PARADE OF PRAISE
(Sunday School Contest/Kids’ Krusade)
By: Barbara Westberg
Parade of Praise is an exciting, fun-filled contest with an impacting spiritual message.
Four skits are given to keep the theme in front of the members and motivate them to keep marching. The first skit is given the Sunday the contest is introduced.
* Choose captains, divide into teams, and make rules.
* Make copies of the scripts. Each Sunday give a copy of that week’s skit to the ones who are going to present it. Plan a practice session during the week.
* Make an “ark of the convenant” out of a cardboard box. Cover with gold wrapping paper. Add rings to each corner. Insert gold painted rods for carrying. This ark will be needed in Skits I and IV.
Each Sunday the member bringing the most visitors is given a special prize, something relating to music and praise such as a gospel tape or music box. In case of a tie, have a drawing to determine the winner.
The last Sunday have a potluck dinner for everyone. The losing team serves the winning team at the dinner (this includes cleaning up).
A weekend Kids’ Krusade can easily be incorporated into the program, starting on Friday of the third week and ending on the last Sunday. Special crusade activities include:
* A PRAISE poster contest, divided into three or four age groups with first and second prizes in each division.
* A PRAISE PARADE on Saturday afternoon with decorated bikes, skateboards, scooters, etc. The city park is usually a good safe place for such a parade.
* A balloon launch carrying invitations to church.
SKIT I: JOSHUA’S VICTORY MARCH
Captain of Lord’s host Ark of the covenant
Priests (2) Megaphone
Trumpeters Trumpets (toy or real)
COSTUMES: may be simple or elaborate.
ENTER JOSHUA from back, moves around the sanctuary as he talks, surveying the “city.”
JOSHUA: Here we are…. (sweeping hand motion) in Canaan, the Promise Land, Just like God rolled the waters of the Red Sea back for Moses forty years ago: rolled back the Jordan River for us. It was just like old times… as soon as the feet of the priests bearing the ark of the covenant touched the water, (makes rolling motions with hands) the waters rolled back. We walked across on dry ground! And here we are camped at Gilgal in the rich, beautiful Promise Land. The manna has stopped. Already we are eating the
fruit of the land. Now what next? If we are going to take the land, we’ll have to start with what’s in our path. …and that’s Jericho, a city about three miles away from here. Think I’ll walk over and take a closer look.
ENTER CAPTAIN OF THE LORD’S HOST from side, with sword drawn (unseen by Joshua).
JOSHUA: (continues) The spies I sent tell me that it’s pretty well fortified… double walls surround the city, one six foot thick and one twelve foot thick, both about thirty feet high. (wipes brow) That’s taller than a three-story building. It’ll take a miracle to defeat Jericho!
(points) There it is! Whew! I don’t know how we’ll ever get in there. Gates are locked up. Hummmm! There’s something strange about Jericho. (scratches head) What is it? Hummmmmm. . .(snaps fingers) Now I know. It is so deserted, Where are the people? It’s too quiet, (whispers loudly) It’s eerie.
(looks up and sees Captain) Oh! Who… whooooo? Who are you? (backs up a few steps) Are you f-f-for us or a-a-against us?
JOSHUA: Oooohhhh! (falls on knees) Wh-wh-what do y-y-you have to ssssay to me? I mean, do y-y-you have any ooorders for me …Sir?
CAPTAIN: Take off your shoes. You are standing on holy ground.
JOSHUA: Yes, Sir! (stands to feet, takes off shoes, salutes and stands at attention.)
CAPTAIN: Look at Jericho.
JOSHUA: I have been, Sir. Where are the people?
CAPTAIN: Hiding. Inside. Scared to death.
JOSHUA: Scared? Of what?
CAPTAIN: Of you!
JOSHUA: (looks astounded, points at self) Of me?
CAPTAIN: Yes, you! They have heard how the Lord dried up the waters of the Jordan River and you crossed over. Their hearts have melted within them. The fight has been taken out of them. They are literally scared to death.
JOSHUA: Well… well… what do you know about that? The enemy is scared of me!
JOSHUA picks up his shoes. CAPTAIN and JOSHUA start to EXIT.
CAPTAIN: (fades out) Now listen well, Joshua. I am about to give you the plan for victory.
EXIT CAPTAIN AND JOSHUA,
SOUND: BATTLE CALL by trumpet
ENTER JOSHUA wearing shoes, carrying a megaphone.
JOSHUA: (through megaphone) Assemble yourselves together, children of Israel. I have heard from the Lord. We are going to have a victory march. Assemble yourselves together, children of Isr. . . .
