COSTUMES/PROPS REQUIRED: We sewed a gold letter M on a blue shirt for the Cashier. The nuns used several yards of black cotton fabric held around their faces to look like habits. The other actors suggested their characters with hats.
CHARACTERS: Seven. If you don’t have enough actors, cut one of the scenes
SETTING: a fast-food restaurant, serving the brand of Christianity or religion you choose
THEME: Salvation. Do we choose to follow Jesus, or would we rather choose the “jesus” we would like to follow?
BACKGROUND: Jon wrote the original version of this sketch in 1999 for our youth worship service. It has become the trademark piece for the Strangely Warmed Players Each new troupe makes revisions, contributes new characters for development and comes up with new lines. Following a performance before the World Methodist Conference, a delegate from Belgium asked if he could translate it into French and use it to teach evangelism in his seminary class. Unfortunately, because of the global nature of American fast-food, the concept of a MacJesus is understood by almost every culture. We’ve had requests from Africa University and a church in Estonia to use this play.
Catriona and Megan Jo decided to do their characters as nuns on our Northern Ireland tour. This was a bit risky, but it worked. They hadn’t brought costumes, so they improvised habits with sheets from their dorm rooms. Megan’s favorite character from Saturday Night Live is the “joy-ologist.” She improvised her part based on this character. Her lines came out of this improv session.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOLLOWING THE PERFORMANCE:
- What made you laugh? Why?
- With which character did you identify? Why?
- What was the symbolism of the “I can handle only for Christmas and Easter” line?
- What were the nuns hoping to find?
- Have you ever known persons who will seek whatever is spiritually popular?
- What was the Happy Meal customer seeking?
- What line really surprised you? Why?
- How do we alter Christ’s message to suit our needs?
- What spiritual truth or insight did you gain from this play?
DIRECTOR’S NOTES: Establish two locations—one for the Cashier and another spot where the other character’s order. We usually locate these a few feet apart. The Cashier must never look at the customers, and the customers must never look at the Cashier. Lines are given directly to the audience, remembering never to have eye contact with the audience but to focus above their heads at a spot on the far wall. All of the customers should use exactly the same spot to place their orders.
CASHIER: Welcome to MacJesus to Go—more salvation for your money. May I take your order, please.
AUSTIN: Yeah, I’m really in a bit of a rush—nothing too heavy.
CASHIER: We’ve got a 5-piece prayer MacNugget with Sweet and Simple sauce. Super-size it, and we’ll throw in a “going to heaven” money-back guarantee!
AUSTIN: Um, that’s a little too much. … I need something on the run.
CASHIER: How about the 4-piece Holiday Onion Rings, complete with Christmas, Palm Sunday, Easter, and Pentecost?
AUSTIN: Whoa, no way, man. I can handle only Christmas and Easter. That’s all I really have time for. But I do want a Shake of Self-righteousness to wash it all down.
CASHIER: All right, sir. That’ll cost you … church membership and joining the church Softball team—nothing you can’t afford.
AUSTIN: Thanks, but make it fast. I’ve got a football game to get to.
CASHIER: All right, please move to the next window. (Austin exits. Catriona and Megan Jo come up to the window.) Hello, and welcome to MacJesus to Go—it’s your way, right away at MacJesus now. May I take your order?
CATRIONA: All right, this is a BIG order. We’re serious. … I want one of those double-decker, triple-pounder Rich Young Ruler burgers.
MEGAN JO: I want the Good Samaritan sandwich—with everything on it.
CASHIER: Extra preachy?
CATRIONA: You bet your bippy, Mister.
MEGAN JO: I want Forgiveness Fries, a Sanctified Shake … and throw in some of those Sinless Cinnamon Thingies …
CATRIONA: And I want ALL the sauces, the Sweet and Simple, the Holiness Honey, and two packets of the Blue Cheeses of Nazareth!
CASHIER: Just let me ring that up here. (He pretends to ring in the order.) All right, that’ll be a lifetime of over-zealousness, going the extra mile, lending a helping hand, and having a “holier than thou” attitude!
CATRIONA: (She and Megan Jo nod eagerly to each other.) All right.
MEGAN JO: Sounds good. (She and Catriona exit. Laura comes up to the window.)
CASHIER: Welcome to MacJesus to Go. We do Jesus right. Here at MacJesus to Go, our Jesus is finger-lickin’ good. May I take your order, please?
LAURA: I just want whatever is selling. What’s popular? Like if Britney Spears was here, what would she order?
CASHIER: There’s the Kentucky-fried Jesus. You’d hardly even recognize that it’s Jesus at all. …
LAURA: That’s perfect! How much?
CASHIER: Offer prayers once a week to the deity of your choice, seek serenity, share concern, live totally.
LAURA: Thanks! This is too good to be true! (Laura exits. Megan comes up to the window.)
CASHIER: Welcome to MacJesus to go. Why not try our Salvation salad with Hidden Valley of Death ranch dressing? And if you get it with the value meal, you get extra serenity and blessed assurance.
MEGAN: I just love sunshine and trees and rainbows and butterflies.
CASHIER: Could I interest you in a Happy Meal Jesus. It has a little Jesus and a whole lot more?
MEGAN: That’s wonderful! It makes me joyful right down to the tips of my toes. I want to get real spiritual. See these crystals. (Holds out hand as if showing crystals.) I’m a spiritual lady. Does this Happy Meal come with any merry little icons, any idols?
CASHIER: Well, you have your choice of Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, or a St. Patrick’s Day leprechaun.
MEGAN: I just love bunnies and other furry little creatures, but I’ll go with the little green leprechaun. I just love it!
CASHIER: Anything else we can add to your joy?
MEGAN: Definitely a McFluffy treat with little joy sprinkles.
CASHIER: All right, a Happy Meal with the leprechaun and a McFluffy treat. That will cost you your soul.
MEGAN: That’ll be great! Thanks! (Megan exits. Nathan comes to the window.)
CASHIER: Yo Quiero Jesus Christ. Welcome to MacJesus to go. May I take your order, please?
NATHAN: Yes, hello. I’d like the plain Jesus, if its not too much trouble.
CASHIER: All right. Is that going to be an extra-value meal? Super-sized?
NATHAN: No. I don’t think you understand. I just want the plain Jesus, the original.
CASHIER: Would that be with or without Forgiveness Fries? Ketchup? Mustard? With Charity Cheese? Do you want the Extra-Preachy Jesus?
NATHAN: Please, I just want Jesus. I don’t need any of the extras—just the Jesus who died on the cross.
CASHIER: Ohhh … sorry, Dude. I think we discontinued that Jesus.
CASHIER: Yeah, he didn’t sell so well. (Nathan shakes his head and turns away, walks slowly with head down.) That reminds me of a song. … (Sings.) Do you believe in Jesus? And I hope you do. He’s the savior, and he died on the cross. … (Stops singing.) That doesn’t rhyme—won’t ever sell. Oh well. Welcome to MacJesus to Go. May I take your order, please?
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