ST. JOHN LUTHERAN CHURCH WOMEN, Alma, WI
Women from St. John Lutheran Church have prepared a script and costumes for a women's program. The script is excellent and inspiring. It is to be read by a narrator of your choice. The 15 costumes are modeled by members of your congregation. When they find they have no speaking parts they are enthusiastic and enjoy performing and making new friends. The program lasts about 45 minutes and the costumes include baskets, babies, jewelry and other props.
The women rent out the costumes they put together to local churches. The charge for the use of this program and costumes is $50.00 (to help cover cleaning and repairing of the costumes.) The costumes are too expensive to mail, they are picked up and delivered back to the church.
We hope the program goes well, and that you will find it an interesting, inspiring, and fun time.
We suggest one dress rehearsal as finding the proper size is not too difficult. The "layered look" was in! Most of the women were supposedly quite young. We feel the success of the program is having a narrator who speaks slowly, and loud and clear. It is helpful to have about 3 wardrobe women, who will help them dress. One person should line them up, according to the script, and have them ready to appear, one at a time. They will walk in, across the front of the church, down the aisle, turn around and return to the front to their assigned seats. Afterwards, it's nice to have the wardrobe women assist in getting the costumes back, with their accessories. We appreciate the care everyone has shown with the costumes.
We'd appreciate hearing about your experiences, and if there is something we could do to improve it. Someone suggested that the models form a line afterwards, so people can see their costumes at close range.
WOMEN OF THE BIBLE
Who are you? And you? And you? We are Christian girls and women who play our roles in today's world as wives, daughters, mothers, grandmothers&emdash;in work or in the professional world, in the church, in school, at play and in all areas of society.
Whoever we are and wherever we are, let us remember that we must not hide our light under a bushel. All of our words and all of our actions must tell people that we are followers of Christ. We must be kind, helpful, unselfish, considerate, compassionate and loving to others in our walk of faith.
Women have an important place in both Christian and secular worlds and we are grateful for that status. Tonight you will see and hear about some of the women in the Bible - a few from the Old Testament and others from the New Testament times - all of them played a role in their time in history.
Who were they? Why is it important that we know about them? As we hear their stories, perhaps we can relate their lives to ours - helping us to understand how their roles and ours become one - through faith in God, the Father and our Lord, Jesus Christ.
ORDER OF APPEARANCE
RUTH AND NAOMI
MARY, MOTHER OF JESUS
MARY AND MARTHA
THE SAMARITAN WOMAN
God created Eve to be a helper for Adam; she was created by Him from Adam's rib. It is interesting that God did not take Eve from Adam's head that she should be over him, nor from his feet that she should be under him, but from his side that she should be by his side from a place nearest his heart indicating the close relationship of man and woman.
Eve disobeyed her God and creator by listening to the serpent who distorted the truth of God's word. Eve gave the forbidden fruit to Adam and he did eat. God gave women a serious responsibility in relation to our husbands and children and Eve's sinful error is an example of wrong influence.
Eve sinned but God forgave. She experienced the thrill of birth, the sorrow of death, and all the emotions that women have shared down through the ages. It was through her that the line of people was born, that led eventually to the birth of Christ. It is through Eve that we are assured that we can rise above our mistakes and sins because God forgives.
(snake, apple) #1
Her name was Miriam; most people know her only as the sister of Moses. You recall that she played an important role in saving the life of her infant brother. Because of Pharaoh's decree to kill all baby boys under the age of two, Miriam and her Mother put Moses in a basket hidden in the bulrushes in the river. She waited nearby hoping that someone would find the baby before he died. When Pharaoh's daughter came to the river to bathe, she found the infant and asked Miriam to care for him until he was old enough to be educated in the palace. Much later Moses led his people out of Egypt, and Miram led a praise song to the Lord God for having delivered Israel:
"Sing ye to the Lord
She is the first female prophet named in the Bible. Micah named her as being "a gift from God to lead His people". When God punished her for questioning Moses' marriage to a Cushite woman, she was stricken with leprosy along with her brother, Aaron. Her death is one of few women's deaths recorded in the Bible.
