Sunday, December 16, 2012

"The Christmas Story"

This is the Third Sunday of Advent, the Sunday of Joy! Today the kids at church presented a beautiful little Christmas play I wrote. They did such a great job! You can read the script below:

(Inside Zechariah and Elizabeth’s home)

Zechariah: Shalom, dear Elizabeth

Elizabeth: Shalom, Zechariah. Are you ready for today? You may be chosen to burn the incense of the Lord. Are you afraid?

Zechariah: Oh no, Elizabeth. I am not frightened. I may be a little nervous.  But I’ve been preparing for this day my whole life. If it’s the Lord’s will for me to serve today, He will give me strength. And perhaps he will answer our prayers for a child as well!


(Zechariah and other priests standing together)

Head Priest: Priest of the Lord, I have in my hand a selection of lots. Whoever picks the shortest lot will serve in the temple today. (He reaches forward and they each take one lot. Each man looks at his lot in either disappointment or surprise). (Looking towards Zechariah): The Lord has chosen Zechariah!

(Elizabeth rushes forward and gives him a hug. Head Priest hands him the incense. Zechariah walks into temple).

Zechariah (inside the temple): Blessed are You, Oh Lord our God, God of our ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob . . .

(He is cut off when an Angel appears. He is terrified.)

Angel:  “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great before the Lord. And he must not drink wine or strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb.  And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God, and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.” (Luke 1:13-17)

Zechariah: Whoa! How is this possible? I am really old, and so is my wife, Elizabeth!

Angel: “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. And behold, you will be silent and unable to speak until the day that these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time.” (Luke 1:19-20)

Priests (outside): What is taking Zechariah so long? I hope he’s okay.

(Zechariah stumbles out of the temple, gripping at his throat and motioning with his hands).

Head Priest: He must have seen a vision!


Anna: Mary, Mary! Come in here. Your Abba and I have something we would like to tell you.

Mary: I’ll coming, Ima and Abba!

(Mary runs in. Her parents are standing with Joseph).

Joachim: Mary, you remember Joseph. (Mary bashfully smiles at him). Well, we have talked it over, and we have decided that Joseph is to be your husband. You will be betrothed for a year and then you will get married.

(Joachim places Mary’s hands in Joseph’s. Mary looks up in surprise, and then lowers he eyes).

Mary: Yes, Abba.


(Mary is sweeping at her home when an Angel appears. Surprised, she drops her broom and stumbles backwards).

Angel: “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” (Mary doesn’t know what to do . . . looks around worried). “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.  He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” (Luke 1:28-33)

Mary: What? How can this be? I’m a virgin!

Angel: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God.  And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.” (Luke 1:35-37)

Mary:  I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word. (Angel leaves).  Wow. What am I supposed to do now? What will Abba and Ima say? What will Joseph say?


(In Mary’s home with her mother, Anna).

Anna: Mary, this is not the best time to be visiting your cousin, Elizabeth. Why don’t you wait until after the harvest, when there is less work to be done?

Mary: I must go now. You wouldn’t understand . . . but I’m certain Elizabeth needs me with her now.

Anna: Alright. We will arrange for you to travel with a caravan in the morning.


(Mary approaches Elizabeth’s house. Elizabeth runs out to greet her).

Mary: Elizabeth, I’m here!

Elizabeth: Oh! Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! Why should the mother of my Lord should come to me? For when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord. (Luke 1: 42-45)


[SONG] O Come O Come Emmanuel (Oniawa)


Mary: Zechariah, Zechariah! Come quick. The baby has been born. You have a son! (Zechariah comes running, his face joyful). Isn’t that wonderful news? What will you call him, Zechariah?

(Zechariah comes into the room.)

Zechariah: His name shall be John.

(Elizabeth and Mary look up in surprise).

Mary: John?

Elizabeth (at the same time): He speaks! Praise the Lord! Come here, Zechariah. Hold your son.

Zechariah (holding the baby up in the air): And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give knowledge of salvation to his people  in the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God (Luke 1:76-78).


Joseph: Mary! You’ve returned. It is so good to see you . . . (Joseph looks down and sees Mary’s swollen belly.) Oh Mary. What has happened? What have you done? (He storms away. Mary crumples into a chair, dejected.)


(Joseph is sleeping, tossing and mumbling in his sleep. An angel appears before him.)

Angel: “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:20-21)


Joseph: Mary, Mary! Will you forgive me? How could I have known? I was so scared. When I saw you like that, all I wanted to do was end our betrothal. But I didn’t feel right about it. And then last night while I was sleeping an angel appeared to me. He told me everything.

Mary: Oh Joseph! An angel came to me too. I was so scared at first, but then he told me about God’s plan. How could I say no?

Joseph: Mary, I still want you to be my wife. But we have to leave Nazareth. Caesar Augustus is issuing a census. We must travel to Bethlehem, the city of my ancestor David. Will you go with me?

Mary: Yes, of course I will go with you. The Lord will keep our baby safe on the journey.



Mary: Are we there yet? I can tell this baby isn’t going to wait much longer.

Joseph: We’re almost there. Hold on for just a little longer. The Lord has brought us this far! (Joseph and Mary approach the door of an Inn. Joseph knocks on the door.) Hello? Does anyone have a room where we can stay?

Inn Keeper (Jacob): Hold your horses. I’m coming. I’m coming. (He opens the door). It’s a room you want? Can’t you see this whole town is full of weary travelers? I don’t have any empty rooms. I am sorry. Good bye . . . (and he begins to close the door. His wife is standing behind him with her arms crossed and an irritated look on her face).

Inn Keeper’s Wife (Ruth): Jacob! How rude of you. Can’t you see this woman is expecting a child. Have some compassion!

Jacob: But we don’t have any rooms, Ruth.

Ruth (to Jacob): I know, I know. But I have an idea. (To Mary and Joseph): Please excuse my husband. This census has all of us stretched thin. We don’t have any rooms inside, but I have an idea. Follow me around the back. (She leads them to a animal stall.) It’s not very clean, but it’s warm and dry. Will this do?

Mary: Yes, it’s perfect. May the Lord bless you for your kindness!


[SONG: Oh Little Town of Bethlehem]


Shepherd 1: I wish these sheep would find some place warmer to graze.

Shepherd 2: I wish this was more exciting. Sheep are boring.

Shepherd 3: Quit complaining. At least we have work. (He is cut short when an Angel appears, with a host of other angels. The shepherds are terrified.)

Angel:  “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.” (Luke 2:10-12)

Lots of Angels: “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” (Luke 2:14)

Shepherd 4: Whoa! Let’s go see this baby!

Shepherd 5: He must be pretty special if the Lord sent a whole host of angels to tell us about him.


 [SONG: While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks]

(The shepherds find Mary and Joseph and the baby Jesus, and gather around them).


[SONG] Away in a Manger


The End

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