Family Service
St. Augustine's

August 29 2004

Key :

instructions for congregation
movements during service
prayers and readings
sections of the service

Other information  :

There are some notes on our production of the service.

A rough plan of the church is available.

A note on copyright.



NarratorWe welcome you here in the name of Jesus. May He speak to each one of us in the stillness of our hearts.

There will be no collection taken during this service. There is a donation box at the back of the church for anyone who would like to give a donation.

Some "house keeping" information  -

  • If anyone would like the music for our hymns today, please put up your hand up and we will bring it to you;
  • Toilets are between the church and the hall;
NarratorPlease stand to sing the hymn

At the Name of Jesus.

( During the hymn, Crowd get ready at the back. They should be organised so that they end up in their groups when they reach the front. )

1.   At the name of Jesus
  Every knee shall bow
  Every tongue confess Him
  King of glory now :
  'Tis the Father's pleasure
  We should call Him Lord,
  Who from the beginning
  Was the mighty Word.

2.   At His voice creation
  Sprang at once to sight,
  All the angel faces,
  All the hosts of light,
  Thrones and dominations,
  Stars upon their way,
  All the heavenly orders,
  In their great array.

3.   Humbled for a season,
  To receive a name
  From the lips of sinners
  Unto whom He came,
  Faithfully He bore it
  Spotless to the last,
  Brought it back victorious,
  When from death He passed.

4.   Name Him, brothers, name Him,
  With love as strong as death,
  But with awe and wonder
  And with bated breath :
  He is God the Saviour,
  He is Christ the Lord,
  Ever to be worshipped,
  Trusted, and adored.

5.   In your hearts enthrone Him;
  There let Him subdue
  All that is not holy,
  All that is not true :
  Crown Him as your Captain
  In temptation's hour;
  Let His will enfold you
  In its light and power.

6.   Brothers, this Lord Jesus
  Shall return again,
  With His Father's glory,
  With His angel train;
  For all wreaths of empire
  Meet upon His brow,
  And our hearts confess Him
  King of glory now.

Introducing Zacchaeus

( Luke 19.1-4 )
( Crowd come running in down all three aisles shaking tambourines, bells etc. saying - )
  Jesus is coming to Jericho today !
He is coming !
Jesus is coming !
We're expecting Jesus in Jericho today !
( Repeat the four lines in any order to give the impression of an excited crowd.

On reaching the front, place the bells etc. on the altar and line up on the bottom step on the altar side of the rail;
wait until all are in position;
then, in unison : )

  Jesus is coming !
( Zacchaeus, wearing a cloak, edges timidly down organ side. All the crowd point at him as he comes. )
ZacchaeusI must see Jesus.
I want to talk to Him.
I'm not sure that He'll want to talk to me, though.
I must see Jesus.
( X moves from the crowd towards him; they meet quite near the front.

NOTE : X and Zacchaeus must keep talking into the church, not towards the front.

Zacchaeus should move almost sideways, with his back to the wall; X faces the back of the church and obstructs him as they move.
At each "step", Zacchaeus pushes forward a little, and X responds by moving back. X is belligerent, Zacchaeus is apologetic. )

XHello, you're Zacchaeus, the tax collector. What are you looking for ? There's nothing here for the likes of you.
ZacchaeusI want to see Jesus.
( As they talk, X and Zacchaeus move past the crowd up to the top step; as they pass, the crowd sit down. )
XYou want to see Jesus ? ! You'll get no tax out of Him. He has nothing valuable that you'd understand.
ZacchaeusThat's a bit hard. I am a Jew, just like you are.
( X and Zacchaeus are now on the top step. Now they pause at the organ side and face the back. )
XYou might be a Jew, but you're not like me - I'm not a tax collector. I don't work for the Romans and extort money out of other Jews for the Romans' taxes and my own pockets.
ZacchaeusIt's a job; someone's got to do it. But everyone assumes we're dishonest, and friendly to Romans.
X( Aggressively ) Quite so. So why would you want to see Jesus ?
ZacchaeusI'm tired of tax collecting.
X( Scornful ) Tired of all that money ?
ZacchaeusSee ? You're assuming I'm dishonest. A tax collector gets a lot of money only if he's dishonest. And we're not all bad - some of us do try to be sort of honestish.
XCome on - do you expect me to believe that ?
ZacchaeusThere you go again, putting labels on us. We're used to it.
X Anyway, if you don't like your job, change it.
ZacchaeusThat's next to impossible. It's the only trade I know; it's our family business, and I inherited it from Dad. To change I'd have to start at the bottom again, and that wouldn't be fair to my family. Anyway, who'd employ an ex-tax collector ? No, I want some sort of real fresh start - and from what I've heard, Jesus might not turn me away.
X( Tired of Zacchaeus, dismissive ) Well, He'll be along soon. Join the crowd.
ZacchaeusThat's not so easy - I'm short, so I can't see unless I'm at the front; and I'm a tax collector, so I'm at risk in a crowd.
XWell, you don't have much choice. Try pushing to the front.
( Zacchaeus pushes towards front through crowd group 1 who stand up. )
Crowdmember 1No room here, mate.
Crowdmember 2We don't want you.
Crowdmember 3Tax collector, Go Away !
( Zacchaeus goes behind crowd group 1 who sit down, and tries to push through crowd group 2 who stand up.

