Excuses not to give
Are you looking for an idea to help your group focus on giving? Maybe you already collect for a specific piece of mission and aid work from your church and want to refocus attention on the need to give responsibly as part of our Christian discipleship? The following idea for a sketch tackles this in an amusing way, highlighting how it is always easy to find reasons not to give our money to a good cause! This sketch was first used at an event in Wimbourne.
You will need some readers to take on the role of the narrator for each scene of Mabelina's life; some people to play Mabelina at different ages but always with a consistent item of clothing to make it clear that it is the same person each time, for example, a scarf; a charity collector with a tin; and finally, Mabelina's granddaughter. (N.B. all these acting parts are non-speaking.)
This would be an ideal sketch in which to involve any young teenage helpers you have and could be part of an all-age service.
Some useful Bible passages to look at afterwards might be:
Matthew 6:1-4; Acts 2:43-47; 2 Corinthians 8:1-15.
Here's Mabelina. She is a good person; a kind and generous person.
- When Mabelina was five, her parents gave her 20p a week pocket money. Mabelina decided to be generous and kind with her money, but how can you be generous and kind with 20p? So she thought: I'll wait until I'm a bit richer, then I can really make a difference, and she bought herself some sweets.
- When she was seven, her kind parents gave her 50p a week pocket money. But by now she knew what there was to buy in the shop up the road. And what good is 50p to the big problems in the world like poverty and illness and tidal waves? So she bought herself some comics.
- When she was ten, she was given £1 a week... but all her friends got loads more than she did and they never gave anything away. And there were even worse famines this year, so £1 wouldn't help at all. So she bought herself some nail varnish and lipgloss.
- When she was 14, she got a paper round and earned £15 a week. She would have given some money away, but it was such hard work to earn it, and there are so many things you really need when you're 14: clothes, CDs, clothes, chocolate, clothes, sports kit, clothes, make-up, clothes, so she decided to wait until she had a proper job.
- When she was 18, she went to college and everyone knows students don't have any money, so she just went to the bar and bought herself a drink. Or two or three or four…
- When she was 22, Mabelina got her first job. She still really wanted to be kind and generous with her money, but she had to pay her rent on the flat and go out with her mates and buy all her own food. Perhaps in a year or two, if she saved up, she would have enough to give away.
- When she was 25, she got married and that was SOOOOO expensive, she had saved for years. How could you possibly give anything away when you had such an important day to pay for?
- When she was 30, she had a baby. And she bought nappies and cream and cots and prams and childminders and cuddly toys and there was simply no money left over for giving to anyone.
- When she was 40, she had to keep up with the neighbours and drive the right car, wear the right clothes, live in the right sort of house... and all that was very expensive.
- When she was 65, she retired and got a pension, so she really had to cut back on everything.
- When she was 80, she went into a home and homes are so expensive.
And her granddaughter said to her, 'Granny, what shall I do with my 20p pocket money?' And Mabelina replied...