Puppets Needed: Broom puppets for Ezekiel, Soldier 1, Soldier 2, Soldier 3, and Non-speaking parts: small paper bag Soldier Puppets for the remainder of the children in your program, the Voice of God is offstage. *Broom puppets are fun to make! (See instructions below.)
(Show a chicken bone or any dry bone) What is this? (a bone)
You know, children sometimes dress like skeletons on Halloween, and sometimes a skeleton or skull is displayed on poison as a warning. The Bible has an interesting story about bones in Ezekiel 37:1-14. Israel had been defeated and seemed doomed. The prophet Ezekiel had a unique experience in the desert. He was all alone in a dry, desolate place when he noticed some bones in the sand. Then God spoke to Ezekiel. Here is the story.
Ezekiel: Yo! Whazzup? The name's Ezekiel, but my friends call me Zeke. I'm a prophet. That means I deliver God's messages to people. Sometimes that can be a lot of fun. But sometimes that can be scary, too. I think the scariest time of all, was when I went to the Valley of the Skulls.
(Sound of rushing wind)
Ezekiel: Check this out! I'm being carried away in the spirit. (Singing) Where I'm goin' I don't know. Where He leads is where I go. (Speaking again.) All right. Here we are . . . right here . . . in the middle of nowhere! Uh, Lord? Did we break down or something? Whoa, what was that? What'd I step on? It's a bone. Oh, yuck! Another one! Oh, nasty, there's bones everywhere! I'm not even supposed to touch bones. What is this place?
Voice of God: Ezekiel, can these bones live?
Ezekiel: Maybe in a previous lifetime, but they lookin' pretty dead, now! Still, you would know.
Voice of God: Prophesy to these bones.
Ezekiel: What's that? I think I got some sand in my ear. It sounded just like you said prophesy to these bones.
Voice of God: That's right, prophesy to the bones.
Ezekiel: . . . All right. But has it occurred to you that they can't hear?
Voice of God: Ezekiel.
Ezekiel: I mean, you've sent me to some pretty dead crowds before . . .
Voice of God: Ezekiel.
Ezekiel: Not that the Israelites are that great at listening . . .
Voice of God: (loud) Ezekiel.
Ezekiel: But at least they got EARS, you know what I mean?
Voice of God: (louder) EZEKIEL!
Ezekiel: Yes, Lord?
Voice of God: Prophesy!
Ezekiel: Okay. If you say so. Bones, hear the message from the Lord. REPENT. Get your act together.
Voice of God: Ezekiel, the bones don't need to repent. They aren't doing anything wrong.
Ezekiel: Well . . . sure. . . but, all right. I'm gonna need some help here. What am I supposed to say to a bunch of dry bones?
Voice of God: Tell them that I will breathe life into them, and they will live.
Ezekiel: That'll work. That's cool. Hey, bones! God says he gonna breathe life into you, and you gonna live! Hold on now. Wait a minute. Now this is freaky. These bones are moving! Hey, that ankle bone just connected to that . . . shin bone. And the shin bone connected to the (starts singing) knee bone. The knee bone connected to the thigh bone. (talking) Won't you look at that, we got us a real skeleton crew now! Hey, what's happening? Is that . . . muscle? It is. Look at tha-- Whoa! Look at that muscle!!! Where's my video camera? I could make a fortune with this: "God's gym: Muscle in minutes!" That's all right! And now what? It looks like . . . skin forming on top of the muscle. "Hey, Skull Brother, slap me some skin!" This is great, I'll . . . Is that it? Its over? We had bones. Now we got bodies. Just one problem, they're still dead.
Voice of God: Prophesy to the wind.
Ezekiel: To the wind?
Voice of God: Yes, the wind.
Ezekiel: Sure thing, Boss. Hey Wind, REPENT. Get your act together.
Voice of God: Ezekiel, the wind doesn't need to repent.
Ezekiel: Right . . . You know, this is another one of those situations where I might could use a little help.
Voice of God: Tell the wind to breathe on these dead bodies, that they might live.
Ezekiel: Got it. Yo! Wind! Breathe on these dead bodies. Make 'em live!
Soldier 1: (Coughing) I hate it when I get sand in my mouth.
Soldier 2: Where are we?
Soldier 3: Looks like Nevada.
Soldier 2: What does it matter, I feel like a new man!
Soldier 1: Me, too!
Ezekiel: Well, that was pretty right on. He was a new man. In fact, there was a whole army of new soldiers.
(Children with small paper bag puppet soldiers walk across the front of stage and return to their seats.)
Ezekiel: Then God told me to go back to his people, and tell them about the dry bones. He said to tell them that he was going to bring them back into their own land, fill them with his Spirit, and bring new life into their nation. You see, God loves his people, and is always looking out for them.
1. How do you think Ezekiel felt being surrounded by dry bones? (Afraid. Alone.)
2. How would you feel if God told you to deliver a message to a bunch of bones or to the wind? (Silly. Confused. I'd trust that He knew what He was doing.)
3. How were the bones a picture of God's people? (The dry bones represented the country of Israel. Bringing the bones back to life gave hope for the future of Israel.)
4. How can this story help us to trust more in God? (It shows that God doesn't give up on His people. It reminds us that no matter how bad things get, God can still handle it. This is also a promise for all of us today. When we trust in Jesus as our Savior and Forever Friend, God forgives our sins, breathes his Spirit into our dead-in-sin bodies, and gives us new life! The Bible says, "Therefore if any man (or woman or child) be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new" 2 Corinthians 5:17.)
*Children create their characters by decorating paper bags using markers, glue, yarn for hair, buttons for eyes, felt for mouths and ears, etc., or download and print copyright free images of faces from the internet and glue to bag. Place the straw portion of a small broom inside the paper bag. Print scripts for children and tape their part to the back of their puppet. Children hold the handle of the broom to animate their puppet. For the purposes of this skit, the small paper bags are to be used as hand puppets.
Tips for making the puppets: Use a large grocery bag for Ezekiel. Draw a face that looks like a prophet in a Bible story. He could have long white hair and a beard. Put the brush side of the broom up inside the bag. Have three mid- size bags with soldier faces with helmets. Look at a picture of a soldier wearing the armor of God to get ideas. A smaller puppet can be held on a yardstick or over a hand. Children can draw themselves as soldiers on smaller bags using their imaginations. These will fit over a child's hand.
Copyright 2010 Sylvia Seymour
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