(baby Moses, reed basket) #2
RUTH AND NAOMI
Ruth, Naomi, her mother-in-law, Elimelech, and their sons, Mahlon and Chilion, left Bethlehem because of a severe famine in the land.
They went into the fertile, well watered land of Moab. Elimelech, Naomi's husband, died and she was left with her two sons. Mahlon and Chilion took the Moab women, Ruth and Orpah, for wives.
After many years, Mahlon and Chilion died; and Naomi, their mother, now old and weary, longed to return to the land of her birth. Naomi told her daughters-in-law to return to their mothers. Orpah does as Naomi asked, but Ruth clings lovingly to her mother-in-law and made the most touchingly beautiful confession of love ever spoken. "Do not urge me to leave you or to turn back from following you, for where you go, I will go. Where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God".
Ruth gave up everything, her family, her friends, her chance of remaining one of her own people to follow Naomi back to Israel.
When they reached Bethlehem, in order to support herself and her mother-in-law, Ruth had to perform the lowliest of tasks, that of following the reapers and gathering up the fragments of grain which fell and were left for the poor.
One day as Ruth was gleaning she came into a field owned by Boaz, a large landowner and a distant relative of Naomi's husband. The story that follows is one of the most beautiful romances in the Bible. Ruth's patience, humility and hard work are rewarded in marriage to this man of honor and good reputation. Love had worked a miracle in Ruth's life.
She is a prominent figure in the lineage of Christ. It was her son Obed who was the grandfather of King David.
(stalks of grain) #3
Esther was a young Jewish girl living in Persia during the Hebrew captivity. Her name was changed from Hadassah to Esther, meaning STAR. The king chose her as his new wife and she soon played a star role in the salvation of her people.
The Jews in Persia faced extermination at the hand of their enemy Haman. It was he and his men who planned to kill them all and seize their property. Hearing of this, Esther called for fasting and praying as she prepared to defend her people at the risk of her own life. It was the law that no one, not even the queen could have audience with the King unannounced. Esther dressed herself in her most royal robes and alluring perfumes. She went to see the King, knowing that if he were displeased to see her, it would mean her death. The King was in a good mood and Esther obtained favor in his sight. He said he would grant her any request.
Esther knew it was best to move slowly with the King and simply requested his presence at lunch. Again, he offered to grant whatever request she made. Esther fell at his feet and with tears in her eyes begged for the lives of her people. The King issued a decree granting the Jews protection and ordered death for their enemies.
Esther, a woman of faith and fearlessness, is still honored by a Jewish festival, celebrating their deliverance from massacre by Esther's act of courage.
God called Abraham and Sarah out of their native country to travel to the land which God had promised Abraham. God also promised Abraham an heir through whom his descendants would "out number the sands of the.sea". Sarah continued to remain barren and after many years she gave her maid Hagar to Abraham to bear him a son. Then, in due time, God kept his promise; and when Sarah was ninety years old, she miraculously had a son whom they named lsaac. In spite of the joy at her son's birth, Sarah's jealousy and bitterness against her maid colored her life and actions.
The lengthy account of Abraham and Sarah in the book of Genesis, and the many other times she is mentioned in the Bible, indicates the place of honor Sarah holds in Hebrew history. She was Father Abraham's wife and Isaac's mother.
(Smaller baby, carried or in basket) #5
Chosen as the wife of Isaac because of her many virtues, Rebecca became the mother of twins, Esau and Jacob. She was noted for her kindness, helpfulness and industry. Rebecca was endowed with sympathy and courage that were revealed when she readily served and waited on a tired traveler and stranger) "And it came to pass that Rebecca came out with her pitcher on her shoulder, and the damsel was very fair to look upon. And she went down to the well and filled her pitcher". Then to the servant she said, "Drink, my lord". When he has finished she said, "I will draw for your camels also, until they are done drinking".
