Ned Lewis' V.B.S. class is a mess and he must perform a sketch in front of the entire church! If everything goes well, the church will consider starting up a Drama program, but things don't look too good for Ned.
Ned Lewis is a nervous wreck. His sixth-grade class at Vacation Bible School is set to perform a sketch Ned wrote and directed about Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, and the fiery furnace. The problem is, the class isn't ready, not by a long shot. And, as he explains to Whit, the kids playing the lead characters — Eugene (Mugsy) Mumford, Hank Shorter, and Junior Bascomb — are incredibly rambunctious. Whit says things can't possibly be that bad, so Ned explains in a flashback just how disastrous the V.B.S. week has been.
Mugsy, Hank and Junior continually disrupted the class, took over the main parts of the sketch, and generally made nuisances of themselves. To make the disaster complete, the pastor told Ned how much he's looking forward to the sketch. The pastor said if it goes well, he may approve the drama program Ned's been wanting to start at the church.
Talking to Whit, Ned reveals that he's mostly disappointed because his reason for doing the sketch was so the kids would learn something. Now it doesn't seem that they're gaining anything from it. Whit disputes this and tells Ned that God works in ways we can't possibly understand. Whit encourages Ned and tells him to trust in God.
That night, Ned and his class perform their sketch, leaving the audience in stitches. Ned believes the whole thing flopped. To his surprise, Whit, the audience, and Pastor Williams compliment Ned on a job well done. The pastor even wants to talk more about the drama program. Best of all, Mugsy, Hank, and Junior thank Ned for letting them be in the show. They also apologize for disrupting the class during the week and ask if they can come to Ned's weekly Sunday school class. Ned says "absolutely," and he and Whit marvel at the faithfulness of the Lord.
- Why did Ned feel that the kids weren't getting anything out of his class?
- Ned told Whit that everything that had happened was his "fiery furnace." Can you think of a time when it seemed like you were in a "fiery furnace"?
- How did God help you through it?
- What is your favorite Old Testament story?
- How has it helped you?
|Card Counter||Phil Lollar|
|Eugene Mumford||Chad Reisser|
|Hank Shorter||Allen Everman|
|John Whittaker||Hal Smith|
|Junior Bascomb||Trevor McVicar|
|Ned Lewis||Steve Wunch|
|Pastor Williams||Chuck Bolte|
- Pastor Williams is played by Chuck Bolte. He would later go on to play another pastor, George Barclay.
- Many parts of this episode parallel the book The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.
- Mugsy and his gang reference and quote Star Wars, saying that the play has an "empire, like in Star Wars" and reenacting a light saber battle with the line "Luke, I am your father."
- Hank Shorter mentions the Rambo film series.
- The original title of this episode was "The VBS Blues."
- Whit mentions at the Little Theater that there are refreshments set up downstairs. However, the floor plans of Whit's End indicate that the Little Theater is downstairs. Were refreshments being served in the basement?
QuotesEugene Mumford: We talked it over. Me, and Junior, and Hank, wanna play those three guys, uh... Poolrack, Toolshed, and a Billy Goat.
Ned Lewis: Hank, the gold star goes on the page, not your forehead.
Ned Lewis: They kept wanting to change the script. You know how Nebuchadnezzar ordered that everyone was supposed to bow down to the idol when the music played?
John Whittaker: Yeah.
Ned Lewis: Well, they wanted the music to be rock and roll. Then they started playing cards when they were in the fiery furnace.
Ned Lewis: And among these young men were Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
Eugene Mumford: Hi Mom!
Benny: We threw three men into the furnace, but now I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed. And the fourth one looks like the son of the gods.
Eugene, Hank, and Junior: <singing> Give me oil in my lamp, keep me burning, burning, burning.