.          all rights belong to Tanis Harms, © 2015
.             refer to
www.church-skits.com

THE CHRISTMAS STORY – written by Tanis Harms

TOPIC:       the birth of Jesus
SCRIPTURE:   Matthew 1:18-2:23; Luke 1:1 – 2:38
STYLE:       drama/conversation: a mother
.            tells her child the story of Christmas,
.            which contains vignettes of
.            the various aspects of events
Cast:        MOM, CHILD; MARY; JOSEPH; ANGEL VOICE;
.            INN KEEPER & WIFE; SHEPHERDS, WOMAN 1 & 2;
.            KING HEROD, CHIEF PRIEST; MAGI
Set & Props: comfy chair, knitting, Bible,
.            Christmas tree,
.            (CENTER STAGE can have the vignettes either
.            spread out and individually lighted
.            or you can change set/s as you go)
.            1: table, chairs, broom, clothes;
.            2: workbench, tools, woodworking project;
.            3: table, chairs, wash basin, cloth,
.               dishes, lantern
.            4: basket, water jug, shepherd staffs
.            5: table, chairs, scrolls
.            6: table, chairs

.            $20.00 USD to receive a DIRECTOR’S PACKAGE
.            
how you receive this & package description


SCRIPT:                  STAGE RIGHT

(MOM sits and knits.  CHILD walks in carrying a Bible.)

CHILD      Mom, can you read me a story?

MOM        It’s almost bedtime.

CHILD      Please?

MOM        (puts her knitting away)  Of course.
.          Which storybook do you have there?

CHILD      The Bible.  I want to hear the Christmas story.
.                                                     2
(CHILD sits down beside MOM as she opens the Bible.)

MOM        You do realize that the Christmas story
.          is found in two different places in the Bible.
.          I’ll have to jump around a bit.

CHILD      Why is it like that?

MOM        One part is found in the book of Matthew,
.          and the other is found in the book of Luke.
.          Both books have slightly different themes –
.          or purposes – and at the same time -
.          they tell the exact same story.

CHILD      Which one is the real story, then?

MOM        Well - both.  (sighs)  How can I explain it?
.          (thinking of an example)
.          It’s like when Dad and I tell the story
.          about how you were born –

CHILD      Oooh!  You like to tell all the funny things
.          that Dad did, and Dad likes to tell us
.          all the funny things YOU did.

MOM        (laughing)  Exactly.  It all – actually
.          happened – and it’s exactly the same story -
.          about how you were born.

CHILD      Okay.  So tell me the story about
.          how Jesus was born.  What happened first?

MOM        Well, in Luke chapter 1, verses 26 to 38,
.          the angel Gabriel is sent to Mary
.          to give her the message.
.          (CHILD scrunches up face, trying to think)
.          Are you okay?

CHILD      I’m trying to imagine it.

MOM        Yes, if I got news like THAT,
.          I don’t know how I would react.

(MOM and CHILD both scrunch up their faces to imagine.)
.                                                     3
.                       CENTER STAGE
.                        VIGNETTE 1

(Lights come up as MARY enters and sits at the table.
As the angel’s voice is spoken, Mary reacts mildly
as if she is replaying the message in her mind.
The angel’s voice can be whisper-like with sound effects
such as reverb.  DO NOT sound like God’s voice.)

GABRIEL    Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.

(MARY always speaks to herself or God, she never
addresses the voice of Gabriel.)

MARY       Favored one...  I do not know
.          what the angel really meant.
.          My mother would not always agree with that...
.          although, I always try my best to be obedient.
.          (looks up)  Lord God, You know I lean
.          on Your strength to do my best.  And now -
.          I need Your strength more than ever.
.          (stands up anxiously, then sits back down)
.          This all still seems like a dream.
.          Could I have imagined it?
.          I was so scared...

GABRIEL    Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found
.          favor with God.

MARY       But what the angel said was very – incredible.
.          Did I understand correctly?

(MARY looks more downward as she tries to remember.)

GABRIEL    Behold, you will conceive in your womb
.          and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus.
.          He will be great and will be called
.          the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God
.          will give Him the throne of His father David;
.          and He will reign over the house of Jacob
.          forever, and His kingdom will have no end.

