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A Skit with seven kids for Martin Luther King, Jr.
 by HW in HI

 

A Reading from the letter of Paul to the American Christians

What are you talking about?

Wait, that doesn’t make sense!

Excuse me. A reading from .....

(Loudly) Wait!!!

What?

How Could Paul write a letter to the Americans?

IT says right here, “Paul’s Letter to the American Christians”

But Paul lived one thousand nine hundred and fifty years ago.

And Columbus sailed to America in 1492

I just read the scripture; I am not an expert in historical criticism.

But it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that Paul isn’t writing letters from the grave!

(Thoughtfully) Maybe he’s an angel, writing from heaven....

Whatever! Can I read this now?

No!

(Exasperated) Let me take a look. (Appears to read the scripture). It says here at the bottom: by Martin Luther King Junior.

Martin Luther King?

(Nodding.) Junior.

We’ve learned a lot about him. He organized civil rights protests in the 60’s.

He was a great leader.

He taught people to stand up for what’s fair.

And to fight without violence.

What?

He taught people to use non-violent protest. No violence.

Even when they turned hoses and dogs on the protest marchers, they didn’t use violence.

Can I read now?

NO!

He helped blacks to be treated more fairly, and he wanted people to stop judging other people by the color of their skin.

That still doesn’t explain the reading (points to reading)

Yes, why would Martin Luther King write a letter to the American Christians?

Mrs. Gocke, can you help us?

Martin Luther King was a Baptist Minister.

They didn’t teach us that!

He was a Baptist Minister. That’s why he taught love and non-violence.

(Turn to A) Okay, read the scripture.

Everyone takes turns reading the scripture, as marked.

A. A reading from Paul’s Letter to American Christians I would like to share with you an imaginary letter from the pen of the Apostle Paul. The postmark reveals that it comes from the city of Ephesus. After opening the letter I discovered that it was written in Greek rather than English. At the top of the first page was this request: “Please read to your congregation as soon as possible, and then pass on to the other churches.”

B. It is miraculous, indeed, that the Apostle Paul should be writing. The important thing, however, is that I can imagine the Apostle Paul writing a letter to American Christians in 1956 A.D. And here is the letter as it stands before me.

C. I have heard of the fascinating and astounding advances that you have made in the scientific realm. I have heard of your dashing subways and flashing airplanes. I have heard of your great medical advances, which have resulted in the curing of many dread plagues and diseases, and thereby prolonged your lives and made for greater security and physical well-being. All of that is marvelous.

D. But America, I wonder whether your moral and spiritual progress has been equal to your scientific progress. It seems to me that your moral progress lags behind your scientific progress. Your poet Thoreau used to talk about “improved means to an unimproved end.” How often this is true. You have allowed the material means by which you live to outdistance the spiritual ends for which you live.

E. You live as Christians in the midst of an unChristian world. That is what I had to do.

F. You have become the richest nation in the world, and you have built up the greatest system of production that history has ever known. There is the danger that you will misuse this. Money can be the root of all evil. Do not judge success salary but by the quality of your service to humanity.

G. They tell me that in America you have more than two hundred and fifty six denominations. The tragedy is that most of them are warring against each other with a claim to absolute truth. This is destroying the unity of the Body of Christ. You must come to see that God is neither a Baptist nor a Methodist; He is neither a Presbyterian nor an Episcopalian. God is bigger than all of our denominations. If you are to be true witnesses for Christ, you must come to see that America.

A. Here ends the reading