Householder hides behind altar. )

Crowdmember 4No way through here.
Crowdmember 5Go away, cheat.
Crowdmember 6Perhaps your Roman friends will help.
Crowdmember 3We won't help the likes of you.
All the crowdGO AWAY !
(Crowd sits down )
ZacchaeusSee ? That's what always happens.
X( A bit interested despite himself ) Well, if you can't get to the front, try getting higher. It has to be high enough to see over the crowd. Maybe someone with a house will let you go up on the roof, or something. Try this house. ( Points to a space next to the altar. )
Zacchaeus( Turns away from congregation, knocks on imaginary door. )
Householder ( from behind altar )Who's there ?
HouseholderWho ? I don't know anyone called Zacchaeus.
ZacchaeusYes, you do. I'm Zacchaeus the tax collector.
HouseholderOh, him !
ZacchaeusCould you open the door ? I want to ask you a favour.
HouseholderOpen the door to a shrimp of a tax collector like you ? No way !
ZacchaeusPlease - I just want to come onto your roof to watch for Jesus. I so-o want to see Him.
HouseholderNot likely - anyway, our roof's full - we all want to see Jesus and no thieving tax collector is coming up here. Go away.
( Zacchaeus turns away from altar towards X )
X( Quite involved ) That's no good, then. I begin to understand your problem : you can't be at the front of the crowd where you can be seen, or they'll bully you. You can't be within the crowd, because you're too short to see. You can't watch from a roof top, they won't let you in. But what do we do next ?
ZacchaeusI dunno. I'd got that far before you came along. But I'm sure there must be a way to get over the problems. There must be a way to see Jesus.
XHey, you really are determined, aren't you ? Maybe we've misjudged you. Well, I can't think of - Wait a minute ! What did you say ?
Zacchaeus( surprised ) I said there must be a way to see Jesus.
XNo, the other thing.
ZacchaeusOh. I said there must be a way to get over the problems.
X( excited ) Yes ! There it is ! That's the answer ! You have to get over the problems !
Zacchaeus( puzzled ) I said that. It's not an answer.
XYes, it is ! ( with broad gestures ) If you can't be at the front of the crowd, or in the crowd, or behind the crowd, you can get over the crowd !
Zacchaeus( still puzzled ) What ?
XLook ( points ) - there's a tree, growing up by the roadside and stretching out over the street. Climb the tree ! You'll be able to see, but the crowd will be too busy looking for Jesus to notice you up there. It might be a bit unsteady, but if you're really keen and don't mind getting your clothes dirty...
Zacchaeus( excited ) You bet I'm keen and I'd ruin all my clothes for a chance to see Jesus ! Look, I'm ever so grateful. I'm not used to people being kind and helpful.
XWell, I'm not used to honest tax collectors. But listen - it sounds as if they're coming. Up you go !
( Zacchaeus climbs the "tree", dropping his cloak at the bottom. X joins the crowd, who stand to sing "Open Our eyes, Lord". The crowd also do the actions. )
NarratorPlease stand to sing the hymn

Open Our eyes, Lord,

which we shall sing twice.

Omitted for copyright reasons; further details.
NarratorPlease sit.

