The play begins in a small Southern town in Arkansas at the local church on a Sunday morning in June. The reverend of the town (Reverend Sears) is already in the church as groups of people begin to flow in, and are welcomed by the reverend.
Reverend Sears: (Shaking hands with people that enter) Ah John, how is little Joshua these days? Good? That's good. G'mornin' Martha, it is nice to see you today. (A teenaged boy enters, holding the hand of a girl. The reverend frowns a bit, seeing the boy dressed in black, while the girl is dressed in a white skirt and light-blue shirt. The girl nudges the boy as they arrive at the reverend.)
Joel: (Holds out hand) Good morning, Mr. Sears.
Reverend Sears: (Takes hand and shakes it, still staring in his eyes) Mornin' Mr. Phillips. (The girl coughs.) Good morning to you, Rebecca.
Rebecca: (Smiles) Morning, daddy. (People continue to enter as Rebecca and Joel move to the center of the stage with focus on them.)
Joel: (Sarcastic) Well I'd say that went well.
Rebecca: (Rolling eyes) And I'm the queen of Egypt.
Joel: I felt like saying, "What? Is there something on my face?" He stared at me so long.
Rebecca: (Sighing) It didn't help that you weren't wearing the, well, "normal," Sunday attire.
Joel: Sorry if my type of stores don't sell the, well, "normal," Sunday attire.
Rebecca: (Laughs) Oh Joel, don't worry about it. I like you just the way you are. It's just that daddy, being what he is, can't grasp reality the way I can.
Joel: I'm glad somebody in this town can. (The crowd of people finally subsides as each takes their seat in front of the reverend. Rebecca and Joel sit next to each other to the right of the reverend, in the second row.) Hey, nice seats.
Rebecca: (Puts finger to nose) Shhh, daddy's starting.
Reverend Sears: (Opens the Bible) Thank you, now, starting at Matthew 22:35, the Bible says, "…One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 'Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?' Jesus replied: 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the fist and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and Prophets hang on these two commandments.' We have all heard this at one time or another in our lives, but do you know what it really means? Indeed, it does mean that we must love our God with everything we have, for he is Lord and ruler over all things in this world he has created for us. We must love him as our Father, as he loves us as his children. But the loving of your neighbor as yourself, that is a different kind of love. Look to your left, and then to your right. (People look left and right) Those people that you see are your neighbors. (Reverend raises voice) They believe in those same virtues that you do, they believe in the Almighty Jesus as our savior. (Focuses in on Joel) Those who do not believe in those same ideals are not your neighbors. The only thing we can do is pity them for their callousness, and attempt to bring them from the devil. (Teenagers in the background giggle, as their parents attempt to straighten them out.) But those who have traveled too far into the woods are helpless. (Rebecca coughs, while glaring at her father. He straightens back up, and overlooks the whole church once more.) They are the ones that are doomed to Hell, and no love, earthly or otherwise, can save them. (Wipes head with a handkerchief as crash of thunder can be heard in the distance.) I fear there is a large storm coming this way, and I think it is best if we cut today's sermon short. God bless you all, and God forgive us for our sins. (All the people in the church leave the stage, including the reverend, leaving only Rebecca and Joel as the scene ends.)