(MARY stands up again and then looks down.
She carefully touches her stomach, then looks up.)
.                                                    4
MARY       I still cannot grasp this, Lord.
.          I am a virgin.
.          (wrings hands, pacing, thinking)

GABRIEL    The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the
.          power of the Most High will overshadow you;
.          and for that reason the holy Child
.          shall be called the Son of God.

MARY       But yet - I am to have God’s Child.
.          (touches her stomach again)
.          Strange.  I seem to feel His presence already.
.          I am carrying God’s Son.  I will give birth -
.          to God’s Son – who will be King.
.          (shaking head)  How can this be?

(MARY picks up the broom and sweeps the floor nervously.
Thinking of something, she pauses.)

MARY       I remember Father talking about our
.          family tree.  We ARE some of King David’s
.          descendants.  But – so many others are, too.
.          WHY me?

(MARY quickly continues sweeping, but stops short
as if she remembers the angel’s words.)

GABRIEL    Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found
.          favor with God.

(MARY leans the broom against the table.)

MARY       I am nothing that special.  I still make
.          mistakes.  I am just a girl, and not that
.          strong.  I am constantly needing to lean
.          on YOUR strength, Lord.  And I am to -
.          raise Your Son – Your HOLY Son?  How could I
.          ever be a worthy mother – to raise and nurture
.          a Holy Being – when I myself am not perfect?
.          HE will be teaching ME!

(MARY pretends to hold a baby and looks down
at it tenderly.  MARY smiles.)

MARY       What will it be like to hold God             5
.          in my very arms?  To look down into
.          the face of the King of Kings?
.          (quickly looks with urgent realization)
.          But I am just a girl - engaged to be married!
.          (falls into the chair, realizing the weight)
.          I am engaged to be married.  To Joseph!
.          And soon - he will find out that
.          I am with child.  What will he say?
.          What will he DO?  (shaking head in fear)
.          He could think that I had an affair,
.          and have me stoned.  Will Joseph believe me
.          when I explain this?  Who will believe this?

GABRIEL    Do not be afraid, Mary –

MARY       (anxiously stands up, crying)
.          But WHO will ever believe this?
.          (sits down again, restraining her tears)
.          I’m sure You have some plans, Lord.  I just
.          wish I could have a little more insight.
.          Just a little more assurance.
.          I feel so - alone right now.

(MARY frets, hands to head, fighting tears.)

GABRIEL    Behold, even your relative Elizabeth
.          has also conceived a son in her old age;
.          and she who was called barren
.          is now in her sixth month.
.          For nothing will be impossible with God.

MARY       (fondly)  My dear sweet aunt Elizabeth,
.          so wise in her years.
.          (looks up, remembering)  My aunt Elizabeth?!
.          She cannot be pregnant also?!  She was
.          never ABLE to have children.
.          And she is WAY past that time in her life.
.          (gets up to pace and think)
.          If – if – my aunt Elizabeth is pregnant –
.          if this miracle truly happened – she will
.          understand.  She will most certainly
.          understand!  (wipes tears from eyes with hope)
.          I must go see her.  I am NOT alone in this.

GABRIEL    For nothing will be impossible with God.    6

MARY       (quickly bundles up things, then looks up)
.          I know You are always with me, and that
.          I can lean on Your strength for everything.
.          For everything IS possible with You.
.          But - I also thank You for letting me know
.          about Aunt Elizabeth.  Protect me
.          on my journey.  I will trust in You –
.          to work everything out.  I am Your bondslave-
.          May it be done to me according to Your word.

(MARY exits.)

.                        STAGE RIGHT

MOM        In Luke chapter 1, verses 39 to 56, we see
.          Mary going to visit her relative, Elizabeth.

CHILD      Her aunt Elizabeth?

MOM        Well, it doesn’t really say “aunt”,
.          it just says “relative”.  But all her life,
.          Elizabeth could never have children, and now
.          she was VERY old.  Let’s just say, her
.          pregnancy was also quite the miracle.

CHILD      Is that why Mary went to visit Elizabeth?

MOM        We’re not really told why.  But it is
.          always a comfort to be with someone else
.          who is going through something similar.
.          Elizabeth was pregnant with the one
.          who would become John the Baptist.

CHILD      Oh.  And so... was Mary hiding from Joseph?