Zacchaeus meets Jesus

( Luke 19.5,6 )
NarratorLook - here comes Jesus !
( Jesus comes down Organ side, crowd point to Him. )
Crowd ( Nudging each other )He's coming, Jesus is coming.
( Jesus comes past the front of the crowd who make an appropriate response  - kneel, hold out hands, bow their heads or just stare.
Jesus stops under the "tree", looks into the "tree" and says : )
JesusHurry down, Zacchaeus ! I want to stay with you today.
( Zacchaeus hurries down from ladder, hugs Jesus and they go off down centre aisle talking together.

Crowd look shocked, surprised etc. They form a semicircle facing the congregation. )

Crowdmember 1Well, what about that ! Jesus hardly noticed us at all !
Crowdmember 2Yes, and He spoke to that creep Zacchaeus, and now He's gone off to his house.
Crowdmember 5
( standing tall and showing off his good build )
How can He bear to walk with that silly little man ? - and He never even looked at me.
Crowdmember 3Didn't Zacchaeus look a mess - lost his cloak - clothes all dirty and torn from climbing that tree.
Crowdmember 1Why did Jesus bother with him ?
Crowdmember 2I was wondering that too, why did Jesus bother with him ?
Crowdmember 6I wonder if Jesus knew how mean we'd been to Zacchaeus.
Crowdmember 4But Zacchaeus was mean to us, too - charging us too much tax - lining his own pocket with our money...
Crowdmember 1How dishonest do you think Zacchaeus was ?
Crowdmember 2All tax collectors are dishonest.
Crowdmember 6How do you know ? Do you know what the true tax on everything is ?
Crowdmember 2No.
( All shake their heads )
Crowdmember 4We don't know.
Crowdmember 6Maybe we've been unfair to him.
Crowdmember 5Still, he was such a little shrimp, and so proud in his beautiful clothes.
Crowdmember 3He didn't look smart or neat after he'd climbed that tree.
Crowdmember 6Well, perhaps Jesus looks for different things. Do you remember about that time in the Bible when God told Samuel to anoint one of Jesse's sons to be the next King of Israel ?
Crowdmember 2Vaguely.
Crowdmember 6Do you remember what happened ?

Jesse lined up seven of his eight sons in front of Samuel and they all looked so good. Tall, strong and handsome and God said to Samuel, "Choose none of these, don't look at how tall and handsome they are for I, the Lord God, do not judge as people judge. People look at the outward appearance, but I look at the heart."

And Samuel had to send them out to get the youngest son from the fields - that was David, whom he anointed as the next King of Israel.

He sure was a great King too.

Crowdmember 4Maybe Jesus looks at our hearts. We all know Zacchaeus really wanted to meet Jesus, but why did we come here ?
Crowdmember 3I came to stare.
Crowdmember 2I came because everyone else was here.
Crowdmember 5I came to get away from the problems at home.
Crowdmember 1You're making me feel ashamed.
Crowdmember 2You mean Jesus sees into our hearts ?
Crowdmember 6Yes, that's what I mean.
Crowdmember 2Oh, no !
Crowdmember 1What can we do ?
Crowdmember 5 ( To Crowdmember 4 )Hey, your sister works at Zacchaeus's house, maybe she can tell us about Jesus's time there, and we'll find out what Zacchaeus did.
Crowdmember 4I'll ask her when she gets home.
NarratorPlease stand to sing

The Zacchaeus song.

( Crowd form a line in front of the altar ready to sing the song. Nine of them collect letters, and arrange themselves in the right order at the front, holding the letters down in front of them with the backs of the cards visible. When the name ZACCHAEUS is spelt in the "chorus", the singers lift the appropriate letters high as they are sung, showing the letters themselves. After the spelling is complete, the cards are lowered again. )

1.   Zacchaeus was a taxman,
  But wasn't satisfied;
  He wanted to be better
  But however hard he tried
  He couldn't find a way for
      ( spell ) Z A C C H A E U S -
          ( shout ) Zacchaeus !

2.   Zacchaeus heard of Jesus
  Off'ring something new.
  How could Zacchaeus meet Him ?
  What should Zacchaeus do ?
  Might this be a way for
      ( spell ) Z A C C H A E U S -
          ( shout ) Zacchaeus !

