Scene 8: Amber Riding to Mortification Concert
This scene opens with Amber and Brenda in Brenda’s car, driving to pick up the other two girls. They get to the pickup location and the two girls get in Brenda’s car. The concert is in another city, which is a one hour drive. So Amber doesn’t know the two church girls, but they will all have some time to chat in the car on the way. Brenda is driving, Amber is riding shotgun, Vicki is behind Brenda, and Shar is behind Amber. It is early enough in the afternoon that there is still plenty of light.
BRENDA: (watching the road) Amber, that’s Shar behind you, and Vicki’s sitting behind me. Shar and Vicki, this is Amber. (Amber half turns in her seat and tries somewhat successfully to shake the girls’ hands)
AMBER: Nice to meet you two. I am very excited about this concert. And the hour-long drive to get there. Brenda told me you two are Christians. I am not—but I think I have a ton of questions for you. Is it okay if we skip the usual pleasantries and just talk about God, the Bible, and salvation? (looks hopeful)
VICKI: That’s a great idea! Go ahead and start with your questions.
SHAR: We might not have all the answers, but we can look in this Bible (holds up a worn Bible), or ask a pastor later on.
AMBER: Great! Oh, just so you know, I used to be totally turned off of all this stuff, mostly because I see so many people who are Christians living such hypocritical lives. But Brenda has been talking to me about God for forever and for some reason I have been really curious and interested lately. But how about going back to that hypocrisy? Why do you think so many Christians are some of the worst sinners?
VICKI: Well, that’s a great question. I don’t have the answer for sure, but let me just put some ideas out there. Actually, Shar, can you hand the Bible to Amber? I think it might be nice for her to follow along. (Amber takes the Bible) Thank you. Well, I like to think of the world not in terms of the physical things that we can see, but in spiritual things. Let me ask you this… Do you think we humans have a soul or a spirit that is immortal?
AMBER: Definitely. I’m not really sure what the differences in soul or spirit are, but I sure believe that SOMETHING in us will live on after we die.
VICKI: Cool. Me too. Okay, so we have that something that is not physical. So Brenda told me you are starting to believe in God?
AMBER: Yes, I think I am about 99% sure that there is a God now. If you’d have asked me that a year ago, I would have told you that there is no God.
VICKI: I’m glad you are starting to see the truth, then. So, if there is a God, do you think He is all alone?
AMBER: Ummm… no, I guess there would be angels and demons and strange things like seraphim and the other things that the Bible talks about.
SHAR: One of the things a lot of people have trouble understanding is the idea of one God in three Persons.
AMBER: Oh, that Holy Trinity stuff?
SHAR: Yes. I think one place that is really cool for showing God in three Persons is the passage in Matthew about Jesus’ baptism. (Amber starts flipping through the Bible) It’ll be Matthew 3:13-17. Do you want to read that?
AMBER: Sure! Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan, to be baptized by him. But John tried to stop Him, saying, “I need to be baptized by You, and yet You come to me?” Jesus answered him, “Allow it for now, because this is the way for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed Him [to be baptized]. After Jesus was baptized, He went up immediately from the water. The heavens suddenly opened for Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming down on Him. And there came a voice from heaven: This is My beloved Son. I take delight in Him! Wow! That was really cool!
VICKI: Okay, so there’s God in three Persons, angels, demons, and other heavenly creatures, and us having a spirit that will live on after we die.
AMBER: I don’t know why, but I believe all this.
SHAR: The Bible says that when you accept Jesus’ death and resurrection to pay for your sins, you are sealed with the Holy Spirit. That’s mentioned in Ephesians. Chapter 1, verse 13 says in Him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation—in Him when you believed—were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit. I believe that God is knocking on your heart right now. If we had spoken these things to you, like you mentioned, a year ago, would you have just laughed at us?
AMBER: Well, yeah, that, or most of the time when Brenda was talking about God, I just tuned her out. (looks at Brenda) Sorry sis!
BRENDA: It’s okay.
VICKI: Now that we all kind of agree on these few points, let’s try to get back to that first question you asked. Why do so many Christians sin so much? I think one big cause of this is Christians who don’t read the Bible. We need to be constantly exposed to God’s Word so that the sinful things of the world don’t take over in our lives. There’s a great passage in Psalms that shows this. Can you turn to Psalm 119 and read verses 9 through 11?
AMBER: (rapidly flips to Psalms) How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping Your word. I have sought You with all my heart; don’t let me wander from Your commands. I have treasured Your word in my heart so that I may not sin against You. Wow! So then, if people can be Christian and ignore the Bible, how does that work?