MOM        It does not say.  Maybe.  The Bible only
.          tells us that she stayed there for 3 months.
.          By then, Mary’s tummy would have started
.          to grow a bit.  Maybe she was waiting
.          as long as she could before telling Joseph.
.          Or maybe she told Joseph right away, and then
.          he sent her away secretly - maybe to
.          Elizabeth’s house – to have the baby there -
.                                                   7
CHILD      Huh?  And what do you mean,
.          “put her away secretly?”

MOM        Like, send her far away to have the baby,
.          so people would not have asked questions.
.          Back then, it was law, that if someone was
.          unfaithful, they would be stoned to death.

CHILD      And Joseph would have been ANGRY!

MOM        I can only imagine.

CHILD      So God sent Gabriel to Joseph then, right?

MOM        It does not give us a name, it just says
.          “an angel,” but it could have been.
.          So now we go back to Matthew chapter 1.

.                       CENTER STAGE
.                        VIGNETTE 2

(JOSEPH enters and busies himself with a carpentry
project.  JOSEPH pauses and shakes his head.)

JOSEPH    How could I be so stupid?
.         (tries to work, then stops again.)
.         How it must have hurt her when I refused
.         to believe what she was saying.  My intentions
.         were never to hurt her.  But then,
.         how could anyone believe something like that?
.         I mean, who in their right mind would
.         ever believe such a thing?  That is why I
.         did not want to make this into a public fiasco.
.         Even if she HAD been unfaithful,
.         I would not want to see her put to death.
.         I thought putting her away secretly would
.         SPARE her from being publicly disgraced.
.         (hangs head in shame)
.         Perhaps - I also did not want to be scorned
.         by society!  Yet, I STILL cannot help
.         but wonder what they will all say.
.         (thinking)  The words spoken by the angel
.         were comforting.  And obviously,
.         it was more than just a dream.
.                                                    8
(JOSEPH tries to go back to work.  As the angel’s voice
is played or spoken, JOSEPH reacts mildly as if he is
replaying the message in his mind.  The angel’s voice
can be whisper-like with sound effects such as reverb.)

ANGEL     Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to
.         take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has
.         been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.

JOSEPH    I can still hear the angel’s words
.         from last night- and even NOW they sound
.         unbelievable.  (quickly looks up)
.         Of course I believe, Lord.  NOW!
.         Though, I am ashamed You had to send
.         an angel to - convince me...  But again,
.         I have concerns.  I have questions.
.         How will people around us react?
.         How am I supposed to react?
.         What am I supposed to do?  And -

ANGEL     She will bear a Son; and you shall call
.         His name Jesus, for He will save His people
.         from their sins.

JOSEPH    And what is HE supposed to do?  What does
.         that all MEAN for Him.  Am I to worry?
.         Of course, I should not worry.
.         The scriptures are very clear that
.         we are NOT to worry or fear anything,
.         but only fear You.

(JOSEPH paces a bit and wrings his hands.)

JOSEPH    But do not fathers usually– worry?  I mean,
.         care, and want to protect their families?
.         If this Child is to one day grow up – and
.         save people from their sins – who am I to
.         protect HIM?  HE will be saving ME.  That
.         thought alone – is very humbling to a man.

ANGEL     All this is to happen –
.         to fulfill what was spoken
.         by the Lord through the prophet:

JOSEPH    And am I, a humble carpenter, supposed      9
.         to raise God’s Son!?  Our lifestyle will be
.         pretty much one of poverty.  Again, a father
.         wants to provide only the BEST for his family.
.         (chuckling)  I suppose You know that better
.         than I do.  You being our Heavenly Father,
.         and me – not yet an earthly father.

(JOSEPH pauses to study his carpentry project.)

ANGEL     “Behold, the virgin shall be with Child
.         and bear a Son, and they shall call
.         His name Immanuel, which means ‘God with us.’”

JOSEPH    And what?  Will I teach Him how to build
.         with His hands, the One who has created
.         the universe with just His word?  I am not
.         worthy of this.  I have nothing to offer Him.
.         (thinking)  I can only offer Him what
.         You provide to me.  Hmph. So I know
.         there will be love, plenty of love.
.         (paces a bit)  Yet, how much will we
.         go through?  What is to come?
.         What does this future LOOK like?
.         We could be in danger as soon as Mary starts
.         to show, which will be very soon now.

