Continuing my tradition of posting the puppet skits my boys have been helping me with for each Sunday of Advent. Feel free to adapt to your own situation if they can be of any use. The scripture reference is a mix of The Message and NRSV.
OPENING VIDEO (or use another puppet)
Farley The Hedgehog: Welcome to “Dangerously Close to Furry Farley’s Ferocious Frenemies,” The real life reality tv show that features real clips of me, Furry Farley, really getting dangerously close to some really ferocious animals, which are really real. It is dangerous work, but I really want you to get dangerously close with me. These animals may look all cute and furry. But they are really dangerous.
(Music and video to look like a tv show intro.)
(Music fades – shots of a wolf and a sheep.)
Last week we were tracking a wolf tracking a sheep. (Coyote yells “COYOTE! Get it right!”) . . . er, whatever. The wolf looked hungry, but didn’t eat at all. But now he is back. Perhaps we will get to observe his eating habits this time. Let’s get dangerously close and see what happens . . .
Sheep: You again Coyote? Back for a snack are we?
Coyote: Back for a snack? You call yourself a snack? Have you seen yourself in a mirror recently?
Sheep: Speaking of a snack, do you think one of us will be a snack for that snake over there? (points left)
Coyote: I think he is more interested in that silly hedgehog with a camera over there. (points right) He has been following me everywhere. I’ll be cheering for the snake! Bon apetite mon slithery ami!
Sheep: So I suppose you are cheering for the snake in the great showdown?
Coyote: What great showdown?
Sheep: The one between snakes and humans.
Coyote: I don’t think snakes often feed on humans. They are too big. Especially around Christmastime, am I right? (high fives the sheep)
Sheep: True that! Though by referring to the great showdown I am not referring to the food chain.
Coyote: No? Then what is the great showdown all about? What else is there to fight about other than food?
Sheep: Well, remember we are talking about humans here. They will fight about anything and everything, and in fact are even known to fight about nothing at all. And that actually is what the great showdown is all about.
Coyote: Much ado about nothing?
Sheep: No, the fighting over anything, including nothing. You see humans have a problem we do not have, because they have a privilege we don’t have.
Coyote: And what is that?
Sheep: Humans are the only creatures in the world made in God’s image. But because of sin and rebellion against God, they are capable of incredible evil.
Coyote: And what does that have to do with the snakes?
Sheep: Well the great showdown is not really about snakes and humans. Adam and Eve sinned when tempted by the serpent. God had this to say to the serpent:
“I’m declaring war between you and the Woman, between your children and hers. He will strike your head, you will strike his heel.”
What the Bible is teaching is that humans will fight with evil in the same way that humans fight with snakes.
Coyote: So a human might kill a snake with a blow to the head, but a snake might kill a human with a single bite. The question is who will win?
Sheep: That is correct. And so the question is: will evil triumph over humanity, or will humanity triumph over evil? Who will win?
Coyote: Sounds like the making of a great reality tv show. We could call it CNN.
Sheep: Spoiler alert: we already know the winner.
Coyote: We do?
Sheep: Yes, humanity wins.
Coyote: That seems impossible. They always fight like dogs and cats! They always seem to give into evil. When has there ever been a human who did not give into evil?
Sheep: At Christmas we celebrate the birth of someone who never gave into evil. Evil tried to get the upper hand over him by putting him to death without any good reason.
Coyote: Like a snake striking the heel of a person as in the Bible passage you quoted.
Sheep: Yes, but then he rose from the dead having paid the penalty for sin on behalf of all who follow him.
Coyote: Like the person who stomps on the head of the snake in that same Bible passage. So there is a clear winner? But how was he able to do what no human could ever do?
Sheep: He was fully human, a descendant of Eve as the Bible promise predicted, but He is also divine. He is Emanuel, “God with Us.” Being divine, he, and only he, could never give in to evil. Only he could pay the penalty for the sin for other humans. Only he could be raised from the dead to show that evil and the consequence of evil has no power over him, and over those who follow him.
Coyote: I am beginning to see why humans like celebrating Christmas so much. I always wondered why one little human baby could cause such a fuss. But this one little baby was one of a kind!
Sheep: Should we warn the hedgehog about the snake?
Coyote: Nah! I hear he likes to get “dangerously close”
Farley the Hedgehog: The wolf (Coyote yells “COYOTE! Get it right!”) . . . whatever, whatever it is, it seems to have backed away from the sheep AGAIN! I’ve never seen anything like this before. But now I see something else. . . A SNAKE! I’m not getting anywhere near that! This episode is over, join me next week as we look to get dangerously close in “Dangerously Close to Furry Farley’s Ferocious Frenemies.”