SHAR: It is sad, but God allows us to make mistakes. We have so many choices. First, do we want to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior, then if we do, do we want to live the way He wants us to? Lots of people are Christians but aren’t living lives pleasing to God. I think a lot of times when they are living like that, God lets the consequence of that sin—and God says the wages of sin is death in Romans 6:23—happen to them. A lot of times that comes as sickness or lack of joy. Sin feels fun for a while, but then it shows its ugly head and robs you of many things.
AMBER: (looks guilty) I know that. Last night, I hadn’t intended to, but I got really drunk and I still feel a little hung over. I wish I hadn’t done that. I was kind of blaming my drinking on a small fight I had with my boyfriend—of all things, over whether or not he would come to this concert with us or not—but I know that ultimately it was nobody’s fault but my own for sinning by getting drunk. (looks sad)
VICKI: Well that’s too bad that you got drunk. But I want you to know—and this goes back to your question of hypocrisy—that even if you accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior tonight, or in a month, you are still human, and you will still sin sometimes. God forgives your sins, past, present, and future when you accept Jesus. Unfortunately that doesn’t make you perfect.
SHAR: As long as you have your human body, there will always be the battle of flesh verses spirit. There’s a passage about that in Galatians 5, if you could turn there. (Amber flips there) It is verses 16-26.
AMBER: I say then, walk by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is against the Spirit, and the Spirit desires what is against the flesh; these are opposed to each other, so that you don’t do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, moral impurity, promiscuity, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and anything similar, about which I tell you in advance—as I told you before—that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, we must also follow the Spirit. We must not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another. Wow! There’s really a lot there. So it’s like there is a battle always going on, and we can get fruits of the Spirit or we can succumb to the sins that the flesh always seems to want to do. I know a few things about physical battles, but nothing really about these spiritual ones.
VICKI: Physical battles?
AMBER: Yeah, I’ve been doing taekwondo since I was ten. I would love to talk to you more about that—maybe you could even join my class, but I am so interested in what we’re talking about!
SHAR: Great! Well put! I’ve been thinking of the example that Jesus provided us when He was tempted by Satan. Did you know that Satan tempted Jesus?
AMBER: No, I hadn’t heard that. What happened?
SHAR: Right after that passage you read about John the Baptist baptizing Jesus, Jesus was led into the wilderness and fasted for forty days. Then Satan came and tempted Him three times, once Satan even used part of the Bible to try to trick Jesus into sinning. But Jesus refused to do all three of the things that Satan wanted, and each time He cited portions of the Bible that showed what Satan wanted Him to do was sin. This was all recorded in Matthew 4:1-11. Also, I think it is important to know this about Jesus: He was always praying to God the Father. If you read the gospels—by the way, those are the first four books of the New Testament—Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, try to count the number of times that it says that Jesus was in prayer and prayed all night. So if Christians would just take the time to do those two things, daily reading the Bible, and daily praying to God, then I think there would be a whole lot less sin.
AMBER: I see. That makes sense. Brenda, you’re being awful quiet… What do you think?
BRENDA: I just really like what Vicki and Shar are saying. Well, okay, I have two points and then I think we’ll be close enough to the city that I’ll need to concentrate on my driving.
BRENDA: On the topic of hypocrisy, when we become Christians, God forgives us for all and we are sealed with the Holy Spirit. Whenever we sin after that point, we grieve the Holy Spirit. That is mentioned in Ephesians 4:30. That whole passage is a good one on living a Godly life—Ephesians 4:17-32. Definitely read that one after we get home from the concert.
My second thought is that there is no way that we can ever be good enough on our own to please God. That’s why He sent Jesus to save us. We should strive to live holy lives, but in our current state, even the very best we can do is not much. Isaiah 64:6 says all of us have become like something unclean, and all our righteous acts are like a polluted garment; all of us wither like a leaf, and our iniquities carry us away like the wind. Now we’re getting close, so I need to pay attention so we don’t miss the turn.
AMBER: Thank you, girls. I don’t think you know how much this talk has meant to me!
VICKI and SHAR: (pat Amber on the back) No problem! We’re always happy to talk about God!
The scene blacks out. Then it opens with a car pulling into a spot at a parking lot. All four car doors open at once. Amber, Brenda, Vicki, and Shar all get out. We show the girls walking toward the convention center. We show them in line, and handing in their tickets. The scene blacks out.