(JOSEPH stops pacing and shakes his head.)

JOSEPH    If only the ground could swallow us up, or -
.         we could somehow disappear for a time.

ANGEL     Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid-

JOSEPH    (sighing)  I do not have to be afraid.
.         I am sure – that You have a perfect plan.
.         Why WOULD You not?  You have even laid out
.         Your plan in the scriptures.

ANGEL     -do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife-

(JOSEPH finalizes his thinking and is determined to
do the right thing.)

JOSEPH    I NEED to find Mary!
.                                                     10
ANGEL     -who has been conceived in her is of
.         the Holy Spirit.

(JOSEPH paces faster.)

JOSEPH    She needs to know that I WILL carry out
.         our plans to be married - after –
.         after she gives birth to God’s Son.
.         She needs to know – that together –
.         (stops, speaking firmly with more resolve)
.         -TOGETHER - we will carry out YOUR plan.
.         And I know You will help, and guide –
.         and protect us – to see us through this.

(JOSEPH exits.)

.                        STAGE RIGHT

CHILD     So how did God work it out?  Did people
.         get suspicious?

MOM       No, because God made a way for them to
.         disappear.  At that time, a very interesting
.         thing happened.  This is found in Luke
.         chapter 2.  Caesar Augustus made a decree
.         that a world-wide census be taken.

CHILD     What’s a “decree”?

MOM       It is an “order” - an official order.
.         And a “census” is where the government counts
.         all the people living in particular areas.
.         But for THIS census, everyone was supposed
.         to travel to their own city, where they
.         originally came from.  So Joseph had to go
.         to Bethlehem.  And he took Mary with him.

CHILD     So this saved Mary and Jesus from being killed.

MOM       And in Bethlehem, the people there
.         would not have known anything about them.

CHILD     Was it a long trip?

MOM       They left the city of Nazareth,          11
.         in Galilee, and traveled to Bethlehem,
.         in Judaea.  It’s around 70 miles one way.

CHILD     You can do that EASY!  Right?  That’s like
.         driving to Gran and Grandpa’s house.
.         It’s like – 2 hours.

MOM       In a car!  But Mary rode on a donkey,
.        and Joseph had to walk.

CHILD     But they got there!

MOM       Eventually, yes.  Only to find out
.         there was no room at the inn.

CHILD     Was it tourist season?

MOM       No, remember, lots of people had to
.         travel back to the places where they
.         originally came from.

CHILD     They did not have relatives there?

MOM       Probably not anyone that they knew.

CHILD     Was it snowing?

MOM       Probably not snowing, but still close
.         to freezing.  And at that time of year,
.         it can be rainy.

CHILD     Brrr.  Cold and rainy?

MOM       I suppose maybe the innkeeper had some
.         compassion on them, and helped them out
.         as much as possible.

.                       CENTER STAGE
.                        VIGNETTE 3

(INNKEEPER’S WIFE washes dishes in a basin at the table
when INNKEEPER enters and sits down.)

WIFE      What was that all about?
.                                                    12
KEEPER    This poor couple came by looking for a room -

WIFE      You told them we were completely filled up,
.         right?  I cannot keep up with all the work as
.         it is.  I mean, I’m very happy about all the
.         extra money we’re making, but – I’m so tired!

KEEPER    Do not worry –

WIFE      So you sent them away?

KEEPER    Not exactly.

WIFE      (hands on hips)  What?  What are you talking
.         about?  Ira, what did you do now?

KEEPER    Do not worry –

WIFE      You tell me I should not worry?  Any time
.         you get a bright idea, I KNOW I should worry.

KEEPER    I told them that they could stay in
.         the stable, in the back.

WIFE      Now I KNOW I should worry!  What if
.         they steal our guests’ horses.
.         Or eat all our chickens?

KEEPER    Do not worry.  They seem like a very
.         nice couple -

WIFE      You are not always the best judge of
.         character, my dear.  Remember last year when –

KEEPER    Aaaand she is ready to deliver.
.         (sees WIFE’S look of confusion go to concern)
.         The young lady is ready - to - have a baby.

WIFE      Oh!  The poor dear!  Why did you not
.         say that in the first place.
.         Having a baby outside, in this weather?
.         I should see if they’re okay.  I should
.         bring them some food.  Maybe a blanket.

