Reader’s Theater: Jacob’s Dream at Bethel

Jacob's Dream by Marc Chagall

Reader’s Theater: Jacob’s Dream at Bethel
Based on Genesis 28:10-22 (NRSV)
Version with three speakers


Click here for a PDF of this script

Click here for a PDF of this script for one speaker

Play instrumental music in the harmonic structure of We are Climbing Jacob’s Ladder under the Scripture reading (but not a recognizable tune)

NARRATOR
Jacob left Beer-sheba and went toward Haran. He came to a certain place and stayed there for the night, because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones of the place, he put it under his head and lay down in that place. Music stops so the following line and verse are in silence

And he dreamed…

CHOIR OR SOLOIST
We are Climbing Jacob’s Ladder, verse 1 a cappella
We are climbing Jacob’s ladder,
We are climbing Jacob’s ladder,
We are climbing Jacob’s ladder,
Soldiers of the cross.

Instrumental music continues under the Scripture reading.

NARRATOR
Jacob dreamed there was a ladder set up on the earth, the top of it reaching to heaven; and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. And the Lord stood beside him

THE LORD
I am the Lord, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and to your offspring; and your offspring shall be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south; and all the families of the earth shall be blessed in you and in your offspring. Know that I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.

CHOIR OR SOLOIST
We are Climbing Jacob’s Ladder, verse 2 with instrumental support
Every round goes higher, higher,
Every round goes higher, higher,
Every round goes higher, higher,
Soldiers of the cross.

Instrumentalist transitions to the chorus of Surely the Presence of the Lord during the Scripture reading.

NARRATOR
Then Jacob woke from his sleep

JACOB
Surely the Lord is in this place—and I did not know it!
Fearfully How awesome is this place!
This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.

CHOIR OR SOLOIST
Surely the Presence of the Lord, chorus, with instrumental support
Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place
I can feel His mighty power and His grace
I can hear the brush of angel’s wings
I see glory on each face
Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place

Instrumental music continues under the Scripture reading.

NARRATOR
So Jacob rose early in the morning, and he took the stone that he had put under his head and set it up for a pillar and poured oil on the top of it. He called that place Bethel; but the name of the city was Luz at the first. Then Jacob made a vow.

JACOB
If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat and clothing to wear, so that I come again to my father’s house in peace, then the Lord shall be my God, and this stone, which I have set up for a pillar, shall be God’s house; and of all that you give me I will surely give one-tenth to you.

ALL SINGING
Surely the Presence of the Lord, chorus, with instrumental support
Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place
I can feel His mighty power and His grace
I can hear the brush of angel’s wings
I see glory on each face
Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place

***************
Adapted from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

We are Climbing Jacob’s Ladder, traditional Afro-American Spiritual. United Methodist Hymnal #418.

Surely the Presence of the Lord, by Lanny Wolfe © 1977 Lanny Wolfe Music. United Methodist Hymnal #328. CCLI #7909.

Compilation © 2012 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia and Nicole Sallee
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution. Contact the compilers for posting and publication considerations.

For more information on the use of the music, scripture translation, art and this resource in other settings, please refer to the copyright information page.

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