Here it was that her act of kindness and concern became the reason that God chose her for Isaac's helpmate.
(pitcher, jug on shoulder) #6
ELIZABETH, MOTHER OF JOHN THE BAPTIST
Elizabeth was wife of Zachariah, a temple priest. They had no children because Elizabeth was barren and they were both advanced in years. One day when Zachariah was in the temple performing his priestly duties, an angel appeared. The angel told him that Elizabeth would bear him a son, and they should call him John. John's special purpose would be to "make ready the way of the Lord". Zachariah was so stunned that he couldn't believe it. The angel said, "because of your lack of faith you shall not be able to hear or speak until after your son is born".
The prophecy was fulfilled, and Elizabeth gave birth to a baby boy. (On the 8th day, a great gathering of neighbors and kinsman came for the circumcising and naming of the child. When Elizabeth proclaimed, "And his name shall be John", there was a great outcry. Surely the baby was to be named after his father. To end the debate Zachariah wrote on a piece of paper, "His name is John". Instantly, Zachariah was able to speak, and he praised the glory of God.)
People far and near heard the story of John's birth and watched with anticipation to see what kind of man he would become.
Elizabeth received her son and the purpose he was to fulfill, with humility and reverent responsibility.
(baby doll) #7
MARY, MOTHER OF JESUS
The story of Mary, Joseph and the birth of the Infant Jesus is well known to everyone -- even non-Christians. What kind of a woman did God choose to be the mother of His Son? Mary humbly submitted to the greater will of God. She accepted the angel's pronouncement that she would conceive by the Holy Spirit and bear a son who would be the Savior of the world. Mary's Magnificat in the Gospel of Luke is a hymn of praise to God that sings of His power and mercy.
Mary was a devoted mother as she watched her son grow. In her hands, Jesus was loved and protected and prepared for the life of sacrifice He was to lead; then she stepped aside when the time came to leave His private life and begin His public ministry. She must have watched in awe as her Son performed miracles. She must have felt motherly pride as the crowds followed Him to hear Him speak. Her faith in God must have sustained her as she endured the pain of her Son's crucifixion. And her suffering must have turned to joy at the Resurrection.
Mary's divine mission of being the mother of the only begotten Son of God never faltered from the manger to the cross. And it didn't end there. She assisted His purpose further by living out her life in service to the early church. Mary has been honored down through history as the embodiment of all that is noble and fine in womanhood.
(baby Jesus) #8
Tabitha, also known as Dorcas, excelled as a seamstress. Even today, there are sewing societies in churches using that name. A memory from my childhood is that my mother belonged to a daytime church group called the Ladies Aid and to an evening group simply called Dorcas.
Dorcas is synonymous with acts of charity because she sewed garments for the poor at a time when organized charity for the needy was unknown. In Acts 9 it says, "Now there was in Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, which is by interpretation, Dorcas. This woman was full of good works and almsdeeds which she did". Dorcas lives today in women who help to feed and clothe the poor. Acts of charity from Christian hearts are the products of our faith and in obedience to God's will.
(basket of fabric, pieces falling out of it) #9
MARTHA AND MARY
Martha, Mary, and their brother Lazarus, were close friends of Jesus. The two sisters are mentioned three times in the account of the life of Jesus. In the first scene, Jesus was a guest in their home. Martha was busy preparing a meal while Mary sat at Jesus' feet listening to
his every word. Martha was bothered and said to the Lord, "Don't you care that my sister has left me to do all this work alone? Tell her to help me". Jesus gently rebuked Martha for preparing too lavish a meal. He praised Mary for puffing aside the concerns of the day to spend time in fellowship with Him.
