A Dis-curse in Three Parts
Part 1: Matthew 17:1-13
Eli: Noah! Noah, where are you?
Moe: Eli, I don’t think this is a very good idea.
Eli: Shut up, Moe. He’s gonna love this.
Moe: Fine, it’s your funeral. You never did get one, did you?
Eli: No more than you. Ah, there he is!
Noah: Can’t you youngsters keep it down? A man my age need his beauty sleep.
Moe: [sotto voice] See, I told you to wait a couple more millennia.
Eli: C’mon, this is totally worth waking the dead for.
Moe: I’m not disagreeing. But you have no idea how disagreeable he can be…
Noah: Eh, what’s that you said?
Eli: He said, “Something happened you just gotta see!”
Noah whacks Eli with his walking stick.
Noah: Don’t lie to me, you whippersnapper. My ears may not work too good now, but I was hearing the voice of the Lord when you were just a gleam in God’s eye.
Moe: Apologies, ancient one. But Eli and I just had the most extraordinary encounter, and we wanted you to be the first to know about it.
Eli raises an eyebrow at Moe’s apparent change of heart. Moe winks at him. Noah, fortunately, is too busy sitting down to notice.
Noah: Okay, fine. As long as I’m awake, what’s all this gosh-darned hullabaloo about?
Eli and Moe stare at each other, then both speak at once
Moe: We have met HIM!
Eli: HE has come!
Noah: Eh? What? Don’t talk over each other, boys. Get your story straight.
Moe catches Eli’s eye, then points with his chin.
Eli sighs, then crouches down in front of Noah.
Eli: Master, you remember the story Adam told. Of One who would crush the serpent’s head.
Noah looks at Eli sharply. Moe breaks in.
Moe: It’s true, Master. HE has come. We have seen Him with our own eyes. The One all creation has been holding its breath for. He is here!
Noah sits there, stunned. Moe and Eli glance at each other awkwardly, unsure what to do next.
Noah finally stands up, and with surprising vigor snaps his walking stick over his knee. Before Moe and Eli can recover, Noah hurls one piece at each of them and storms from the room.
Moe: Well… that went better than expected.
Part 2: Genesis 9:18-27
Joe: Grandfather! Grandfather, where are you?
A spotlight slowly dawns, revealing Noah slumped in an overstuffed chair. Joe carefully walks towards him.
Joe stops a respectful distance away, and waits. Noah doesn’t react. Doesn’t even look up. But he speaks.
Noah: Do you know what it is like to feel responsible for the fate of the whole world? Like every man, woman, and child has turned away from God, and you are the only one left?
Joe says nothing. Noah glares at him, then his face softens.
Noah: Hmph. Maybe you do, at that.
Noah grunts something that might be an invitation. Joe curls up at his feet. He looks up at Noah with something that might be an apology.
Noah: Alright, out with it. I know those two meddlers sent you because you’re my favorite. What is it you want?
Joe: Grandfather… I’m sorry. I just don’t understand.
Noah seems to sink in on himself. Joe waits in silence, scarcely breathing. Finally Noah shakes himself, and stands erect.
Noah: Will you walk with me?
It is not a request. Joe jumps to his feet and follows. As he does, the centuries seem to fall away. Noah becomes younger, stronger, bolder.
Noah looks at Joe.
Noah: You wielded great power, far beyond anything I could ever have imagined. But you were not a king. You merely worked for one.
Joe doesn’t speak. He looks back at Noah, and nods.
Noah: In my day, we didn’t even have kings. We had… I suppose folks today might call him a mayor. An organizer. NOT an authority figure.
Noah gestures, and Joe sees the town where Noah had lived. Prosperous, but corrupt. Full of flowery speeches, hidden agendas, and treacherous deceit.
Noah: The only justice that existed was what a man could win with his own two firsts. Or his reputation. To keep me and mine safe, people had to love me… or fear me.
Joe is treated to a series of visions. Noah bringing food to a widow. Chasing street toughs with a stick. Leading an angry mob against a crooked merchant. Wrestling, and eventually hurling from the rooftop, a man who looks remarkably like Noah.
Joe looks up at Noah with anguish.
Noah nods grimly.
Noah: That… was my eldest brother. The… the mayor. I had looked up to him ever since I was born. He was planning to lead a mob to destroy the ark. The people felt judged, condemned. I kept hoping I could convince him, turn him back to Yahweh. But in the end, he valued the praise of men over the praise of God. And so I had to choose between him… and saving you.
Noah gestures again, and Joe sees him leading his family into the ark. God shuts the door… and all is dark.
A voice speaks out of the darkness.
Noah: Now do you understand?
A single spotlight shines on Joe. He crumples to the ground, and weeps.
Part 3: Luke 15:11-32
The Father stands on the right, eyes straining across the stage into the distance. Suddenly he gives a yelp of delight, gathers up his robe, and begins to slowly run.
The Son dashes in from the left, but then skids to a stop on his knees before reaching the Father. He prostrates himself on the ground.
Son: O Father, forgive me. I am not worthy to look you in the face. But… but I can’t bear to live alone anymore. Please, please just take me as your slave. Even that is more than I deserve.
The Father looks down at the Son, grief and compassion twisting his noble features into agony. His mouth moves, but no words come out.
Son: I know I was wrong. But I was scared. I’d never been in this situation before. I couldn’t think of anything else to do. I’m s-so so s-sorry…. [breaks off crying]
The Father slowly, painfully, bends down until he is on the floor beside his offspring. He reached out to clasp him.
Father: Shhh. Shhh. It’s okay. It’s okay. If anything… [he pauses] the fault is mine.
There is a sudden, awkward silence.
Father: You didn’t know any better, because I never taught you. That… is not your fault.
The Son looks up with tear-stained face. The Father manages a ghost of a grin.
Father: You are welcome to blame me. Lord knows I blamed myself long enough. But really, I had the same problem, for my father failed me the same way. And Adam…
The Father catches his breath, and pauses,
The Son stares at him with wonder. Then understanding dawns, and he finishes the sentence.
Son: Adam could only hide from his own nakedness. Because his Father had none.
The Father nods proudly.
Father: You understand, at last. I am sorry it took me so long. I am sorry it took all of us so long. I am sorry… this kept me from you.
They stand, and embrace.
Son: I love you, Father.
Father: I love you… Noah. Now let us go and find your son.
[Exeunt. Fade to black. Applause]