Loving Your Enemy

By Michael English

Summary:             Loving your enemy is perhaps the hardest thing Jesus calls us to do.  Bob has real trouble loving his annoying neighbour Bill, but for others it’s incomparably difficult.

Bible Reference:    Matthew 5: 43-48

Characters:           Narrator, Bob and Bill.

Props:                        Sheers, Lawnmower

Setting:                 Bill’s garden.

The narrator stands behind the lectern on the stage.  Bob is bending down at the front of the stage.  He is using shears to cut imaginary grass.

Bob:            Phew.  This is hard work using sheers to mow the grass.(Pause)  Have you seen my neighbour Bill anywhere.  No?  Good.  You will let me know if he comes won’t you?  The trouble is he really hates me.  It could get a bit nasty if he, you know, turns up and I’m not ready.

Bob continues to cut the grass.  Bill taunts the audience by showing glimpses of himself.  Eventually Bill enters and surprises Bob.

Bill:           Well if it isn’t Bob.

Bob:            (Dropping sheers) Oh.  Hello Bill.

Bill:           I see that you’re cutting your grass.  It’s about time.  Your garden is a disgrace.  It lowers the whole tone of the neighbourhood. You’re a complete waste of space.

Bob:            (To audience) That’s the trouble with Bill.  He’s not really a friend, more of an enemy. How do you get on with somebody like that?  Now what would Jesus do?

Narrator:       Jesus said, “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who ill-treat you.”

Bob:            Oh.  I know…

Bob collects a tin of cakes.

Bob:            Would you like a cake?  I made these this morning.

Bill:           Great, thanks.

Bill begins eating the cake.

Bill:           Hmm.  Not bad.

Bill finishes the cake and licks his fingers.

Bill:           But not quite good enough.  I’m afraid I’m going to have to punch you in the face.

Bill hits bob, who falls over.

Narrator:       Jesus said, “If anyone hits you on one cheek, let him hit you on the other as well.”

Bob gets to his feet

Bob:            Do I have to?

Narrator:       It’s what Jesus says.

Bob:            All right.  You can hit me on the other side if you want.

Bill:           Yuck.  Why would I want to do that?  Hitting people who want to be hit is no fun.  I wish I hadn’t punched you in the face now.(Pause) Hey!  That’s a nice coat.  Come, on give it to me.

Bill tries to take Bob’s coat.

Bob:            Get off.

Narrator:       Jesus said, “If anyone asks you for something, give it to him.  If someone takes what is yours, do not ask for it back.”

Bob:            So I should give Bill my coat?

Narrator:       Jesus said, “If someone takes your coat let him have your shirt as well.”

Bob:            Okay Bill.  Here’s my coat and here’s my shirt.

Bill:           What do I want with this shirt?  It’s a bit whiffy.  You’ld better have it back and take the coat; it probably smells as well.

Bob:            Thanks.

Bill:           Well, nice talking to you.  I’m off to tidy my garage.  Enjoy mowing your massive lawn with those teeny shears.

Bill departs.  Bob puts his shirt back on.

Bob:            Phew.  (To the narrator) Is there anything else Jesus says about loving your enemy?  I think I ought to be prepared.

Narrator:       Jesus said, “If you lend only to those from whom you expect to get it back, why should you receive a blessing?  No!  Love your enemies and do good to them; lend and expect nothing back.”

BOB:            Lend and expect nothing back, eh?  I’ve done that one already.

Bill reappears pushing a lawn mower

Bill:           Is this yours?

Bob:            It is.  Didn’t I lend it to you two years ago because yours was broken?

Bill:           Well you can have it back.  I’m not having it cluttering up my garage any longer.

Bob:            At least I can mow my lawn properly again.

Bob discards the shears and begins to use the lawn mower.  Bill and Bob freeze.

Narrator:       We may find loving our enemy hard.  But we don’t know the half of it.  What of those for whom loving the enemy is not a matter of annoying neighbours and misplaced garden tools, but for whom it is a daily real and bloody sacrifice?  Let us pray for them.(Pause) For those from the Dafur Region of Sudan who have fled their homes in fear of Arab militia (PAUSE).  For those in Pakistan and elsewhere who are in prison for their faith(PAUSE).  For those in Palestine who have had their land cut in two by the Israeli border wall.(PAUSE) And for many others throughout the world who live with injustice and persecution on a daily basis.  (PAUSE) Lord Jesus give us all the courage we need to put your teaching into practise. Amen.

This script is Copyright 2004 Michael English, All Saints Milton. Permission is given to use this drama in non-profit making church events provided the source is acknowledged. Some editing may be required to suit local conditions. Please let us know if you have any comments.

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