The next time we see Martha and Mary is after the death of their brother, Lazarus, and Jesus has come to comfort them. He says, "I am the Resurrection and the Life. He who believes in Me shall live even though he dies". Martha responds with her great confession of faith. "Yes, Lord, I believe You are the Christ, the Son of God". Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, a foreshadow of the miracle when Jesus Himself would rise again.
In the third and final scene, Martha, Mary and Lazarus host a special supper for Jesus and His disciples. Mary, to express her love and gratitude to the Lord, washed Jesus' feet with costly perfume and wiped them dry with her hair. Mary and Martha were sisters - united in their love and faith in Jesus Christ.
(Mary, oil bottle - Martha, wooden bowl) #10
Mary Magdalene was a devoted follower of Jesus. It was she who early in the morning went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been rolled away. She ran to Simon Peter and another disciple and told them, "They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we do not know where they have put him".
No doubt she had great love for Jesus for He had removed seven demons from her, we are told. His death must have been a dreadful sorrow for her, and she stood crying at the empty tomb. It was there that Jesus appeared to her; what a privilege was hers to be the first person to see Jesus after His resurrection. She followed His instructions and went to the disciples with this message, "Go to my brothers and tell them for me, 'I go back up to Him who is my Father and your Father, my God and your God."'
(white material, jug) #11
Priscilla and her husband Acquila are mentioned five times in the New Testament. In three of the five, Priscilla's name is placed first which possibly means she may have been the more active. She said her husband fled the Jewish persecution in Rome and went to Corinth where they met Paul and became two of his close associates.
They accompanied Paul on his missionary journey to Ephesus. He leaves them there, and when he returns more than a year later, finds that they had established a well-organized congregation in Ephesus.
Later, Priscilla and Acquila move back to Rome and set up a church in their home. She was a hospitable homemaker and used every opportunity to teach the message of Jesus Christ. Surely they made many sacrifices and risked their lives spreading the gospel, for they lived in a time when Christians faced great persecution.
In Romans 16:4 Paul sends special greetings to them and expresses his gratitude, as well as that of all the Gentile churches, for their devoted efforts.
(basket, jug, scroll) #12
THE SAMARITAN WOMAN
I'm going to tell the story of the Samaritan women in the first person.
I have no name, but I live in Samaria. The Jews, you know, have no dealings with us; we are a hated race to them. I am very poor and I come to this well to draw my own water. The wealthy women have servants to draw and carry water for them.
I have not lived a good life, and I am known as a sinner. Some people call me THAT WOMAN OF SAMARIA. I am well known because of my association with men. People from my own country avoid me because of my lack of modesty and purity.
But He didn't avoid me. He spoke to me! It was one day at the well when He asked for a drink of water and I gave it to Him knowing He was a Jew. As the man spoke to me of life-giving water, of the Holy Spirit, a light broke into my darkened mind ,and I began to see a new way of life. This man - His name was Jesus - knew of my sinful life, and yet He still thought me worthy of salvation. He revealed who He was. "I who speak unto thee am the Messiah", he said. I, a sinful woman, was privileged to hear from the lips of Jesus Himself the divine secret.
So, filled with the new truth I had learned, I left my water-pot and hurried back to the city. My earnest witness to the new and better life had such an effect that many Samaritans went out to see Jesus. For two days they listened to Him speak and many believed in Him, too.
How wonderfully the Holy Spirit used my life and witness. Praise the Lord!
(bucket or jug) #13
Do you see yourself in these women?
Eve was tempted and sinned
They all showed their human natures, just as we do. But what was it that they all shared in common?
It was their faith and trust in God and a relationship with Him.
God worked through their lives to accomplish His purpose.
He used them in spite of their faults.
Today He is using us to spread His work and do His will.
We are His disciples now. When he says, "Go ye therefore into all the world . . ." We need to go to our family--to our neighbor--to the next block--to our town to tell others about His saving grace, how He died, that we might live--how He forgives our sins and how He loves us without ceasing.
Thank you, Heavenly Father, for all these
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