Mary and Martha (Revised)

February 5-March 5, 2006

Apostle’s Playhouse


Scripture:  Luke 10:38-42


Memory Verse:  “Be still and know that I am God.”  Psalm 46:10 (CEV)


Offering:  Food Bank



·        Don’t worry about little things.

·        Jesus wants us to listen to God.

·        God wants us to be considerate, patient, loving, and kind.

·        Do the best you can and don’t worry about what others are doing.

·        God wants us to get ready for Jesus.                                        



1.      Students will experience through drama the story of Mary and Martha and be able to respond to questions regarding the events as they unfold.

2.      Students will be able to experience how Mary and Martha felt using charades.

3.      Students will pantomime actions that Mary and Martha used to serve Jesus.



Welcome and Introductions:

1.  Welcome the kids and introduce yourself.  Wear your name tag.  Make sure that everyone is in the right classroom!  Kids will either already have name tags on, or will get a name tag from their shepherd.  Make sure that you know everyone’s name and greet the students individually.  Remember you are interacting with a different group of students each week that may not know you.

2. Start the “lesson time” with prayer.  Ask for volunteers, but plan on praying yourself.  A short prayer asking God to help us not to worry or to compare ourselves to others would be appropriate for this lesson.

3. We are going to act out the story of Mary and Martha, two sisters who don’t always agree. Does any one here have a sister or brother? Do you ever disagree or have arguments?


Bible Story:

1.      Spend some time on the scripture passages referenced above.  Have the kids use their Bibles and locate the above story. Have the kids follow along as you read the story. Dressing as Mary or Martha and telling the story from their perspective is an option that would add interest to the reading. Younger kids might not be able to read, but they should be encouraged to find the passage and follow along.  Their shepherds can help the class use their Bibles.

2.      In this story both Mary and Martha had good qualities. Martha had hospitality, was hard working and acted out her faith by helping and doing. Mary loved Jesus above all else and paid attention only to him. She listened to Jesus without distraction and acted as his servant by washing his feet. Jesus said that although Martha was doing good things (being a good hostess); it was Mary who chose the best thing-listening to Jesus and His word with all her heart and soul without distraction or worry. The overall lesson is that we should not be so busy in our tasks of service that we forget to take time to listen and learn. Our relationship with God and people is more important than things or tasks.



·         Hand out the short scripts and read through it with the kids.  Have them note that stage directions are printed in italics in the parentheses. 

·        Give the kids a few minutes to note that there are questions that are going to be asked of the audience during the drama.  You might want to have them partner up to talk about the questions, or just think by themselves how they will answer when the director asks them the questions during the play.

·        Drama!  Decide who is going to play the 5 characters (Mary, Martha, Jesus, Narrator, and Director).  Have other children set up the set (see script for set details).  If the group consists of some nonreaders, you can act as Narrator and read the entire script while kids act out the scene.  Have the scripts for the 5 characters highlighted with their part, the rest of the kids can be the audience and follow along with their unhighlighted scripts.

·        Make sure that the director yells out “FREEZE” and the actors hold their position.  This is where the audience will get involved.  The director (or you as workshop leader) can ask for responses to the questions posed in the script.  Don’t spend too much time on these questions, or you will not have time to do the charades.

·        At the end of the drama, ask the kids, “Since both Martha and Mary have this close friendship with Jesus, what problem develops in the story?” or “Someone was not happy about the way things were going after Jesus arrived.  Who was that?  Why was she not pleased?”

·        What qualities did Mary have that are helpful or good? Suggestions: she was a good listener, she loved Jesus above all others, she acted as a servant to Jesus, she knew when to listen and when to act.

·        What qualities did Martha have that were helpful or good? Suggestions: she was a good hostess, cook, she was helpful, she acted out her faith by helping

·        Write actions that Mary and Martha might do on slips of paper. Suggestions for Mary: listening, praying, reading Bible, singing, washing Jesus’ feet. Martha: cooking, sweeping, making beds, sewing, washing clothes or dishes. Put slips in a basket. Allow children to group into twos or threes, include workshop leaders and shepherds for additional fun. Take turns taking a slip of paper, practice the action for a few minutes with your group, then take turns acting out action for the class. When the action is guessed discuss whether it is a “Mary or Martha” action. Repeat as desired.