3.   Jesus now is coming !
  How can Zacchaeus see ?
  In the crowd he's much too short -
  But here's a handy tree !
  This'll be the way for
      ( spell ) Z A C C H A E U S -
          ( shout ) Zacchaeus !

4.   Jesus noticed Zacchaeus
  Up there in the tree;
  Said, "I'll come to visit you",
  And, later, "Follow Me" -
  Jesus was the way for
      ( spell ) Z A C C H A E U S -
          ( shout ) Zacchaeus !

5.   If you are unhappy,
  And think that you're astray,
  Jesus is still coming,
  He is still the way,
  Just the way He was for
      ( spell ) Z A C C H A E U S -
          ( shout ) Zacchaeus !

( Crowd return to their seats. )

NarratorPlease sit or kneel for the prayers.

Thank You, Lord God, for Your love for each one of us.

PeopleThank You, Lord.
NarratorThank You, Lord God for Your Son, Jesus.
PeopleThank You, Lord.
NarratorThank You, Lord God, that we may come to Jesus for salvation.
PeopleThank You, Lord.
NarratorHelp us, Lord God, to be people who truly seek to know Jesus better.
PeopleHelp us, Lord God, to know Jesus better.
NarratorForgive us, Lord God, when we make wrong assumptions about people or are mean to one another.
PeopleForgive us, Lord.
NarratorForgive us, Lord God, for the times when we are dishonest.
PeopleForgive us, Lord.
NarratorThank You, Lord God, that You hear our prayers and that You forgive those with penitent hearts.
PeopleThank You, Lord.
Narrator Please stand to sing the hymn

God forgave my sin.

During this hymn Crowdmember 5 comes to front down hospital aisle, Crowdmember 4 prepares to come down centre aisle.

Omitted for copyright reasons; further details.

Narrator Please sit as we listen to this imaginary scene at Zacchaeus's house -

Jesus visits Zacchaeus at home

( Luke 19.7,8 )
Crowdmember 5 ( Running up to Crowdmember 4 )Hi, I'm so glad to see you. What's been happening in Jericho ? Everyone looks so happy. Has it got something to do with Jesus ? Did your sister tell you about Jesus's visit to Zacchaeus's house ?
Crowdmember 4What a lot of questions ! Yes, we're all happy because of Jesus's visit. It was incredible - would you like me tell you what happened ?
( Crowdmember 4 and Crowdmember 5 move across to lectern. )
Crowdmember 5Yes, please ! I so want to hear about Jesus.
Crowdmember 4Well, as you know, Jesus invited himself to Zacchaeus's house. ( Jesus and Zacchaeus come down centre aisle and sit on the chairs. ) We were all so surprised ! I wanted to see what was happening, so off I went to his house too.
Crowdmember 5Did you get in ?
( other actors start going to Zacchaeus's house and stand around the altar. Others try to listen at "door" near the chairs, and follow actions as Crowdmember 4 talks )
Crowdmember 4Yes, I got in. I was going to pretend I had a message for my sister.
But I didn't need to pretend. It was chaos.
There were so many people milling around trying to hear what Jesus was saying to Zacchaeus.
We couldn't hear anything, though, because they were in a small room with the door shut.
People were pushing and shoving trying to get closest to the door, where Jesus was. There was quite a fight going on, but all in silence.
Then we heard Jesus's voice -
JesusGod loves you.
Crowdmember 4We were startled, the voice was so loud, then we tried even harder to get close to the door to hear what was happening, but all we could hear was the murmur of voices.
Again came that loud voice -
JesusGod loves you.
Crowdmember 4This time we all looked at each other. It really felt as if Jesus was talking to us. And that voice came again -
JesusGod loves you.
Crowdmember 4Jesus must be talking to us ! Slowly we smiled at one another, then someone started patting their friend on the back. Soon we were all shaking hands and being friendly to one another. Even the people who are usually fighting one another began to shake hands. It was amazing, the love we all felt for one another.
JesusGod forgives you.
Crowdmember 4Well, that shook us up a bit. Suddenly we were all rushing up to each other saying "I'm sorry" or "I forgive you". One or two hung back, but that voice came again -
JesusGod forgives you.
Crowdmember 4Even the reluctant ones started saying "I'm sorry". Something truly wonderful happened in that house then, and we all began to smile and laugh.
Then the door opened and Jesus and Zacchaeus came out ( Jesus and Zacchaeus come out ). We all went silent amazed at how happy Zacchaeus looked. Then Zacchaeus said -
ZacchaeusI'll give half of my property to the poor. And I'll pay back four times as much to anyone I've ever cheated.
Crowdmember 4We all looked at one another. I was thinking about some things I could give away. And also about some of the people I'd cheated. I think we all were.
Then Jesus said -
JesusSalvation has come to this house today. The Son of Man came to seek and save the lost.
Crowdmember 4We all felt full of peace and joy; surely God had touched each one of us, and that's why the people of Jericho are so happy today.
Crowdmember 5That's wonderful, I wish I'd been there.
NarratorPlease stand to sing