KEEPER    We’re out of blankets.                       13

WIFE      Yes, of course, we cannot take blankets
.         away from our paying customers.
.         But what will they sleep on?

KEEPER    I did put some hay on the floor.

WIFE      Is it fresh?  I hope you gave them fresh hay!
.         Where will the baby sleep when it comes?

KEEPER    Do not worry, I thought of that –

WIFE      Another bright idea?

KEEPER    I put fresh hay – in one of the troughs.

WIFE      I must say, not bad.  But, STILL, the baby will
.         get cold.  At least, the baby needs a blanket!
.         (looks down at her wash cloth)
.         I may have some more rags that they can use.
.         I will bring them some food, and some rags.
.         That just does not seem like enough, though.

KEEPER    But it is all that we can do.

WIFE      Yes, I suppose you’re right.  Except,
.         it is very dark out there.  We can
.         let them use our lantern.

(As WIFE grabs the lantern that sits on the table,
a very bright light suddenly fades up and shines down –
more from “outside”.  WIFE looks eerily at KEEPER.
She opens her mouth as if to say something, but shuts it
and looks out again.  WIFE turns again and tries to talk,
but cannot.  KEEPER puts a calming hand on her shoulder.)

KEEPER    Look at that star.  And it’s right over
.         the stable.

(WIFE tries to speak again, but can’t.)

KEEPER    I told you there was something special.

(WIFE and KEEPER exit and the lights dim.)
.                                                    14
.                        STAGE RIGHT

CHILD     So they stayed in a barn?

MOM       Yes.  Some describe it more like a cave,
.         but it was to a place to keep animals.

CHILD     That would have been very smelly.

MOM       Not to mention dirty, cold, damp,
.         uncomfortable.  I complained when I was
.         in a nice, clean hospital.

CHILD     I know, that’s always part of Dad’s story
.         about when I was born.

MOM       Yes-yes, let’s continue, shall we?
.         Up next are the shepherds.
.         This is still in Luke chapter 2.

CHILD     So they got to see the star AND the angels.
.         They must have been very special.

MOM       Well, shepherds were NOT considered special
.         by other people.  They were social outcasts.

CHILD     You mean, people did not like them very much?
.         Then why did THEY get this special message?

MOM       God loves everyone, and this was kind of a way
.         to prove that.  And maybe if God had not sent
.         the angels to the shepherds, people would
.         not have let the shepherds visit Jesus.

.                       CENTER STAGE
.                        VIGNETTE 4

(WOMEN 1 & 2 enter carrying a basket and a water jug.
SHEPHERDS bound onto the stage and see them.)

SHEP 1    Wonderful news, people!  We have seen
.         the Christ-child!

WOMAN 1   Get away from me, you smelly shepherd!
.                                                    15
SHEP 2    But we have seen Him– and His name is Jesus.

WOMAN 2   (mocking)  What? So you were just
.         walking along in the field, and
.         you stumbled over the Messiah!?

(WOMEN 1 & 2 laugh at the thought.)

SHEP 1    We WERE in the fields.  Some of us were
.         sleeping, and a few of us were watching
.         the sheep, when angels appeared –

WOMAN 1   Angels came to YOU?  Why would angels
.         appear to some reeking animal watcher?

SHEP 2    That was PART of the good news!
.         The angels came to deliver a message –
.         for US – the common man -

WOMAN 1   Common!  Me?  Are you saying I am common?
.         YOU are the lowlifes of society!  
.         In fact, you are even lower than that.

WOMAN 2   Wait, let him finish, dear.

SHEP 2    The Christ-child, whose name is Jesus,
.         is the Lord and Savior for ALL people.
.         For everybody!  Including us shepherds.

WOMAN 1   Not only are you disgusting, you’re crazy!

(WOMAN 1 tries to walk around the SHEPHERDS without
touching them.  WOMAN 2 puts a hand on WOMAN 1’S arm
to get her full attention.)

WOMAN 2   I don’t know.  My husband has studied
.         the scriptures and he has been talking about
.         the Messiah and His imminent coming.
.         (turning back to the SHEPHERDS)
.         Tell me more, and start from the beginning.

