re sure.
  •  Or, you might hear him knocking on the door, and you open the door, but you’re not quite sure if you’re ready to have him as your friend. So you say: [Jen: “Hi, Jesus. Why don’t you come into the hall, and let’s have a chat.”] And you talk for a bit, about school, and your family, and some things that are worrying you, and he seems to understand, and you begin to feel more comfortable around Jesus. You don’t ask him into the kitchen, but you begin to think, “Hmm, maybe I do want him as a friend. He seems kinda nice. Next time he comes, I think I’ll ask him in.”
  • Or, you hear him knocking at the door, and you open the door, and he says: [Alan: “Hi, Jen. I’d love to be your friend. Can I come in?”] And you’ve been hearing about Jesus for a long time, maybe all of your life, and you know the stories, and you know lots of people who have Jesus as their friend, and you think to yourself, “Yes, that’s what I want too.” And so you say: [Jen: “Hi, Jesus, I’d love for you to be my friend too. Come right in!” They go and sit at the table.]

So that’s how it works. And whoever we are, whatever we’ve done, it’s as though Jesus is knocking at the door, asking to be our friend. And he promises that if we invite him in, he will come in. He promises always to love us and never to leave us.

So . . . what do we want to do? Here’s what I suggest. When you go home tonight, take one of these postcards [I found some postcard reproductions of Holman Hunt’s Light of the World on Zazzle to give out afterwards] to remind you of what we’ve talked about. (It’s a very famous painting of Jesus knocking on the door, and the words are on the back.) And then talk to your mum or dad about this. Or if you are a mum or dad, talk to one another or talk to a friend about it. And then before you go to sleep tonight, say to Jesus, very quietly, something like this. (It doesn’t matter the exact words you use.) “Jesus, thanks that you want to be my friend. I want to be your friend too. I know you’ll be a good friend to me. Help me be a good friend to you. Thank you that you will love me forever. Amen.”

May 2015