EXITS, repeating call; ENTER TWO LADIES from back
LADY A: It beats all I’ve ever seen.
LADY B: Me, too, and I’ve seen some strange things in my day.
LADY A: All we did was march around the city and come home.
LADY B: I know… today and yesterday and the day before. For three days in a row we have marched around Jericho, not saying a word….
LADY A: And that’s not easy!
LADY B: Not saying a word, not doing a thing, just marching.
LADY A: Obeying our marching orders.
LADY B: And I hear the same thing is planned for tomorrow.
LADY A: Ooooohhhh, I’m tempted to stay home: I’ve got a blister on my heel now.
LADY B: I don’t mind the walking. It’s the not talking that gets to me!
LADY A: (laughs) Well, one thing about it, the enemy is just as perplexed by our strange behavior as we are.
SOUND: BATTLE CALL by trumpet
ENTER JOSHUA, carrying megaphone.
JOSHUA: (calls) Assemble yourselves together, children of Israel.
JOSHUA: Today we march around the city seven times!
LADY A: I can’t believe it. Seven times? Good thing my blister has turned into a callous.
LADY B: Oh, when is this nonsense ever going to end?
LADIES sit down in congregation.
JOSHUA: (ignoring ladies) This day God will give us victory over our enemies. Let us assemble for the march.
(Makes the following assignments and lines up the parade)
(Brother Pastor and Superintendent), you are to lead and carry the ark of the covenant.
(Brother Trumpeters), you are to march in front of the ark, playing your horns – (Gives trumpeters name of marching tune to play.)
All the armed men and boys (those who brought their Bibles to church) line up in front of the horns.
Everyone else is to follow. (If the congregation is large, choose three or four rows of people or a specific class to march.)
I will lead. The horns will play as we march, but NO ONE IS TO TALK. After we have marched around the walls (sanctuary) seven times, I will give the command and everyone is to shout as loudly as you can, “Hallelujah” seven times.
The walls of unbelief and fear will come crashing down! God will give us victory over our enemy!
Everyone ready? Soldiers after me: then the trumpeters, followed by the Priests with the ark and then the congregation. Remember… the horns will play, but no one says a word until I give the command. When we shout “Hallelujah” seven times!
JOSHUA leads the “Israelites” around the outer edge of the sanctuary seven times. Then they shout!
SONG: “Satan, Your Kingdom Must Come Down”
SKIT II: MOSES AND MIRIAM
Voice of God Hidden Microphone (on reverb)
Children of Israel (any number) Transparency
Miriam Overhead projector
Screen or wall
INSTRUCTIONS: Copy the song of the Israelites (the last part of the script) on a transparency. Flash on a screen for the congregation to read at the end of the skit. (If an overhead projector is not available, write on a chalkboard or flashcards.)
VOICE OF GOD: (through hidden reverb mike) Moses, speak unto the children of Israel that they turn and camp beside the sea. For Pharaoh will say, “Ah-ha, those Israelites have done it this time! They’ve walked right into a trap.”
I will harden Pharaoh’s heart and he will follow you. I am going to get glory from Pharaoh and his host. The Egyptians will soon know that I am the LORD.
READER: And it was told the king of Egypt that the people fled: and the heart of Pharaoh and of his servants was turned against the people, and they said, “Why have we been so stupid that we have let all this slave labor go free? Up! Let us go after them.”
So Pharaoh took six hundred chosen chariots, all the chariots of Egypt and captains over every one of them, and the Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he pursued after the children of Israel… and overtook them encamping by the sea. And the children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and, behold, the Egyptians marched after them; and they were sore afraid and cried out to Moses….
ENTER MOSES, carrying rod.
CHILDREN OF ISRAEL: Where there no graves in Egypt? Did you have to bring us out here in the wilderness to die? Didn’t we tell you back in Egypt to leave us alone that we would just serve the Egyptians? It would have been better for us to have been slaves in Egypt than to die in the wilderness.
MOSES: Don’t be afraid! Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will show to you today. Look closely at these Egyptians behind you. After today you will never see them again! The LORD God will fight your battle for you. Just be still and hold your peace.
VOICE OF GOD: Moses, speak to the children of Israel. It is time to go forward! Lift up your rod and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it…
MOSES: D-D-Divide it? Did I hear you right, Lord? Did You say for me to divide the sea?
VOICE OF GOD: Moses, listen carefully. Lift up your rod… stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it. The children of Israel will go on dry ground through the midst of the sea. The Egyptians will follow.