SHEP 1    We were in the fields, and a big host of angels
.         filled the sky with praises to God,
.         and wishing peace to all men.
.                                                     16
SHEP 2    Well, to start, there was just ONE angel.
.         And when that first angel appeared –
.         I have to be honest – we were terrified.
.         But the angel told us not to be afraid -
.         then gave us the good news,
.         which will mean great joy for everyone.

SHEP 1    The message was: our Savior, our Messiah,
.         Christ the Lord, was born today.  And we
.         were told that we’d find Him in Bethlehem,
.         in a feeding trough of a stable.

WOMAN 2   You mean, one of those caves
.         for animals?

WOMAN 1   Now really!  This is too much.
.         Why would our great Messiah
.         be found in some barn?!  If He came,
.         it would certainly be in a palace!
.         Right?  After all, He would be our King.

SHEP 1    Well, we saw it for ourselves.
.         We went right away and found the Baby.
.         It was just like the angel told us.

WOMAN 1   This is just all too much.
.         I’m sorry.  It just sounds crazy!
.         (to WOMAN 2)  And you are crazy for
.         believing this.

(WOMAN 1 waves them off and walks away.)

WOMAN 2   Well I want to get my husband and go
.         see Jesus.  Will you take us there?

SHEP 1    Sure, then you can see for yourselves.

SHEP 2    Seeing angels was amazing, but it was
.         NOTHING like seeing Jesus personally.
.         It’s truly life-changing.

(SHEPHERDS and WOMAN 2 walk off stage while still
talking.)

.                        STAGE RIGHT              17

CHILD     So some people didn’t believe?
.         Even after seeing the star?

MOM       Some people only see with their eyes,
.         but they do not see with their hearts.

CHILD     But the three wise men saw the star
.         and believed.

MOM       That part is found in Matthew chapter 2.
.         But we don’t know how many wise men there were.
.         Because the Bible mentions three gifts,
.         we always assume there were three magi.
.         But it doesn’t really matter.  The magi saw
.         the star and knew that it signified
.         the birth of the great King.  So they followed
.         the star into Israel.  As they went
.         through Jerusalem, which is the capital city,
.         they stopped in at the palace.

CHILD     Did they think Jesus was born
.         in the palace too?

MOM       I don’t know.  Maybe it was more to let
.         the king of Israel know they had
.         entered his country, and that they did
.         not mean any harm.  When strangers enter
.         a country, the government wants to know why
.         they are visiting, so they know that
.         they are not there to start a war,
    or do something bad.  Herod was the king
.         at that time.

CHILD     So what did the wise men tell King Herod?

MOM       That they were there to worship the King
.         of the Jews, who had just been born.
.         This would have made King Herod very angry,
.         because he considered himself the Jewish king-
.         so anyone other king would have been
.         competition.  King Herod would not
.         have wanted to lose any of his power.

.                       CENTER STAGE                 18
.                        VIGNETTE 5

(As KING HEROD enters, CHIEF PRIEST bows and
backs away.)

PRIEST    King Herod. I have gathered all the chief
.         priests and scribes as you requested.

(PRIEST waves his arm across the congregation
as if they are involved.  HEROD addresses
the congregation and the PRIEST.)

HEROD     A caravan of magi from the east
.         arrived here in Jerusalem.
.         They came directly to my palace
.         asking to see the King of Jews.
.         They have come bearing many gifts
.         and wish to worship said king.

PRIEST    Is this not good?   Perhaps it is
.         an opportunity to strengthen your realm?

HEROD     They were not referring to ME.  According
.         to some star in the sky which they have
.         been following for some time now,
.         they are under the impression that some
.         Jewish King has JUST been born.

PRIEST    Is the queen soon to deliver a son to you?

HEROD     No!  Now, I want you to tell me if there
.         is anything to this.  The scriptures
.         do tell us that the Messiah will be born
.         at some point, do they not?

PRIEST    Y – yes.  And according to the prophecies
.         in the scriptures of Daniel, this should
.         be taking place – at – about this time...
.         if indeed this will happen at all.

HEROD     Do we want to take that chance?
.         Is there anything in the scriptures
.         that say WHERE this Messiah
.         is to be born?
.                                                   19
PRIEST    The Christ is to be born
.         in Bethlehem of Judea, as it has
.         been written by the prophet, Micah.

