My Only Comfort
This versatile drama presentation, based on the Heidelberg Catechism’s first question and answer, can be included in a worship service in a variety of settings and stages. The reading can be adapted to include five to twenty or more student readers. For Part 3, you’ll need three different colors of T-shirts for three small groups of two to three students—each of the small groups puts on a matching color T-shirt to identify them as a group. (Inexpensive colored T-shirts are available at most large craft stores.)
Part 1: Where’s Your Comfort?
Reader 1: Comfort comes in many forms. What brings you comfort in your life?
Reader 2: I find comfort with my family.
Reader 3: My comfort comes from my friends.
Reader 4: I find comfort in video games.
Reader 5: If I need some comfort, I find a good piece of chocolate!
Reader 6: I find comfort in playing music.
Reader 7: I find comfort in books.
Reader 8: I find comfort in my computer, chatting with my friends.
Reader 1: Do these things really bring us lasting comfort?
Reader 1: When things happen to us in life, let’s face it—a video game is not going to bring us through.
All: We need to find a great comfort, a strong comforter.
Reader 2: What is my only comfort in life and in death?
Readers 1-4: That I am not my own,
Readers 1-6: But belong . . .
All: . . . body and soul, in life and in death, to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ.
Reader 1: Let’s take a look at that comfort.
Part 2: I Am Not My Own
Reader 2: I am not my own. Sounds nice, doesn’t it? This statement is like a coin; it has two sides. One side says that God is always with me; God has me in his hands. I don’t have to worry about tomorrow. What a wonderful relief! But the flip side is more difficult. “I am not my own” also means that I have to surrender to God. That’s hard, because our world hits us every day with messages like. . .
[While reading the following lines, Readers 3, 4, and 5 surround Reader 2.]
Reader 3: Just think about yourself.
Reader 4: Go ahead and do it—you won’t get caught.
Reader 5: Do what you want, you are SO important.
Reader 2: See what I mean? It’s all about me, me, me! And that is hard to resist. We’d rather do our own thing, and we do a pretty good job of blending in, of being a chameleon.
[Reader 2 walks over to two different groups and blends in with each of them in actions and words. Group 1 is a group of girls who use the word “like” a lot.]
Girl 1: I was going to the game, when, like, he just appeared in the hallway.
Girl 2: And like, he just stood there?
Girl 1: Like, yeah. Like, he just looked at me.
Reader 2: Like, what happened next?
[Reader 2 walks over to Group 2, the whiners.]
Whiner 1: It is SO hot in here. Just sitting in the pew you break out in a sweat. Haven’t they ever heard of air conditioning?
Whiner 2: And the seats. They’re SO uncomfortable. How does anyone expect us to sit here and not leave without a chiropractor appointment?
Reader 2: And when you leave, you have to wait forever to get out the parking lot. Who designed this church, anyhow?
Reader 2: See what I mean? It’s so easy to do our own thing—much easier then surrendering ourselves each day to God. It’s really a tug of war.
[These two groups mime a tug of war with Reader 2, pulling her/him as directed below.]
Reader 2: The world pulls on us. It says, “Do your own thing, it’s your body.”
[Group 1 pulls at Reader 2.]
But God pulls us back.
[Group 2 pulls Reader 2 back.]
God says, “You belong to me.”
The world says, “Come on—just do it.”
[Group 1 pulls at Reader 2.]
But God says, “You are mine, your actions and decisions tell others about who you are.”
[Group 2 pulls Reader back.]
[Reader 2 stands in the middle without being pulled and reads 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.]
“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.”
[Group 1 pulls at Reader.]
[Group 2 pulls at Reader.]
Which side pulls you?
Can we truly say that we are not our own?
Part 3: I Belong
[For this section, six to ten students, divided into three smaller groups, stand in a line behind the Reader with their backs turned. Each student holds a T-shirt—a different color for each of the three smaller groups—which they put on as indicated below.]
Reader: I belong. What does that mean?
[All students turn around and put their T-shirts on over their clothes.]
Reader: What’s with the T-shirts?
Group: Because we belong.
[Small Group 1 with matching T-shirts steps forward and strikes a pose.]
Small Group 1: We belong to a school.
[Small Group 2 with matching T-shirts steps forward and strikes a pose.]
Small Group 2: We were on vacation together.
[Small Group 3 steps forward and strikes a pose.]
Small Group 3: We belong to a team.
Reader: I get it. The T-shirts show that we belong—that we’re a part of something. But belonging to God is even greater. Because of Christ, we belong to him. Forever. Whenever. T-shirt or no T-shirt. Each day we clothe ourselves with Christ. For we are his.
“We do not live to ourselves alone and we do not die to ourselves alone. If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.” (Rom. 14:7-9)
[The three small groups break their pose and form a V (like geese!) with the point of the V closest to the congregation. Back row begin reading, as described below. As each line reads, they put their hand on the back of the person in front of them, to show connection.]
Back row: We belong
Next row: to Christ.
Next row: To the body of believers.
Next row: We are connected.
All: We belong.
Part 4: Body and Soul, in Life and in Death
[Ahead of time, ask three members of your group to address what it means to belong to Jesus. Each of the three speakers should begin with the line, “I belong—body and soul, in life and in death—to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ.”
The first speaker should represent students whose lives have been smooth, without a lot of hardships.
The second speaker should represent those who have had some trials to overcome—for example, parents who went through a divorce, or moving to a new community.
The third speaker should represent students who have had some major obstacle in life—a death in the family or some other hardship.]
Part 5: Our Response
Readers 1, 2, 3: I am not my own
Readers 4, 5, 6: but belong
All: body and soul—in life and in death—to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ.
Reader 1: What is your only comfort in life and in death? Please answer with us.
Congregation: That I am not my own, but belong—body and soul, in life and in death—to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ.
Readers 1, 2, 3: We said it . . .
All: now let’s live it.