Scene 6: Samuel talks with Jesus. Living with conflict theatre series. Faith in Grey Places.

Living with conflict: A duologue between Samuel and Jesus

For lent and Easter 2022, I’m writing six duologues between Samuel and other people in the Bible, all on the theme of living with conflict. The prophet Samuel, now deceased, converses with a series of guests in paradise, reflecting on their past experiences and what it was to live with conflict. All posts in the series are listed here.

In this, the sixth and final scene, he finds himself standing with Jesus outside the Philistine city of Beth-Shan, after Saul and his sons were defeated in battle. They talk about Saul’s life, the silence of death and the dead. 

Continue reading Living with conflict: A duologue between Samuel and Jesus

Living with conflict: A duologue between Samuel and Jonathan

For lent and Easter 2022, I’m writing six duologues between Samuel and other people in the Bible, all on the theme of living with conflict. The prophet Samuel, now deceased, converses with a series of guests in paradise, reflecting on their past experiences and what it was to live with conflict. All posts in the series are listed here.

In this, the fifth scene, he meets Jonathan amongst a colonnade of marble pillars. Jonathan shares how Michelangelo’s David prompted him explore stories from other traditions and see echoes of his life in them.

Continue reading Living with conflict: A duologue between Samuel and Jonathan
Text on dark blue background: Scene 4: Samuel talks with Peter's wife. Living with conflict theatre series. Faith in Grey Places.

Living with conflict: A duologue between Samuel and Peter’s wife

For lent and Easter 2022, I’m writing six duologues between Samuel and other people in the Bible, all on the theme of living with conflict. The prophet Samuel, now deceased, converses with a series of guests in paradise, reflecting on their past experiences and what it was to live with conflict. All posts in the series are listed here.

In this, the fourth scene, he meets Peter’s wife, Abigail, inside a heavenly version of St Peter’s Basilica. They discuss the hazards of fame and the role of art in helping people approach God.

I thought this duologue would be with Paul. Last week I realised Peter was a better candidate. Then this week, I saw a chance to introduce another female voice by bringing Samuel to meet with Peter’s wife instead. 

Continue reading Living with conflict: A duologue between Samuel and Peter’s wife
Scene 3: Samuel talks with John the Baptist. Living with conflict theatre series. Faith in Grey Places

Living with conflict: A duologue between Samuel and John the Baptist

For lent and Easter 2022, I’m writing six duologues between Samuel and other people in the Bible, all on the theme of living with conflict. The prophet Samuel, now deceased, converses with a series of guests in paradise, reflecting on their past experiences and what it was to live with conflict. All posts in the series are listed here.

In this, the third scene, he goes to visit John the Baptist, whose ministry of repentance helped people prepare for the coming of Jesus. 

Samuel discovers that John has chosen to make his dwelling a flat expanse of desert. John wryly recounts the things people say to him when they interrupt his solitude. 

Continue reading Living with conflict: A duologue between Samuel and John the Baptist
Text on black background with a thorn motif in the corner: Scene 2: Samuel talks with Ezekiel. Living with conflict theatre series. Faith in Grey Places

Living with conflict: A duologue between Samuel and Ezekiel

For lent 2022, I’m writing six duologues between Samuel and other people in the Bible, all on the theme of living with conflict.

The prophet Samuel, now deceased, converses with a series of guests in paradise, reflecting on their past experiences and what it was to live with conflict. In this, the second scene, he meets Ezekiel, the would-be priest who was exiled to Babylon, where he saw some pretty indescribable visions of God and wrote them down in a book of prophecy.

Samuel asks Ezekiel whether he’d rather be a prophet or a priest. Ezekiel answers that he’d be a mathematician.

Continue reading Living with conflict: A duologue between Samuel and Ezekiel
Text on black background with a thorn motif in the corner: Scene 1: Samuel talks with the 'young girl from Israel' Living with conflict theatre series. Faith in Grey Places

Living with conflict and 2 Kings 5: A duologue between Samuel and the ‘young girl from Israel’

For lent 2022, I’m writing six duologues between Samuel and other people in the Bible, all on the theme of living with conflict. The prophet Samuel, now deceased, converses with a series of guests in paradise, reflecting on their past experiences and what it was to live with conflict. 

In this, the first scene, he meets Ronit who (when she was alive) prompted Naaman, commander of an enemy army, to seek healing from the prophet Elisha. The story is recorded in 2 Kings 5. 

Continue reading Living with conflict and 2 Kings 5: A duologue between Samuel and the ‘young girl from Israel’

Two Boys From Nazareth (a sketch about John the Baptist’s ministry)

This is a monologue / narrative sermon based on Matthew 3vv1-12. It’s told from the point of view of an anonymous man.

James and I grew up in Nazareth. We were best friends; inseparable; always getting into scrapes together. 

One Sabbath, at the synagogue, we crept up behind Rabbi Cohen and tied the tassels on his shawl together. We nearly got away with it too, but then he leaned forward in his prayers when we weren’t expecting it and he felt the tug from behind. He was furious. Of course we said we were sorry but, the truth be told, we were only sorry that we got caught!

Rabbi Cohen would say, [grandiose] “Repentance is like the sea: one can bathe in it at any time.” [wry] Except that in the case of our sorry sinful state, our repentance had to be there and then. It had to satisfy him. James and I hated him for that. 

It seemed that Rabbi Cohen always wanted us turn away from something good, or else face something bad. It felt like a pretty miserable deal so you can guess how much repenting James and I have done since we grew up. 

Continue reading Two Boys From Nazareth (a sketch about John the Baptist’s ministry)

Skandalon: Mary teaches the boy Jesus

This is a short story / sketch based on the events recorded in Luke 2:41-50. It is told from Mary’s point of view.


We went to Jerusalem again this year to celebrate Passover. It was the third time we’ve been able to do so since Joseph and I returned to Galilee, but still it conjured so many emotions for me.

On the one hand it was good to be amongst family and friends, walking with them and seeing the children play together. On the other hand it reminded me of all that I missed during the years we were in Egypt. I heard the young mothers asking questions of the older women, receiving good advice and homely encouragement. It stung to be reminded how I didn’t have that community and I tried so hard not to begrudge them.

The children were a handful, as ever.

Continue reading Skandalon: Mary teaches the boy Jesus
Black and white picture of New Jerusalem Bible open at the passage for the circumcision of John the Baptist

His name is John: Elizabeth writes to Mary

I was contemplating what it must have been like for Elizabeth the mother of John the Baptist. She went  through childbirth in her old age, knowing she would not live see her son minister and having to wrestle with the religious and political tensions of her culture. It can’t have been easy. This is an imagined letter written from Elizabeth to Mary (her cousin and the mother of Jesus), inspired by the events told in Luke’s gospel chapter 1, verses 5-25 and 57-80.


Elizabeth, a delighted mother whom God has mercifully remembered in her old age,

To Mary, my dear cousin and blessed mother to be,

Peace be with you.

It seems but a day since you returned to Galilee, and yet I know it has already been some three months. Please forgive me for taking so long to write to you.

Continue reading His name is John: Elizabeth writes to Mary