celtic preayers

Crossed Lines - based on the parable of the sower

Key text Mark 4:3-9, Mark13-20 with apologies for the violent ending!

The scene is a train carriage. Four passengers sit on chairs, one behind the other. The train guard comes to each in turn.
Passenger 1
has headphones on, with the volume obviously turned on full - he alternates between playing imaginary guitar solos and the drums.
Passenger 2 stares serenely ahead, lost in thought.
Passenger 3 has head buried in a newspaper,
and Passenger 4 is watching what's going on.


Guard (TO Passenger 1) Excuse me, Sir... Excuse me, Sir... (SHOUTS) EXCUSE ME, SIR!

Passenger 1- (SHOUTS) What? (IMAGINARY SCREAMING GUITAR SOLO)

Guard - There's a problem on the line, Sir!

Passenger 1 - (SHOUTS) WHAT?

Guard - A problem, Sir... on the line ahead!

Passenger 1 - (IMAGINARY DRUM SOLO) Great... make mine a cup of tea!

Guard - (SLOWLY BUT LOUD) We're not stopping at the next station, Sir!... You'll have to...

Passenger 1 - White... no sugar! (POINTS TO HEADPHONES) This is truly wonderful stuff, mate. The Lucifer Brothers... fine guitarists, both of them... Oh, and I'll have a cheese sandwich, ta!

Guard - (SIGHS, THEN MOVES TO Passenger 2) Give me strength!

(TO Passenger 2) Excuse me, Sir!

Passenger 2 - (LOOKS UP, SURPRISED) Pardon?

Guard - There's a problem on the line, Sir!

Passenger 2 - (DREAMILY) Oh... really?

Guard - Yes, Sir!

Passenger 2 - Ok, whatever!

Guard - (LAUGHS) So no trying to get off the train there, eh?

Passenger 2 - (SHRUGS) Like I said...whatever!

Guard - (PASSING ON TO Passenger 3) Thank you, Sir!

(TO Passenger 3) Excuse me, Sir!

Passenger 3 - (LOOKS UP FROM NEWSPAPER) What?

Guard - There's trouble on the line, Sir!

Passenger 3 - Trouble?

Guard - Yes Sir, trouble on the line!

Passenger 3 - You've interrupted my reading just to tell me that there's 'trouble' on the line?

Guard - Er... yes, Sir!

Passenger 3 - And you think that this 'trouble' of yours is more important than the starving millions of Africa, the continued threat of global terrorism and rumours of yet another series of X Factor?

Guard - Er... well... !

Passenger 3 - Let me tell you, Sir, that everything needs to be put into perspective. There are major disasters in this world of ours which could affect nations. Disease and famine affect whole continents... Aids threatens to kill millions. Now tell me, my good man - does your 'trouble' pale into insignificance in relation to these global issues, or does it still seem of paramount importance?

Guard - Er... I was just sent to tell you, Sir!

Passenger 3 And thank you for telling me, my good man! Now be a good fellow, and go away!

Guard - Right, Sir! (MOVES OFF, PULLING FACE AS HE DOES)

(TO Passenger 4) Excuse me, Sir!

Passenger 4 - (LOOKS UP) Yes?

Guard - (NERVOUSLY) There's... er... trouble on the line, Sir!

Passenger 4 - Trouble?

Guard - Yes... The train won't be stopping at the next station, Sir!

Passenger 4 - Dear me... Good job you came and told us then, or I might have tried to get off there! (LAUGHS)

Guard - Yes, Sir. That would be most unfortunate, wouldn't it? Buses will be arranged from the station following!

Passenger 4 - Great!... Good to know everything's under control, eh?

Guard - (SURPRISED) Oh, right... thank you, Sir! (MOVES OFF)


(THERE'S A PAUSE, AND THEN THE SOUND OF THE ANNOUNCER'S VOICE)

Announcer - A Ladies and Gentlemen, can I have your attention, please... We are just approaching Parable Holt!

Passenger 2 - (GETS OUT OF SEAT) Oh, at last!... my station!
(GOES OVER TO IMAGINARY DOOR, AND JUMPS TO THE FLOOR WITH A SCREAM. LIES STILL)

Passenger 4 - (SHOCKED) Hang on, there!

Passenger 3 - (GETS OUT OF SEAT) These trains seem to take longer each journey I make! (GOES OVER TO IMAGINARY DOOR, AND JUMPS TO THE FLOOR WITH A SCREAM. LIES STILL)

Passenger 4 - Didn't the guard say...

Passenger 1 - (JUMPS UP QUICKLY) Oh wow, my station... almost missed it! (GOES OVER TO IMAGINARY DOOR, AND JUMPS TO THE FLOOR WITH A SCREAM. LIES STILL)

Passenger 4 - (STANDS UP, THEN GOES TO IMAGINARY WINDOW) Oh dear! What a strange thing to do. And the guard was so insistent about not getting off at this station... (SHRUGS, THEN RETURNS TO SEAT)

GUARD RETURNS, TO READ MARK 4 13-20

 

 

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