MOSES: TTTtthhhey’ll ffffooollow?
VOICE OF GOD: They will follow and I will get honour upon Pharaoh and all his host, upon his chariots and upon his horsemen. And the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord! — And the children of Israel will know it, too, before this day is over,
READER: So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea.
MOSES: (lifts up rod and holds it out over “sea”) Boy! What’s happening?
SOUND: (comes from hidden mike) WIND BLOWING.
MOSES: Listen to the wind, Look at the waves. The water! The water is walling up on the right and the left… and look! There is a road right through the middle of the sea… a dry road!
SONG: “How Did Moses Cross the Red Sea?”
READER: And the Egyptians pursued and went in after them to the midst of the sea, even all Pharaoh’s horses, his chariots, and his horsemen. And the Lord troubled the host of the Egyptians and took off their chariot wheels. And the Egyptians cried out, “Let’s get out of here! The Lord is fighting for them!”
VOICE OF GOD: Moses, stretch out your hand over the sea, that the waters may come again upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots, and upon their horsemen.
MOSES: (stretches out rod over “sea”) Bye-bye, Egyptians. We will see you no more. Israel is free! Hallelujah! We are free!
READER: And Israel saw that great work which the LORD did upon the Egyptians. And the people feared the LORD and believed the LORD and his servant Moses.
Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the LORD.
ALL: “I will sing unto the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously.”
WOMEN: “The horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.”
ALL: “The LORD is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation. He is my God, and I will exalt an habitation; my father’s God, and I will exalt him.”
MEN: “The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name.”
ALL: “Pharaoh’s chariots and his host hath he cast into the sea; his chosen captains also are drowned in the Red Sea. The depths have covered them; they sank into the bottom as a stone.”
WOMEN: “Who is like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods?”
MEN: “Who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?”
ALL: “The LORD shall reign forever and ever.” (Exodus 15:1-5, 11, 18)
CONGREGATION is seated.
ENTER MIRIAM, playing tambourine, followed by teen girls. They sing a chorus of victory as they march around the sanctuary. Ladies from the congregation may join them, if they wish.
MOSES: (as marches EXIT) “Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered; let them also that hate him flee before him… But let the righteous be glad: let them rejoice before God: yeah, let them exceedingly rejoice. Sing unto God, sing praises to his name” (Psalm 68:1, 3-4).
SKIT III: Jehoshaphat’s Strange Army
Messenger Soldier’s uniform and sword
King Jehoshaphat Crown and robe
Jahaziel Robe & turban
INSTRUCTIONS: Give several tambourines to those who play “skillfully.” Ask them to be ready to lead the army into battle.
ENTER MESSENGER from back, running and yelling.
MESSENGER: King Jehoshaphat! I must see the king. I must see King Jehoshaphat immediately!
ENTER KING from side.
KING: (yawning and stretching) That’s all the commotion out here? Who dares disturb the king’s rest. (roars) Quiet! Quiet!
MESSENGER: (trembling) King Jehoshaphat, you must l-l-listen to me. I have an important m-m-message for you.
KING: It had better be important! All this commotion in the King’s presence! It’s disgraceful.
MESSENGER: (nods and gulps loudly, eyes wide) I-I-I… th-th-they…(points wildly over shoulder) I-I-I…
KING: Speak up, man! Enough of this spitting and sputtering. What’s your message?
MESSENGER: (takes deep breath) The-the-the. . .There’s a great ar-arm-army p-p-pppplanning to aaaattack us. The Mo-Moabites and Ammmmmmmonites and lots of others!
KING: Well, why didn’t you say so? Are you s-s-ssssure?
MESSENGER: Positive! Oh, King, what are we g-g-going to do?
KING: What are we doing to do? Man, that’s a silly question. There’s only one thing to do… Seek the Lord!
EXIT KING to the side. EXIT MESSENGER back.
READER: “And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. And Judah gathered themselves together, to ask help of the LORD: even out of all the cities of Judah, they came to seek the LORD” !II Chronicles 20:3-4).
ENTER JAHAZIEL, stands opposite the altar. ENTER KING, stands in front of altar, facing the congregation.
KING: (raises hands) “O LORD God of our fathers, art not thou God in heaven? and rulest not thou over all the kingdoms of the heathen? and in thine hand is there not power and might, so that none is able to withstand thee? Art not thou our God, who didst drive out the inhabitants of this land before thy people Israel, and gavest it to the seed of Abraham thy friend for ever?… And now, behold, the children of Ammon, and Moab and mount Seir… come to cast us out of thy possession, which thou hast given us to inherit. O our God, wilt thou not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us: neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee” (II Chronicles 20:6-7, 10-12).
