The Potter's Plan

  • Cast Number: 20
  • Run-time: 90 minutes
  • Bible Reference: John 8:52-59
The story of Abraham and Sarah, and their sometimes desperate longing for the son whom God had promised. The storyline covers the involvement of Hagar and Ishmael, Lot and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, and of course Abraham being prepared to follow God’s instruction, even if it meant the killing of his beloved son.
The story carries through to Jesus, and how he was the natural focus of the dream of a Messiah, and the story bridges through to present day.The story is narrated by Elizabeth, the potter, and from this comes the central theme as God moulds in his ways and purposes.
The songs, “”Be Unto Your Name”, “Change My Heart O God”, “Jehovah Jireh” and also a traditional Jewish song/dance are used, to be sung, danced, or mimed.
Broken down into 5 scenes with segments within each scene

Bible Reference: Genesis 12-22, John 8:52-59, Hebrews 11

Scripture Source:
Some scripture is used from The Message (MSG), Eugene H. Peterson

Cast: 19+
11 male speaking parts
6 female speaking parts
2 male offstage voices
as many dancers, singers and crowd people as are available

Set: main stage area and small acting stage to one sidestages may be separated by lighting or a scrim set could be used

Props: very minimal
doll to represent baby Isaac, (a real child could be used).
potters wheel is a focus item, requires potters clay and several completed pieces of pottery
tables and chairs, plus glasses and plates, for Sodom scene
wood for altar
knife for altar scene, ensure it is convincing but safe

Costumes: traditional, except for contemporary clothing for Elizabeth and Luke in Scene V
a grey wig for Elizabeth

Storyline Premise:
Elizabeth the potter guides us through the origins of the story of Abraham. Elizabeth begins as a young woman, then with each new scene she is aged a little more, until in the final scene she is seen as very old, bent over, with a cane
Isaac, the picture of Jesus, Abraham as a central figure and the focus of the dreams of the Messiah
NOTE: the scenes do not always follow in exact chronological order, nor is this important, rather we want that the scenes tell a story
For the songs, "Be Unto Your Name", "Jehovah Jireh" and "Change My Heart O God", these will be sung (could be a soloist, a small group or even have the audience sing along), and the songs could be mimed as a Human Video (dance). There will also be a short Jewish song/dance as part of the celebration.

Scene I: The desperation of wanting a son
Scene II: Sarai and Hagar in conflict, Lot at Sodom and Gomorrah
Scene III: Sarai becomes pregnant and a son is born
Scene IV: Abraham takes Isaac to the mountain
Scene V: Luke and Elizabeth bridge from the time of Abraham to the time of Jesus, and from there to modern day.
They come on stage in Bible character dress, and at mid-point remove costumes, (and Elizabeth removes grey wig), revealing modern day clothes and attitude, thus bridging to modern day application
Together Luke and Elizabeth explain the significance of all that has happened, how Jesus was the end result of all that was prophesied and planned through the time of Abraham and even before.

Scene I

Sarai and Abram tell of their desperation to have a child, this need growing stronger although Sarai has now passed normal child-bearing years, the marvellous gift as she is assured that God will provide her a son

lights up on side stage where Elizabeth sits at a potters wheel

Elizabeth, looks up, smiles:
Well hello!
I do see that I have guests in my humble workshop.
I am Elizabeth, the potter.
Forgive these old rags I wear.
I get very dirty, working in clay all day, not much sense wearing finery among the soil of a potter’s studio.
(pauses, chuckles)
Well, truth be told, I do not have finery to wear, even it were possible.
(points out into audience)
But you, look at you!
I can see that your clothing never found lodging in charity bags!
Dressed as you are, a prosperous look to you, there’s no doubt who you are here to call on.
Only Abram hereabouts has visitors such as you.
(looks toward main stage area)
Ah, there he is now, Abram, walking about.
A majestic man, isn’t he, the best this area has to offer, for sure!
Small wonder his wife, Sarai, is held in such high regard in these parts!
Well, go on, you’ll find Abram a great one to chat with.
Enjoy your time here . . . . and if you have the time, drop back here before you leave town . . as you can see, I have first class pottery, at best prices. You just ask Abram and Sarai, they will vouch for my work.
Right then, back to work I go . . and you, . . . you have a good day!
Oh, one last thing, a caution. Best don’t bring the conversation around to talk of children.
Not a good subject if you are looking to impress Abram and Sarai!

Lights down on side stage, up on main stage
Abram walks on stage, looks around, smiles, rubs hands together, very satisfied, suddenly off-stage voice of God

VOG: Abram!

Abram, frightened, falls to the floor

VOG: Abram, stand!

