The Big Red Box

It’s big! It’s red! And it’s free! Just exactly what’s inside that big red box anyway?

Characters: Store clerk, Crowd of 4-6 Shoppers, Shopper looking for a free gift

Set Up: The setting is a store called “Kame Apart” which is identified by a large sign. Scattered around the stage are sale items: a hat rack with hats, a tie rack full of ties, a table of sunglasses, and a large box with a sign listing it’s ingredients and the fact that it is free. (A huge box big enough to hold a kitchen stove works best) The box looks plain outside, but it is filled with hot-air balloons, each tied to a card with the Bible verse from Ephesians 2:8-10 written on it.

The Skit: A crowd of people stand outside make-believe glass doors. They are eagerly waiting to be let into the store. They push on the glass and say, “Open, open, open, open.” When the store clerk opens the door they rush in frantically grabbing at the store merchandise.

The store clerk walks to a microphone and says, ” Welcome to Kame Apart! The friendliest place on earth to spend all your hard-earned money. If you want it, need it, don’t need it, or can’t even afford it, we’ll sell it to you! And to kick off this morning’s shopping frenzy, check out the special in the fourth aisle! It’s our deluxe line of Kame Apart ties on sale today for just $5.99! If you act now, we’ll throw in a set of ginsu knives free! This offer won’t last long! Check it out!”

The crowd of shoppers runs to the fourth aisle (fourth pew of the church) where a tie rack suddenly pops up (thanks to a volunteer audience member.) They ravage the rack as they grab the ties and throw some up in the air. A tug of war ensues between two serious shoppers who both shout, “It’s mine! I saw it first! No, it’s mine! Is not! Is too!” One of them gives a big tug and wins the tie. Upon looking at it more closely, the shopper decides that she doesn’t like the color and throws it aside.

The store clerk announces, “Attention shoppers, we’ve got a thirty second special in aisle one on cool sunglasses! You need them! You want them! You crave them! Well, we’ve got them! All the styles! All the colors! All of last year’s unsold models that nobody really liked. And their all on sale for just a dollar and a quarter of your soul. But hurry! This limited offer won’t last long!”

The shoppers run to aisle one to look at the sunglasses. On their way they are shouting, “Thirty seconds! Hurry up! Move out of the way! I’m getting there first! No you’re not!” They descend on the sunglasses frantically grabbing at them in a selfish frenzy.

Another shopper enters the store and calmly browses through the sale items. The store clerk approaches and sneakily asks, “May I help you?” (In the following dialogue the store clerk excitedly interrupts the shopper with the words in parenthesis.) The shopper answers, “Yes, in fact you may. I’m looking for a very special gift for some friends of mine. It has to be the best present of ALL. (I think we can accommodate you!) It has to be very beautiful. (Yes, ravishing, enticing!) And unique. (Unrivaled, a one of a kind!) And valuable. (Oh yes! costly, expensive!) And it has to be FREE.” At this word, the greedy store clerk suddenly turns sour and hostile, “Free? Are you crazy?! What kind of place do you think this is! Here I am trying to run a business, and what do I get? Nuts like you looking for handouts! Well, I’m sorry young man, but you’re not going to find what you’re looking for around here!” The store clerk stomps off.

The store clerk cynically announces, “Attention all you pathetic little shoppers, it’s our final sale of the day. It’s something you’ve all been selfishly waiting for, something to give your hopeless lives meaning, something to temporarily satisfy your pitiful little existence for another second or two. Yes, yes, (mocking tone) it’s beautiful, it’s unique, it’s valuable, and it’s (pause) almost free! That’s right, it’s a hat sale! For just $2.99 you can own your very own Pentecost Hat! We’ve got the newest styles! So run on up for a limited selection of our finest fake Pentecost hats, made from 100% imitation synthetic fabric, designed to fulfill your earthly fantasies forever, or at least for a day or two. (The crowd descends on the hat rack grabbing at the merchandise.)

While the crowd ravages the hats, the new shopper walks over to a big red box. He examines it with curious determination. Suddenly he yells to the other shoppers, “Hey! Come over here!” When the crowd gathers around the box, the shopper asks, “Do you know what this is?” They answer, “No.” The shopper points, “Look at this! The ingredients are listed here on the side. It says, ‘Ingredients: Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, happiness, faith, life, and truth! There are a lot of other things listed on here too!”

The store clerk, who has been watching the scene, interrupts the shopper, “All right, that’s enough! What would you want that for anyway? It’s good for nothing and besides that box could never fit in a mini-van. It’s way too huge!” The shoppers seem to agree. Individuals say, “Yes, it’s too big. The only thing I see is a big ugly box. We don’t even know what’s inside.”

The shopper, who has been examining the box closely, suddenly interrupts, “Hey, look here! It says that it’s FREE!” The store clerk immediately chimes in, “Free? Free? Well, if it’s free, then it must not be worth very much! I bet it’s empty anyway! Come on people, move along now! We’re just about to announce our last sale of the day.” They begin to walk away.

The shopper suddenly shouts, “Wait a minute! Listen to this! It says that it has a guarantee! It says: ‘Ideal for children and adults, guaranteed to fill your life with love, happiness, fun and excitement. Caution: May cause growing pains, but in the end, it is guaranteed to improve your attitude, vision, thoughts, speech, and prolong your life indefinitely.’ Wow! That sounds great! This is what I’ve been looking for! It’s a perfect gift and it’s absolutely free!”

The crowd seems interested, but the store clerk is skeptical. The shopper exclaims, “What are we waiting for? Let’s open it up!” They open the box and are surprised to find red balloons in side with dove-shaped cards tied to them. A verse on the cards reads, “By grace we have been saved through faith, and this is not our own doing, it is the free gift of God, not the result of works, so no one may boast. For we are God’s handiwork created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we might walk in them.” Ephesians 2:8-10.

The shopper says, “This is the perfect gift! And it’s for all of us to share. Let’s give them away!” They hand out the balloons as the congregation shares the peace of the Lord with each other.

The End

Biblical Emphasis: Eph. 2:8-10, Acts 2:1-4, Joel 2:28, Phil. 5:22-23. The gift of salvation is free to all who believe in Jesus Christ. The gifts of the Spirit are more fulfilling and valuable than anything the world can offer.

Discussion Starters:
1. Share a story of how you received something totally free with no strings attached.
2. Describe how you experience the grace of God in your life.
3. Discuss how you can share God’s love freely with other people in your life.

“The Big Red Box” Copyright 1998 Cross the Sky Ministries
Permission granted for local use.