KING leads congregation in praise during and at end of Jahaziel’s prophecy.
JAHAZIEL: (with anointing) “Hearken ye, all Judan, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the LORD unto you, Be not; afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s. Tomorrow go ye down against them: behold, they come
up by the cliff of Ziz; and ye shall find them at the end of the brook, before the wilderness of Jeruel. Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves! and ye still, and see the salvation of the LORD with you, O
Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them: for the LORD will be with you” (II Chronicles 20:15-17).
KING: (to congregation) Let’s praise the LORD.
CONGREGATION PRAISES THE LORD.
ENTER MESSENGER, shouting.
MESSENGER: Oh, King Jehoshaphat! Th-th-they’re C-C-C-COOOOming!
KING: (calmly) So? We know that. They are coming by way of the cliffs of Ziz.
MESSENGER: H-H-How did you know that? Who told you?
KING: The Lord. It is time to go down against them. We’re ready.
MESSENGER: (looks blank) Ready. We’re r-r-ready?
KING: Sure. Haven’t we prayed?
MESSENGER: Y-Y-Yes, your majesty.
KING: Haven’t we fasted?
MESSENGER: Y-Y-Yes, your majesty.
KING: Then we are ready to march.
MESSENGER: (looks around wildly) But-but-but where’s the army?
KING: (sweeping motion with arm) Here.
MESSENGER: (raises eyebrows) Here? Where?
KING: (points at congregation) Them.
MESSENGER: THEM? But-but-but where are the weapons?
KING: Don’t need them. Didn’t you hear the Lord. No, I guess you weren’t here. Anyway, the Lord said we wouldn’t need to fight. He said this is His show.
MESSENGER: N-N-Not fight? You’ve got to be k-k-kiddin’. Are you sure He meant it literally?
KING: No if’s, and’s or but’s about it. We’re ready to march.
“Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem: Believe in the LORD your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper” (II Chronicles 20:20).
Now everyone sitting in the first four rows, you are the singers. Follow me.
You sitting in the next four rows are the soldiers. Follow the singers.
As we march, we will praise the beauty of holiness in song.
SONG: “Praise the Lord; for his mercy endureth forever,” (Put words to a simple chanting refrain.)
ARMY marches around church with JEHOSHAPHAT, JAHAZIEL, and the MESSENGER leading. After two or three times around….
MESSENGER: (stops, raises hand and cries) Stop! Look!! (points wildly) they-they-they’re alllll d-d-d-dead!
JEHOSHAPHAT: Hallelujah! The Lord has sent ambushments among the children of Moab and Ammon and Mount Seir. They have slain one another! All we have to do is gather the spoil.
READER: So they were three days in gathering of the spoil, it was so much.
“And on the fourth day they assembled themselves in the valley of Berachah; for there they blessed the LORD:… Then they returned, very man of Judah and Jerusalem, and Jehoshaphat in the forefront of them, to go again to Jerusalem with joy:…”
(ARMY starts to march again, rejoicing as they go.)
“…for the LORD had made them to rejoice over their enemies. And they came to Jerusalem with psalteries and harps and trumpets unto the house of the LORD” (II Chronicles 20:26-28).
SONG of praise by congregation as marchers return to their seats.
SKIT IV – DAVID BRINGS THE ARK HOME
Ahio Ark of the covenant (from Skit I)
INSTRUCTIONS: The ark is placed on the altar in front of church. MUSICIANS are sitting on the front row with tambourines, horns, etc. Again, costumes are as elaborate or simple as you choose.
ENTER UZZAH from back, walking up center aisle, whistling. When he is about halfway to the front, ENTER AHIO from back.
AHIO: (calling) Say, Uzzah, wait up, little brother. (UZZAH turns and waits.) Have you heard the latest?
UZZAH: Guess not. What is it, Ahio?
AHIO: King David is coming to get the ark.
As they talk, they walk up the aisle.
UZZAH: You don’t mean it! After all these years, that old thing is finally going to be moved out of the way?
AHIO: Sure looks like it, Uzzah. Looks like it.
UZZAH: Well, that’s a relief. All my life I’ve had to work around it. Be kinda nice to have the extra space and not all the time be worrying about touching it.
AHIO: But our father says the ark has brought many blessings upon our family.