Abram continues to lay face down

Abram: Forgive me Lord, no man can stand before the Lord God Jehovah!

VOG: Do as I tell you Abram! I will talk with you.

Abram raises up slightly, still facing downward

Abram: Your servant is listening Lord.

VOG: Listen not just to my voice, listen to my words Abram. I said I will talk with you. So stand that I may speak with you, and you with I.Stand now Abram!

slowly Abram stands, still looking downward

VOG: I have plans for you Abram. From you shall come a mighty nation, a blessed people, . . . . my people, Abram!

Abram: Forgive me for doubting, for questioning you, my God, but I am old, and my wife Sarai is barren.

VOG: Why would you doubt, what reason do you have to question? Have I not provided your every need? Do your herds not cover the lush pastures as far as the eye can see? Are you not held in esteem in the temple?

Abram: Lord God, thank you for your bounteous gifts you have provided. There is only the matter of a son . . .

VOG: And I have told you that I will provide. But now I want you to take your flocks and your herds, take Sarai and your nephew Lot, I want you to go to a land I will show you.

Abram: But I am old, and . . .

VOG: I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you.

Abram: But . . .

VOG: Abram, all people on earth will be blessed through you.Now, take up all you have, and go!

Abram: I am your servant, I will do as you instruct!

Lot comes on stage, watches as Abram leaves stage

Lot: Abram, a good man.
Abram, my uncle, . . . . more like a father to me, in fact.
A man of stature in our community, respected, and rightly so.
Hurts, kind of, to watch him getting old, understand what I mean?
Sometimes his years show through in what he does, says.
Like last week, Abram calls to me, says, “Lot . . .”
“We are going to move. We are going to take all that is ours and go to a land that the Lord God Jehovah has prepared for us.”
“Move?” I thought?
Why would we leave all we have here, and go half way across the land, to some place we have never seen, where we know no one, no one knows us?
Makes no sense.
But no amount of convincing would change Abram’s mind.
Of course I will go with Abram, I mean, he needs someone to care for him. And besides, Abram is old.
And powerful.
And rich.
And what is Abram’s is, really, mine as well.
I mean, if they are determined to go, am I not bound to go with Abram and Sarai?

Sarai comes on stage, Lot speaks to her as he leaves the stage

Lot: Blessings, dear Sarai!
I trust you are well.
And that my Uncle Abram enjoys his days.

Lot bows slightly, walks offstage

Sarah: Sometimes our nephew’s attitude concerns me.
Lot is, . . . oh well, one can not choose one’s blood relations, can one?And family is . . . family.
(looks into congregation)
Oh hello, I don’t recognize you. Are you new here? Well, you have likely heard about me, the gossip of the women of this village being what it is. And if you haven’t heard the whispers already, you are sure to find out about me sooner or later, so I’d rather tell you now so you get the facts straight.
My name is Sarai, and my husband is Abram. (proud) I’m sure you must have heard of my Abram - he is a very powerful man, an elder of some reputation.
And I am doubly blessed, Abram being not only my husband, but my half-brother as well!
God has truly blessed us with much. Everything we could want. . . .
Well, everything, that is, except a son.
Oh, how I have wanted a son for my Abram!
For years and years I have prayed and prayed for a child, and prayed that God would grant us my prayer. Fact is, God promised me He would bless us with a son, but that it would be in His time.
His time – that’s the part I have trouble with.
I was grateful to God for listening to my heart and understanding the deep need I had to have a son.
But I couldn’t fathom waiting any longer.
No more waiting!

lights down on main stage, up on side stage, Elizabeth, young, lively, is working at the wheel, wipes back a strand of hair

Elizabeth: Yes, yes, this will do very well!
A fine pot for my friend’s kitchen!

Sarai! A dear friend, she needs a gift to cheer her.
Sarai and her husband have travelled far.
Leaving family and all you know is never easy, worse at Sarai’s age.
Now, more than ever, Sarai knows what it is to be alone.
Poor Sarai!
She so wants a child, wants to present a son to her Abram.
(pauses, thinks)
Why is it?
Whereas some women seem to be doubly, triply blessed . . .
(looks up, smiles)
Take my sister Rebecca, fourteen children . . . now that I call over-blessed!
(chuckles, pauses, frowns, looks down, annoyed, makes the clay into a lump)
There I go, not paying attention to my work, I will need to form this all over again, it must be perfect for Sarai!
A gift for my friend Sarai, (looks upward in prayer), and, Lord God, if you will, another much greater gift, Lord, a child for my old friend?

lights down 50% on side stage, up on main stage

Human Video / Dance: Change My Heart

Elizabeth works at the potters wheel, singers, dancers perform on main stage

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