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

CHRISTMAS CHARACTERS – written by Tanis Harms

TOPIC:       Jesus’ birth, gospel message
SCRIPTURE:   Matthew, Luke 3:23-38
Style:       a Christmas program with scripture readings,
.            short soliloquys, and songs.
Cast:        MARY, JOSEPH, INNKEEPER’S WIFE,
.            SHEPHERD, MAGI, PERSON, READER
Props:       costumes
NOTES:       - You can take selections from
.              the recommended songs - to be sung
.              either by soloists, choir or congregation;
.              or choose other applicable songs.
.            – You can project the scripture origins
.              on a screen while each portion is read

.             $15.00 USD to receive a DIRECTOR’S SCRIPT
.                                    (plus sheet music)
.             
how you receive this & package description


SCRIPT:

(CHOIR enters to sing.)

SONG: 1   “O LITTLE TOWN OF BETHLEHEM” (vs.1-3)
.          by Phillips Brooks, Lewis H.Redner

(As the choir sings, CHARACTERS and READER enter
and stand in a staggered line across the stage:  
MARY, JOSEPH, INNKEEPER’S WIFE, SHEPHERD, and MAGI.  
You can spotlight each one as they speak, and
turning off the spotlights while READER speaks.)

MARY      Although I’m just a young woman, I do
.         desire to follow God’s will for my life.
.         But my life is pretty much just beginning.  I’m
.         soon to be married, and then we’ll have children-
.         It’s not like I’m going to do anything great.

READER    (Luke 1:26-29)  -the angel Gabriel
.         was sent from God to a city called Nazareth,
.         to a virgin engaged to a man whose name
.         was Joseph, of the descendants of David;
.         and the virgin’s name was Mary.  And
.         the angel said to her, “Greetings, favored one!
.         The Lord is with you.”  But she was
.         very perplexed at this statement...
.                                                       2
JOSEPH    My fiancée - says she is pregnant?  
.         And that the baby is of the Holy Spirit?
.         How can God do this to me?  All my life
.         I have been obedient to His commandments.
.         I thought I had found a God-fearing woman.
.         And now this?...  Perhaps there is a way
.         to secretly put an end to the engagement.

READER    (Matthew 1:20-21)   But when he had
.         considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord
.         appeared to him in a dream, saying,
.         “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.  She will bear a Son;
.         and you shall call His name Jesus,
.         for He will save His people from their sins.”

WIFE      My husband and I have done our best to be
.         successful innkeepers.  We may never be very rich,
.         but we certainly want to come as close to that
.         as possible.  Isn’t that what life is all about?
.         And then as luck would have it,
.         we got extremely busy.

READER    (Luke 2:1-4)  Now in those days a decree
.         went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census
.         be taken of all the inhabited earth...
.         And everyone was on his way to register
.         for the census, each to his own city.
.         Joseph also went up from the city of Nazareth,
.         to the city called Bethlehem, because
.         he was of the house and family of David.

SHEPHERD  Why should I care?  I may as well do what I want.
.         After all, I’m stuck here in this dead-end job.  
.         Sure, at least it’s a job, but -
.         people look down on me
.         just because of what I do for a living.  
.         And we barely make ends meet.  
.         There’s got to be more to life than this.

READER    (Luke 2:8-9)  In the same region there were
.         some shepherds staying out in the fields and
.         keeping watch over their flock by night.
.         When an angel of the Lord suddenly stood
.         before them, and the glory of the Lord shone
.         around them; and they were terribly frightened.

MAGI      Higher education is what we strive towards.
.         Just when you think you have uncovered the facts
.         and discovered some scientific explanations –
.         you run into more questions.
.         But absolute truths - wisdom of the ages –
.         this is to be sought after and cherished.
.         Although, interestingly, people do not always
.         want to know the truth, or appreciate the truth.
.         And can even hate you, because of it.

READER    (Matthew 2:1-3)  Now after Jesus was born
.         in Bethlehem in the days of Herod the king,
.         magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem,
.         saying, “Where is He who has been born King
.         of the Jews?  For we saw His star in the east
.         and have come to worship Him.”  When Herod
.         the king heard this, he was troubled,
.         and all Jerusalem with him.