UZZAH: (shrugs) Maybe so. Maybe not. Personally, Ahio, I’m tired of hearing “don’t touch it,” “don’t look in it.” I’ll be glad when it’s gone and I can relax and live a little.
AHIO: I know what you mean. Living in the priest’s house is not always easy.
EXIT UZZAH AND AHIO on the side.
ENTER KING DAVID from back. PRIEST follows pulling wagon.
KING: It is time to bring the ark of the Lord of hosts up out of the house of Abinadab to Jerusalem.
PRIEST: (timidly) King David? King David? KING DAVID?
KING: (stops and turns toward Priest) Yes?
PRIEST: I am wondering about this cart?
PRIEST: Why, why do we need it?
KING: To carry the ark, of course.
PRIEST: But I thought the Lord commanded for the ark to be carried in a specific way.
KING: (waves hand) That was for our people when they were wandering in the wilderness. Times have changed. The Philistines brought the ark home on a cart. If it’s good enough for the Philistines, it’s good enough for Israel. It’s much more convenient this way.
PRIEST: Yes, your majesty.
ENTER ABINADAB from side, stands on one side of the ark, facing the congregation. KING and PRIEST walk forward until they stand on the other side of the ark.
ABINADAB: (bows slightly) Welcome to my humble home, King David.
DAVID: Thank you, Abinadab, I have come to carry the ark of the convenant to Jerusalem.
ABINADAB: The ark has brought many blessings on my household, King David.
DAVID: So I understand. Now I wish it to bring blessings upon the nation of Israel.
ABINADAB: Yes, your majesty.
DAVID: Is there anyone here to help us load the ark on this cart?
ABINADAB: Cart? Did you say “cart”?
DAVID: Yes, I did.
ABINADAB: But, your majesty, aren’t the priests commanded to carry….
DAVID: (waves hand) Surely, you don’t think I expect you to carry this all the way to Jerusalem, do you! Now who can help us load it on the cart?
ABINADAB: My sons will be honored, Ahio! Uzzah! Come! You are needed.
ENTER AHIO and UZZAH from side.
ABINADAB: Help us load the ark on this cart, boys.
ABINADAB, AHIO, UZZAH and PRIEST lift the ark by the rods and place it on the wagon.
KING: Good, Ahio, you go before and Uzzah, you walk directly behind. Where are the musicians?
PARADE LINE UP: KING, AHIO, WAGON, UZZAH, ABINADAB, and PRIEST followed by MUSICIANS. Parade goes down the center aisle with music playing. At the end of the aisle as the wagon starts to turn….
UZZAH: (yells loudly above music) BE CAREFUL! WATCH IT! WATCH IT!
MUSIC stops abruptly.
UZZAH: BE CAREFUL! THE ARK IS ABOUT TO TIP OVER!
ABINADAB: (screams) STOP! UZZAH, DON’T….
UZZAH: (reaches out and touches the ark) OOOOOOHHHHHhhh! (falls to floor dead)
ABINADAB: (runs and kneels beside son) Oh,my son! My son! Haven’t I told you a hundred times NOT TO TOUCH THE ARK! Oh, my son! (sobs bitterly)
KING: (frantically) Oh, God,what have I done? How shall the ark of the Lord ever come to me at Jerusalem? (Looks around. Points toward altar,) Who lives there?
PRIEST: Obed-edom the Gittite.
KING: Take the ark to this house and leave it!
SOLEMN MUSIC IN BACKGROUND
PRIEST pulls wagon to front of altar and leaves it, Others carry UZZAH out back. MUSICIANS return to front row.
ENTER DAVID from back, followed by PRIEST.
KING: (wringing hands) How shall I ever bring the ark of the covenant to Jerusalem? It is too powerful to touch.
PRIEST: (timidly) King David? King David? KING DAVID?
KING: (stops and turns) Yes? What do you want?
PRIEST: Do you think… maybe… it would work if you moved the ark God’s way?
KING: God’s way? God’s way? Oh, you mean on the shoulders of the priests and with sacrifices, as well as praises?
PRIEST: (nods) Yes, your majesty. That’s exactly what I mean.
KING: Well…. (scratches head) Well, it might be worth a try. Let’s go.
ENTER ABINADAB from back, goes to front.
PARADE LINE UP: PRIEST and ABINADAB take ark on their shoulders and lead the way, followed by KING and MUSICIANS. They go about six steps down the center aisle then stop.
SONG: (by King David or someone in the parade) “The Holy Ghost Will Set Your Feet to Dancing”
PARADE EXITS on last chorus.
(The original source of the above material is unknown.)
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