A Story of the Transfiguration
Based on Matthew 17:1-9
Preparation: Scene 1
A mountainside, a somewhat dark background as this Scripture story may have taken place at sunset or evening.
Tips for this scene:
Copy the Jesus puppet twice. Color one in quiet, somber colors, such as browns and tans. Color the other as brightly as possible, in white and yellow, adding glitter or shiny star stickers to the puppet. Adhere both figures to one stick, one on either side so that Jesus is on both sides.
The cloud should be colored so it too shines brightly, appearing rather mysterious. Glitter crayons in a neutral color might be helpful. Adhere the stick to the top of the cloud so that it can be lowered from over the backdrop.
A puppeteer can shine a flashlight up at the transfigured Jesus puppet, turning it on when the brightly colored puppet becomes visible, and turning it off as the ‘quiet colors side’ faces the audience. A tube of face glitter can be used for an optional blessing ritual at the aid of the play.
The narrator stands to the side of the stage.
One day Jesus took Peter, James, and John up a mountain. Jesus knew that soon he would die so he wanted to give them a little glimpse of heaven.
Enter Jesus, ‘quiet colors side,’ and then Peter. James, and John. Have them start below the stage, gradually moving up, so it appears as if they are climbing. Jesus should end up in the center of the stage, while the apostles remain closer to one side.
Suddenly Jesus was transfigured, that is, he looked very different!
Turn Jesus around. A puppeteer can shine a flashlight on him.
His face shone like the sun! His clothing glistened and gleamed white as light! He was radiant like an angel!
The amazed apostles watched as two other figures appeared.
Enter Moses from one side, Elijah from the other. Both stand near Jesus on either side of him.
Peter, James, and John recognized them as holy men from ancient times. One was Moses, who had led his people out of Egypt. The other was Elijah, the great prophet! They stood near Jesus and talked with him. The apostles hardly knew what to say. Then Peter found his voice.
‘Lord,” he said, “it is good to be here. If you wish, I will make three tents! I will make one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” As he spoke, a bright cloud cast a shadow over them.
Enter the cloud from over the top of the backdrop.
Then God’s voice came from the cloud. God said, “This is my beloved Son. I am well pleased with him. Listen to him.”
The frightened apostles looked around. Both Elijah (exit Elijah to one side) and Moses (exit Moses to the other side) were gone. So was the cloud.
Exit the cloud over the backdrop.
Turn Jesus around, and turn off the flashlight
Now there was only Jesus, Peter, James, and John. They began to walk down the mountain.
Exit puppets as if they were going down the mountain slowly.
Using face glitter, the narrator makes the sign of the cross on the children’s foreheads, telling them that they too are God’s children.
Leader: Dear Jesus, long ago God said, “Let light shine out of darkness.” And you, Jesus, have shone your light into our hearts. We believe and we say that you are Jesus the Lord!