PERSON    Call me a skeptic, but can these people from
.         Bible-times even be real?  How can this story –
.         or the book that is called the Bible –
.         ever apply to me today?  Isn’t it all just
.         outdated clichés and old-fashioned values?

READER    (John 1:9-12)  There was the true Light
.         which, coming into the world,
.         enlightens every man.  He was in the world,
.         and the world was made through Him,
.         and the world did not know Him.  
.         He came to His own,
.         and those who were His own did not receive Him.
.         But as many as received Him,
.         to them He gave the right
.         to become children of God,
.         even to those who believe in His name...

SONG 2:   “BREAK FORTH, O BEAUTEOUS HEAVENLY LIGHT” (vs.1)
.         lyrics by Johann Rist & John Troutbeck,
.         music by Johann Schop & J.S.Bach

MARY      I am only human.  
.         I still make mistakes.
.         But no matter how easy or difficult life becomes,
.         when I am weak – I am strong –
.         BECAUSE I have learned
.         to lean on God’s strength.
.         My only choice was to trust God and believe
.         that He had a purpose, and would look after us.

READER    (Luke 1:30-33)  The angel said to her,       4
.         “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 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.”

JOSEPH    From studying the scriptures,
.         I knew that God had protected the Israelites
.         from enemies-such as the Pharaoh of Egypt –
.         by parting the Red Sea.  Well,
.         if God can do that, certainly
.         God can protect us from angry kings
.         and plotting priests.  I had to realize
.         that God is in control.  God would certainly
.         carry out His plan which He set before us.

READER    (Matthew 1:22-23)  Now all this
.         took place to fulfill what was spoken
.         by the Lord through the prophet:  
.         “BEHOLD, THE VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD
.         AND SHALL BEAR A SON,
.         AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME IMMANUEL,”
.         which translated means, “GOD WITH US.”

WIFE      One day, a married couple came to our door,
.         but our inn was completely filled up.
.         And since she was pregnant,
.         my husband and I did what we could.  
.         The only place we could put them –
.         was outside - in a stable.
.         And even then, they were most appreciative.
.         It made me realize
.         that I take everything I have for granted.  
.         Maybe there is more to life
.         than just making money
.         and buying items of luxury?

READER    (Luke 2:6-7)  While they were there,
.         the days were completed
.         for her to give birth.
.         And she gave birth to her firstborn son;
.         and she wrapped Him in cloths,
.         and laid Him in a manger, because
.         there was no room for them in the inn.

SHEPHERD  We were just trying to mind our own business,
.         as usual.  Trying to stay out of trouble.
.         When something really crazy happened.
.         And you never think it could happen to you.
.         I mean, who are we?  Just a bunch of
.         worthless nobodies.  But there they were –
.         giving us this very important message.  To us!
.         At first we thought we were just dreaming –
.         but come on–you can’t just make this stuff up.

READER    (Luke 2:10-12)  But the angel said to them,
.         “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you
.         good news of great joy which will be
.         for all the people;  for today in the city
.         of David there has been born for you a Savior,
.         who is Christ the Lord.  This will be
.         a sign for you: you will find a baby
.         wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

MAGI      Years of schooling and studying, and I have
.         never experienced anything so profound.
.         We knew of the prophecies,
.         we saw the signs that were foretold,
.         we had prepared for this very long journey,
.         and followed the star of promise...
.         but when we found the Christ-Child –
.         words cannot express how
.         deeply humbling this encounter was.  
.         We had brought many precious gifts,
.         but these were nothing compared to how
.         precious it was to meet God-in-the-flesh.
.         How precious - that God came - to us!

READER    (Matthew 2:11-12)  After coming into the house
.         they saw the Child with Mary His mother;
.         and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him.
.         Then, opening their treasures, they presented
.         to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
.         And having been warned by God in a dream
.         not to return to Herod, the magi left
.         for their own country by another way.

PERSON    I know I am full of excuses.
.         I do whatever I can to justify immoral actions.
.         Telling myself lies to convince myself
.         that I’m in the right.  No regrets!
.         Making all efforts to run from the truth...
.         I try...  but no matter what, it always
.         comes back to stare me in the face.