Joy is the flag flown high.

All stand.

( Cast pick up bells etc. and wave them during this hymn. )

  Joy is the flag flown high
  From the castle of my heart,
  From the castle of my heart,
  From the castle of my heart;
  Joy is the flag flown high
  From the castle of my heart,
  When the King is in residence there.

  (So ) Let it fly in the sky,
  Let the whole world know,
  Let the whole world know,
  Let the whole world know,
  (So ) Let it fly in the sky,
  Let the whole world know
  That the King is in residence there.

All sit.

( Cast return to their seats. Helpers give out crayons and colouring-in to the children. )

Can we meet Jesus too ?

NarratorOur helpers will now bring round an activity for the children.

Please sit for the reading, which is the speech given by Peter to the people gathered at the house of Cornelius, the Roman soldier.

ReaderThis reading is taken from Acts Chapter 10 verses 34-43 ( Page 1219 of the church Bibles )

( after the reading ) This is the Word of the Lord.

PeopleThanks be to God.
Please remain seated for the Message.
SpeakerThe message
NarratorYou are invited to pray silently this prayer of commitment to Jesus :

Dear God, I confess that I am a sinner and am sorry for all the wrong things that I have done.

I believe that Your Son, Jesus Christ, died on the cross for my sins. Please forgive me, and I invite You, Jesus, to come into my heart and life as Lord and Saviour. I commit and trust my life to You.

Please help me to be what You want me to be and help me to do what You want me to do.

Thank You for dying for my sins, for Your free pardon, for Your gift of eternal life, and for hearing and answering my prayer.


NarratorLet us pray.

Thank You, Lord God, for all those who have made or renewed their commitment to You today. May each one of us here today encourage and help one another to live our lives to Your glory. Amen.

We pray that our homes may be places where Jesus's love shines forth, where honesty and goodness are displayed; help us all to live in harmony with one another and with You, Lord God. Amen.

We remember all who are sick or in trouble or distress at this time. We lift them up to You for Your comfort, Your healing and Your strength. Amen

We pray for all places where there is trouble, war or strife, praying that You would bring peace and reconciliation to all hurting peoples. Forgive us for the times when we cause trouble.


Together we sing the Lord's Prayer :

All Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be Your name, Your kingdom come,
Your will be done, on earth, as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial, and deliver us from evil.
For the Kingdom, the power and the glory are Yours, now and for ever.
NarratorPlease stand for the final hymn

Whosoever will may come.

1.   Whosoever heareth ! Shout, shout the sound :
  Send the blessed tidings all the world around;
  Spread the joyful news wherever man is found :
  Whosoever will may come.

Chorus  :

  Whosoever will ! Whosoever will !
  Send the proclamation over vale and hill;
  'Tis the loving Father calls the wanderer home;
  Whosoever will may come.

2.   Whosoever cometh need not delay;
  Now the door is open, enter while you may;
  Jesus is the true and only living Way :
  Whosoever will may come.


3.   Whosoever will, the promise is secure;
  Whosoever will, for ever shall endure;
  Whosoever will, 'tis life for evermore :
  Whosoever will may come.


NarratorPlease remain standing for the Blessing.


We invite you to join us for a cuppa in the Hall ( behind the church ) at the end of this service.

Those taking part :

Crowd members, including Crowdmember 1, Crowdmember 2, Crowdmember 3, Crowdmember 4, Crowdmember 5, Crowdmember 6, Householder, Jesus, Narrator, Reader, Speaker, X, Zacchaeus.