Summary: The Parable of the Two Sons retold in a modern way for children. This is set up as a play, but can easily be told as a story or sermon illustration. The modern context helps create a gateway for children to see themselves in the story.
The Parable of the Mom and Two Children
Narrator: There once was a Mom who had two children (The mom walks out and waves to people).
Narrator: Her oldest daughter, Emily, loves sports (The reader pauses and lets Emily walk out. They wait five seconds. She walks out and waves to the audience. Emily acts out what is read). She always watches the Minnesota teams on TV, and she always plays games at recess. She likes to hang out with her friends, and enjoys being outside.
Narrator: Her youngest child, Thomas, likes different things. (The reader pauses to let Thomas walk out. He waves to the audience and will act out what is read.) He enjoys reading, drawing comic books, and playing video games. He loves his Nintendo DS. He likes to be indoors.
Narrator: On one cold, chilly, and freezing Minnesota day, it snowed. It snowed a lot. There was snow as far as the eye could see. Thomas and Emily’s Mom looked outside and saw that the snow had temporarily stopped. She didn’t have time to shovel, but wanted the driveway to be done so that their father could come home to a clear and snow free driveway.
Mom: “Emily, could you do me a favor? Your Father is coming home soon and I would like for him to be able to pull into the driveway without any snow. He likes coming home to a shoveled driveway, but I cannot do it since I am cooking and getting things ready for tomorrow. You love the outdoors. Can you do this for me? It would really help me out.”
Emily: “No way, Jose! I am not going out there! I do not want to shovel. I do not want to get cold. I do not want to put on my boots, mittens, and hat. I don’t want to! NO! No, no, no, no! You can’t make me! (Emily stomps her feet, throws up her arms, shakes her head, and walks off the stage. She then puts on a hat, gloves, jacket, etc. off stage.)
Narrator: Emily’s Mom was upset with what happened. She did not like what she saw, or Emily’s behavior. She then went to Thomas, her other child.
Mom: “Thomas, can you go outside and shovel for me? I want this done for your Dad, and Emily is not going to do it. I know it is cold, and that it will be a lot of work, but I would like this done. Your Dad would greatly appreciate it.”
Thomas: “Sure thing Mom! You can count on me! I will go get my stuff on and get to it!” (He runs off stage).
Narrator: As their Mom was doing the dishes, she heard the front door open and close. She smiled to herself and thought: “I’m so glad that Thomas is doing this.” She set a dish down and went to look out the window to see….Emily shoveling the driveway! (Emily comes back on stage and begins to shovel. Mom does what the Narrator says during this segment.) Their Mom then went to the Living Room to see that Thomas was sitting with his feet up on the footstool, watching the movie Monsters’ Inc. (Thomas is sitting in a chair off to the side).
Everyone then leaves the stage. Once they are all offstage, the Narrator reads again.
Narrator: Which kid did what their Mom wanted? Was it Thomas? If you think he did, raise your hand. Was it Emily? If you think she did, raise your hand. It was Emily, wasn’t it?
Narrator: Jesus tells us a similar story in which a Dad asks two sons to go and work in vineyard, a place where grapes are grown. The first son refused, just like Emily, but later changed his mind and went. The other son said he would do it, just like Thomas, but later changed his mind and didn’t do it. Jesus used this story to teach this point.
Narrator: Jesus forgives all our sin. He forgives every last one. Sometimes, we can be like the first son, and Emily, and not listen to God. We might do things that we are too embarrassed to talk about. We might do things that we are sad that we did, and we might be disappointed that we did. We don’t always do what pleases God. However, when we are sorry for the wrong that we have done, we know that Jesus forgives us, and always will. His death on the cross for us forgives us of every wrong that we have done. His resurrection proves to us that we are forgiven. Even though we can be like the people in both stories, we know that our God forgives!