READER    (Isaiah 52:10)  The LORD has
.         bared His holy arm
.         In the sight of all the nations,
.         That all the ends of the earth may see
.         The salvation of our God.

SONG 3:   “AS WITH GLADNESS MEN OF OLD” (vs.1-2)
.         by William C.Dix and Conrad Kocher

(PASTOR can insert a short message of salvation here.)

SONG 4:   “HARK! THE HERALD ANGELS SING” (vs.1-3)
.          lyrics by Charles Wesley,
.          music by Felix Mendelssohn & William H.Cummings

MARY      Have you given yourself to God and
.         have you let go and relied on His strength?
.         I could never have done what I did –
.         without God being there for me every step.

READER    (Luke 1:35-37)  The angel said to her,
.         “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...  
.         For nothing will be impossible with God.”

JOSEPH    Have you asked for God’s guidance?
.         He cares about every purpose – great or small,
.         and honors those who honor and obey Him.

READER    (Matthew 1:24)  And Joseph awoke from
.         his sleep and did as the angel of the Lord
.         commanded him...

WIFE      Have you looked to God for a greater purpose
.         in life?  Have you made room for Jesus?

READER    (Matthew 6:19-21)  Do not store up
.         for yourselves treasures on earth,
.         where moth and rust destroy,
.         and where thieves break in and steal.
.         But store up for yourselves
.         treasures in heaven... for where your
.         treasure is, there your heart will be also.

SHEPHERD  Have you realized that God cares for you?
.         God sent His Son to bring hope to
.         the common man... to the entire world.

READER    (Luke 2:15-20)  When the angels had gone,     7
.         the shepherds... found their way
.         to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay
.         in the manger.  When they had seen this...
.         the shepherds went back, glorifying and
.         praising God for all that they had heard
.         and seen, just as had been told them.

MAGI      Have you searched for wisdom and learned?
.         Have you humbled yourself before God
.         and given the most precious gift
.         you could possibly give Him?

READER    (1 Corinthians 1:18-21)
.         For the word of the cross is foolishness
.         to those who are perishing,
.         but to us who are being saved
.         it is the power of God...
.         Where is the wise man?  
.         Where is the scribe?
.         Where is the debater of this age?  
.         Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?
.         For since in the wisdom of God
.         the world through its wisdom
.         did not come to know God,
.         God was well-pleased through
.         the foolishness of the message preached
.         to save those who believe.

PERSON    Have you seen the light?

READER    (John 8:12)  -Jesus said,
.         “I am the Light of the world;
.         he who follows Me
.         will not walk in the darkness,
.         but will have the Light of life.”
.         (Matthew 5:16)  Let your light shine
.         before men in such a way
.         that they may see your good works,
.         and glorify your Father
.         who is in heaven.

(READER or PASTOR begins to spread the candlelight.
You might need to explain the procedure first.)

SONG 5:   “SILENT NIGHT, HOLY NIGHT”
.         by Joseph Mohr, John F.Young, Franz Gruber
.          (OR “A THOUSAND CANDLES” by Evie Karlsson,
.           Emmy Kohler, Eugene Thomas)

VERSE 1   Silent night, holy night,
.         All is calm, all is bright
.         Round yon virgin mother and Child,
.         Holy Infant so tender and mild,
.         Sleep in heavenly peace,
.         Sleep in heavenly peace.

VERSE 2   Silent night, holy night,
.         Shepherds quake at the sight,
.         Glories stream from heaven afar,
.         Heavenly hosts sing alleluia,
.         Christ the Savior is born!  
.         Christ the Savior is born!

VERSE 3   Silent night, holy night,
.         Son of God, love’s pure light
.         Radiant beams from Thy holy face,
.         With the dawn of redeeming grace,
.         Jesus, Lord at the Thy birth.  
.         Jesus, Lord at the Thy birth.  

VERSE 1   Silent night, holy night,
.         All is calm, all is bright
.         Round yon virgin mother and Child,
.         Holy Infant so tender and mild,
.         Sleep in heavenly peace,
.         Sleep in heavenly peace.