A responsive reading based on two parables in Matthew 13 vv 44-46. This story contains 6 key words or phrases which are repeated at different points throughout the story. Whenever the audience or congregation hear the key words they should respond with the appropriate noise or action. The story can be delivered by a narrator alone, or with a group who lead the responses from the front – such a group may be rehearsed or spontaneous. You may like to write down the responses on large cards which the group hold up whenever each key word occurs.
Field – Divide into two sides, side 1: “Squelch!”, then side 2: “Splat!”, then back to side 1: “Squelch!”, then back to side 2: “Splat!”
Tripped – say “Oops!”
Soil – Rub fingers together as if feeling mud and soil, say “Ooh lovely!”
Chest – Stagger under the weight of the big box you are miming holding
Pearl – Breathe on pearl, polish on clothes and hold it up
Treasure – Mime throwing handfuls of jewels in the air and look amazed
Once there was a man who tripped in a field. He was just walking happily across it when he caught his foot, tripped, and fell headlong. He had a bruise on his knee and another on his arm. As he sat up and rubbed them he noticed a shiny metal corner sticking out of the soil. He began scraping around it, pulling the soil away and soon he saw that there was a metal chest buried in the ground. He dug it out of the soil and opened up the chest. Inside it was full of precious stones and jewels. Hundreds of them! The more he looked the more he saw. Just then he heard a voice.
“Oi! What are you doing in my field?”
It was the farmer.
The man told him he wanted to buy the field and the treasure, but the farmer said it would cost him everything he had. The man said he didn’t mind, so he sold his house, his car, his clothes, his DVD collection, his iPad, his Segway and his hamster.
When he’d bought the field he took the chest home, then remembered that he’d sold his home so he went back to the field and sat down in it and thought how lucky he was to have found something that was worth so much.
In the next field there was a tiny pearl buried in the soil. It had been there for years, just hoping that one day someone would come along and find it. But no one did, and so the pearl became and more unhappy. It was worth an awful lot, and was a most unusual and unique pearl but no one realised it and no one bothered to look for it. Then one day, a woman who collected pearls started searching through the field looking for precious stones. She dug down deep and was amazed and overjoyed to find the little pearl. She took it home and made a beautiful pendant with the it.
And what are these stories about? You and me. We’re just like that precious pearl, buried in the soil, waiting to be found by God and his kingdom. And when we’re discovered by God, then we’re like the man in the first story who found the treasure chest, we want to give everything we’ve got so that we can have that very precious treasure.
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To download a copy of this story for use in church or another event just click on this line or the title below.
The Pearl and the Treasure