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The Heart of Servanthood

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"THE HEART OF SERVANTHOOD"

A Martha Monologue

By Roberta Simmons-Smith

(Characters addressed or ‘talked to' in this monologue can be silent roles or can be implied by Martha through eye placement)

(Enter from offstage, running in frantically interacting with audience on the way)

Jesus is coming, Jesus is coming, Jesus is coming! JESUS IS COMING!! (Talking to herself) O.k Martha, calm down, no big deal...I just have to prepare like I normally do when I have people over. But just think about it, the long awaited Messiah is coming here...to My house...to eat MY food...at My house...oh dear, I don't have very much time to prepare. Wait! I should be fine, I have lots of people to help me. I have my servants and of course there's always my sister Mary. All right, be calm Martha...everything is under control here...I am going to have to make a list. No impromptu casserole or Kraft macaroni is going to work in this case - oh my, come on Martha you hold the title as Israel's "Queen of the Kitchen"-get a grip. Fine, I'll need some lentils, lamb, grain...and that should do it. (Calling out to servants - which can enter of be mimed by Martha) SERVANTS QUICKLY!! We have no time to waste we have to prepare a banquet fit for a Messiah. Now, Andy I need you to look after the lamb for me, there should be one out back. Eli you need to pick me up some of those luscious pomegranates that we saw at the market yesterday, and leave Sarai alone this time, she's too old for you. YOU ARE DISMISSED!! OH, and soak the lentils, pound the grain, and knead the dough! (Big sigh of relief) Well, that's a good start. My oh my, so many things to do and so little time. Let's see what should I cook? There must be something in one of these cookbooks (looking on shelf through cookbooks). I could really use a ‘Company's Coming' specializing in "How to Cook for the Messiah" right about now though. Oh here's a good one. (Abruptly calling out) HANNAH!! Can you get started on the "Lamb ‘a ‘la King" for me?! Quickly time is running out.

 

Now, I guess this table will be fine (moving to a table) but this table setting has got to go. I need a more royal tone to welcome the Messiah. Maybe the purple napkins with the matching décor. I haven't used them in a long time - they should be over here in the...(looking through pantry, bottom sticking up facing the audience) Oh there they are, wonderful! (Sets table) All set that should be all right.

 

What's left (looking around the room) dessert! I almost forgot! Hmm, a little goat cheese with a tray of fresh fruit. HANNAH!! (Rhyming off the list quickly) A little goat cheese with a tray of fresh fruit - dessert - STAT!! Oh no...will Jesus and his followers be staying overnight? I didn't even think about that. Someone has to change the sheets, and fold the towels. There's no way I can handle this on my own. I'll have to get Mary on that, everything needs to be ready for when Jesus gets here...ah, THE DOOR!! (Looking towards one direction) They're at the door! (Moving around the room frantically-peeks through the crack in the door) Jesus is here...o.k, Sam has got the door. SERVANTS COME QUICKLY....QUICKER!! (What was chaos in her voice quickly changes to a very reserved and controlled tone) Well, the time has arrived. Jesus has entered the house. Now don't panic, just be calm, we WILL get everything prepared in time. I need you to now be ready to serve and entertain the most famous teacher of our day. The man, most likely, to become the next king of Israel - no pressure. (Begins to pace looking down at her list.) Now, Mary, I need you to hurry and change the bed sheets and fold the towels in case Jesus and his followers decide to stay the night. (Doesn't hear Mary respond, looks up to see where she is) Mary?! Did you hear me? Mary? We don't have any time for this...MARY?! (Speaks again to the servants) O.k, run along people, there is a lot of things to do. Mary, where are you? (Catching a servant as they pass) You haven't seen Mary have you? I need her, how am I supposed to get all this to run smooth without her help?! She needs to look after the sheets so that I can fashion an ark from the cheese, and carve the fruit into little animals marching two by two. (She is now in complete chaos) Oh no! How could she run off at a time like this? Jesus is here in my house, just in the other (peeks through the door connecting to the room where Jesus is - she spots Mary at Jesus feet) room...AH! This is a disgrace!! There she is...Mary is sitting at Jesus feet...I can't look. This is too much, haven't I taught her anything? Her place is here in the kitchen, and there is so much left to do - and yet she sits there in a room full of men. Oh dear, this is just NOT DONE!! (Tries to get Mary's attention, first with looks, whispering, and then trying to flag her down) Mary....Mary...MARY...what is wrong with her, she's fixated on Jesus. What am I supposed to do now? I can't let her stay there like that. Jesus must be so uncomfortable. I have to get her out of there. I guess I'll have to go in and get her out of there myself (starts towards the door and then swings around realizing what she is doing) WAIT, what am I doing, I can't do that it's not my place...but look at her! I know Jesus will understand, after all her place is with me, to help me prepare the meal.

 

(She gathers courage and enters the room)

Excuse me, sorry, excuse me....um, gentlemen, I am extremely sorry about all ‘this'. (With an angry tone) Mary get in here....now! I need you...now. I'm sorry Jesus, what was that you said? (Listens) Mary has chosen the better part? (Doesn't quite understand) Better part? Jesus, you're telling me there's more? I have to do more? Jesus, she has left me to do all the work by myself, shouldn't you tell her to help me? (Listens) So you are not requiring more from us, you actually require less. Mary chose the better part...... (falling to her knees in realization) Jesus I am sorry, I have been so busy trying to make things perfect with tradition and details when all you seek is ourselves with a pure heart. Lord you are all I seek, forgive me. (Freeze)

THE END

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