·        You may decide that instead of doing the charades you may want to simply repeat the drama scene and have 5 different kids play the roles.


·        Clean up!  Involve all kids in this so that you will have time to share together in the closing. 

Reflection Time (10:35): 

1.      Pass out journal pages (time permitting) and have Shepherds pass pencils/markers.  If time is up, please have the children take the journal page home to do.



1.      Have the kids name something that worries or bothers them, like Martha worried about all the things that had to be done to be a good hostess for Jesus.  Have them take this worry and “throw it” into the center of your prayer circle. 

2.      Say the Memory Verse together

3.      Pray!  Ask the kids if they have any prayer requests. If they do, please incorporate into the closing prayer.  Prayer (suggestion):   Thank God for being with us at all times.  Please hear and help with all the ‘worries’ that were shared and ‘thrown’ into the prayer circle.  Be with all those who are busy and bothered.  Help us to stop and take time to listen for and to God.  Amen.


Teacher preparation in advance:

1.      Attend the Faith Quest Workshop Leaders Bible Study.

2.      Prepare an opening prayer in case nobody volunteers to pray.

3.      Write Mary/Martha actions for pantomime on slips of paper.

4.      Read through the script and decide what additional props are needed.  Note the props that are listed below and collect, borrow or purchase what you need.

5.      Prepare cards with descriptions or pictures of “unfair” situations for use by younger kids or to help the older kids get thinking.

6.      Decide if you want to do the charades section of the lesson, or just the drama portion.  You might try it one way and then change your mind.  Do not be afraid to do it differently than written.  This lesson plan is merely a starting point!  

7.      Decide how you want to close the lesson.  Prepare a prayer or use the suggestion provided.



Drama props:  table, bowl, wooden spoon, chair and/or mat, beret, megaphone, roll of red fabric, costumes and headdresses

scripts with part highlighted and plain scripts

idea cards for charades

Paper strip with Key verse printed on it (?)



Along the Road With Jesus, The Storyteller Series, Christian Board of Publication, 1994.

Mary and Martha



A short drama for 5 characters


Set:  Place a table with a bowl and wooden spoon to one side and a chair and a mat or two chairs to the other side.  The set requires just enough room for Martha to stand and Mary and Jesus to sit.  Martha will also need a roll of red fabric.  Provide Mary, Martha, and Jesus with robes and headdresses.  The director will need a beret and a megaphone or rolled paper cone.


Narrator:        Jesus and the disciples had been traveling.  Jesus entered a certain village named Bethany where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home.


Martha (rolls out the red carpet for Jesus to enter the house):  Welcome, Jesus.  Please have a seat.  My sister Mary and I are very glad that you are here.  Make yourself at home, while I tend to dinner.


(Jesus sits on one of the chairs while Mary sits on the floor at Jesus’ feet.  Martha picks up the pot and spoon and stirs.)


Narrator:  Martha’s sister Mary lived with her.  Usually she helped Martha, but today Mary sat at Jesus’ feet and listened to his teachings and stories.  Meanwhile Martha was busy getting the meal ready.


Martha (goes over to Jesus):  Teacher, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself.  Tell her then to help me.


Director:         FREEZE!        (Call “freeze” through your megaphone.  The players will stop and then you ask the audience):


1.      What do you think happened next?

2.      What do you think Jesus should say to Mary? To Martha?


After a brief discussion with Workshop Leader, audience and actors, the play resumes with Martha repeating her last line.


Martha (goes over to Jesus):  Teacher, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself.  Tell her then to help me.


Jesus:  Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered by many things.  There is need of only one thing.  Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away.


Director:         FREEZE!        1.  What did Mary choose?

2.      What to you think Jesus meant?


Narrator:  Jesus was saying that it is all right to be busy, but that there are times when we need to sit quietly and listen to him.  Jesus may also mean that there are times when we also need to give, like Martha, but we also need times to receive, like Mary.