Then one of the series we were doing in our Family Services was on the life of Peter. As Peter was a "Northerner" (as far as those in Judea were concerned) we decided to write a series tenuously based on Coronation Street. As Peter lived in Capernaum, the title of Capernaum Street wasn't too difficult to come up with! We were then faced with the constraints familiar to many church drama groups - a lack of resources and a Hollywood special effects budget. These seem necessary given the miracles Peter witnessed. Then we had the idea - what if Peter "came home from work", as it were, from his "day job" as a disciple of Jesus to relay all his experiences to his wife Elizabeth (OK we made up the Elizabeth bit but we know Peter had a wife because he had a mother-in-law - see Mark 1:30). This would mean only two people were required and no special effects!
Capernaum Street was born and the format has remained the same since. Each episode Peter returns from his day with Jesus to recount everything that's happened to Elizabeth in an "up-North"-kitchen-sink-type-Coronation-Street style.
This is Part 10 of the Capernaum Street series and relates the events of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-41) - hence Peter's slipping into foreign languages. We also decided, as this Elizabeth has only been witnessing these things second-hand over the whole Capernaum Street series that it was about time we started bringing her to a decision point. Does she believe Jesus is who Peter says he is
Version 2 of the sketch came about as we were doing a series
at church covering the story of the beginnings of the church through
the eyes of Peter. So we re-wrote this sketch to follow more directly
from Capernaum Street 12 - The Ascension (note
the reference to 'gift' in both). Also as this was appearing in a
family service we were concerned about the children losing interest so
one of our sons came up with the idea of short-circuiting the argument
at the end of the sketch by fast-forwarding it. This worked very
well when first performed. The re-write was also an excuse to get some
references in - strange to think that Twitter didn't even exist when
Version 1 was written....
(Note: the Part numbers refer to the order the sketches were written in and not necesasarily the order of events in Peter's life).
P.S. Our thanks to Erika for providing the German translation
with pronounciation. We have also heard from a church in New Zealand
who re-wrote this sketch to use Korean and Mandarin!
plus in Version 2 only:
We use three devices to create a consistent "look and feel" to the Capernaum Street sketches:
Peter: [Approaching the "back door", whistlingHoly Spirit we welcome you]
Elizabeth: [Facing away from Peter addressing an offstage Martha] That'll be the window cleaner Martha. I must pay him, see you later
Peter: Hiya luv. I'm home! [Plonks a rucksack down on the floor]
Elizabeth: Will you keep your voice down.
Elizabeth: Why he says? Do you have any idea what I've been through the last two days.
Peter: I bet it wasn't as good as my last two days.
Elizabeth: I can't believe this. You're acting like you've done nothing wrong!!
Peter: I haven't. I've been in Jerusalem preaching.
Elizabeth: My mother said you wouldn't admit you've got a problem.
Peter: No Elizabeth I have got a problem actually. You see the church in Jerusalem want me to be the leader but it means we'll have to move.
Elizabeth: A church leader you? Don't make me laugh. Peter I've had enough. I didn't mind when you threw away a promising career in the fishing industry to follow Jesus, I accepted the fact that you were away for weeks at a time, I was proud of you when said you and Jesus had healed people, I stood by you when you were depressed after Jesus was killed and I supported you going back to Jerusalem to wait for whoever it was Jesus was supposed to be sending.
Peter: The Holy Spirit.
Elizabeth: Jack Daniels more like it. Oooo the shame of it! All over the six o'clock news my husband, drunk in public at 9 in the morning. I've had Martha round here lecturing me on the evils of drink and asking if you've been an alcoholic long?
Peter: I wasn't drunk. Y'see...
Elizabeth: I don't know if I want to hear it.
Peter: Please Elizabeth just hear me out.
Elizabeth: This better be good Peter.
Peter: Right. We went off to Jerusalem to wait for the Holy Spirit. Nous sommes toute ensemble dans une maison. Quand il y a une grande vent....
Elizabeth: Peter! You're talking gibberish!!!!
Peter: What? Was I? Oh it can't have worn off?
Elizabeth: The effects of the alcohol?
Peter: No the... No I haven't got to that bit yet. Let me finish. We were all in the house when we heard this roaring wind. And tongues of fire appeared over our heads.
Elizabeth: You were doing drugs as well!!!!!
Peter: Don't be soft. Course not. It was the Holy Spirit coming on us. Anyway we rushed out and began talking in all sorts of different languages to everyone who would listen. Then I said Brüde, hertz vas ich euch zu sagen haber.
Elizabeth: You what?
Peter: Sorry did I do it again? I said Brothers - listen to what have to say. And I told them all about Jesus. And 3000 believed! Isn't it great. Well it is but it means we've got to start a church in Jerusalem so we'll have to move down there and....
Elizabeth: Peter Shut UP! That's it is it? The best you can do?
Peter: Yes. That's how it happened.
Elizabeth: Look Peter, I listened when you told about seeing Jesus with Moses and Elijah, I didn't bat an eyelid when you came home soaking wet after you thought you could walk on water, you've got friends who see angels, dead friends who come back to life. But this is the last straw. Tongues of fire hovering over your head and speaking in strange languages. The way I see it either I've been married to an alcoholic or a lunatic for the last 3 years. At this particular moment I'm sure which option I prefer.
Peter: I'm not mad and I certainly haven't been drinking. It's true Elizabeth.
Elizabeth: Peter for years I've listened to all this. I've had my life upset by this Jesus of yours, put up with all the comments from the neighbours but now this.
Peter: I know some of it sounds far fetched but its all true - all of it. Do you really think I could've made all this up?
Elizabeth: Well I know some bits are true 'cos I've heard things from other people.
Peter: There you are then. Elizabeth I'm telling you the truth. You've got to believe me, luv.
Elizabeth: I want to believe you not just about the drinking, all of it but I don't think I can....
Peter: Elizabeth, you said Jesus has upset your life. You're right he has but only because he's been transforming mine. Your only experience of him is heresay and seeing how he's affected me. You've never really got to know Him like I do.
Elizabeth: No that's true. It's a bit late now though. He's gone back [looks up] up there hasn't he?
Peter: No, it's never too late. Luv he transformed my life and he can change yours as well.
Elizabeth: Do you really think he can?
Peter: Luv. I know he can. I'll put the kettle on and tell you a bit more about this Holy Spirit......