HEROD     What does it say exactly?

PRIEST    (looks into a scroll)  It says,
.         “And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah,
.         are by no means least among
.         the leaders of Judah;
.         for out of you shall come forth a Ruler,
.         who will shepherd My people Israel.”

HEROD     I do not like this.
.         We do not know how this could
.         affect my kingdom and authority.
.         The entire city of Jerusalem is very upset.
.         We need to do something in order
.         to maintain the balance of power.

PRIEST    I quite agree.  Besides, if He truly
.         was our Messiah sent by God,
.         He would have been born in the palace.
.         As well, God would have sent a message
.         to the Pharisees in the temple.
.         But this is the first I am hearing of it.
.         Sounds like someone is playing games
.         in order to take over the kingdom.

(HEROD turns to speak to the PRIEST, aside,
as if in private.)

HEROD     I will talk to these magi privately,
.         and try to figure out exactly
.         when this star appeared.  That
.         will determine the age of the Child.
.         Then I will tell them that
.         after they find Him, they should come back
.         to me and let me know
.         exactly where I might find Him –
.         so I too may go worship this Child.

PRIEST    (confused)  You will go to worship Him?

HEROD     Of course not!  I want to know where we   20
.         can find this Baby so we can kill Him.
.         I want Him dead!  This so-called
.         MESSIAH must die!

(HEROD and PRIEST storm off the stage
with purpose.)

.                        STAGE RIGHT

CHILD     So Baby Jesus was in danger of being
.         killed again?

MOM       Yes, He was.  But first the magi followed
.         the star, and found Jesus who was almost
.         two years old by now.

CHILD     They lived in a stable for almost
.         two years?

MOM       Actually, verse 11 tells us
.         that by now they were living in a house.
.         But the star was still in the sky
.         for the magi to follow.
.         When they arrived, they worshipped Jesus
.         and gave Him their gifts
.         of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

.                       CENTER STAGE
.                        VIGNETTE 6

(MAGI enter and talk amongst each other.  
They are still in awe from seeing Jesus.)

MAGI 1    I have seen the King of kings.
.         I have beheld His glory.

MAGI 2    We could have brought ALL our treasures
.         and given it to the Christ-child, and
.         it still would not have been enough.

MAGI 1    This Child is very great,
.         and I believe He will do something
.         very important which will change
.         the world in some way.
.                                                    21
MAGI 2    Many rulers will not appreciate this.

MAGI 1    This is why we must return home
.         by another way.

MAGI 2    We were to report back to King Herod.

MAGI 1    I had a dream last night.
.         God warned me in this dream
.         not to return to Herod.  I believe
.         this man intends to harm this Child.
.         I am sure Herod sees the Child
.         as a threat to his kingdom.

MAGI 2    I fear this Child’s life will meet with
.         an untimely death.

MAGI 1    Perhaps, but if so, there will be purpose.
.         The mystery of Jesus’s birth
.         will most likely be revealed at His death.

(The MAGI nod solemnly and exit.)

.                        STAGE RIGHT

CHILD     Of course Baby Jesus was safe?

MOM       Yes, because His time had not yet come,
.         because Jesus was born with a great purpose.
.         The magi went back to their own country,
.         and Joseph was told in a dream to escape
.         to Egypt.  Meanwhile, when King Herod
.         realized that the magi had no intentions
.         of reporting back to him, Herod sent
.         his army into the Bethlehem area to kill
.         all boy babies under the age of two.

CHILD     So God saved Jesus’s life again.

MOM       Once King Herod had died, Joseph was told
.         in yet another dream that it was now safe
.         to return to Israel, to live in the city
.         of Nazareth, where Jesus grew up.

CHILD     So if God kept saving Jesus’ life,         22
.         why did Jesus have to die?

MOM       Jesus was born into this world, so that
.         He could die for our sins –
.         at the proper time.

CHILD     That’s so sad.

MOM       But Jesus rose again, conquering death,
.         so when we choose to believe in Him,
.         we can have eternal life with Him in heaven.

CHILD     I see.  That is why His birth is so important.
.         It's like, God loved us so much, He gave us
.         His only Son as the best Christmas present ever!

MOM       And that is exactly why we celebrate His birth.

(LIGHTS fade.)