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.             refer to
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CHRISTMAS NEWS – written by Tanis Harms

TOPIC:       Jesus’ birth to resurrection, gospel message
SCRIPTURE:   Matthew, Luke
Style:       a Christmas program with scripture readings,
.            dramatic vignettes, and songs.
Cast:        TEENS 1-7 or more, (can use older children)
.             divide them up into GROUP 1 and GROUP 2.
.             GROUP 1 has 3 scenes with KIDS 1-3,
.             GROUP 2 has 2 scenes with KIDS 4-7.
.             If you have more kids, simplify memorizing
.             by putting at least 9 kids in GROUP 1,
.             and 7 kids in GROUP 2... then assign
.             each kid to a specific scene in that group.
.             Dress them in Bible-time costumes.
.            READER/s 1 or up to 6 (however you want).
NOTE:        The recommended sheet music is included
.            in the director’s package when you buy it.
.            These songs can be sung either
.            by soloists, choir or congregation;
.            or choose other applicable songs.

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

SCRIPT:

READER   (from Galatians 3:8, [NASB])
.       The Scripture, foreseeing that
.       God would justify the Gentiles by faith,
.       preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying
.       “All the nations will be blessed in you.”

SONG 1: “WHILE SHEPHERDS WATCHED THEIR FLOCKS”
.       lyrics by Nahum Tate,
.       music by George Frederrick Handel

(GROUP 1 enter.  KIDS 1-2 are exited.  KID 3 is confused.  
If groups are bigger, have a few other “confused” kids,
while the majority have similar reactions as kids 1-2.
Also, if you are splitting up the scenes, note that
KID 3 is always the one who is “wondering” about things -
just keep that consistent.)
.                                                  2
KID 1   Hey, remember those shepherds who told us
.       about the Messiah, our Savior, being born?

KID 2   Of course.  Hard to forget that.

KID 3   I do not remember.  

KID 1   It was about two years ago.

KID 3   What are you talking about?
.       Do mean - the census-taking-thing?

KID 1   That’s right!  YOU don’t remember because
.       it happened while you and your family
.       went to another town to do the census.

KID 3   (disgusted)  Thanks to Caesar August!
.       That took forever.  We had to go all the way
.       from Bethlehem to Cadasa, because
.       that’s where my dad’s ancestors are from.

KID 2   I do not even know where that is.

KID 3   Very – far – away from here.  It just
.       made my dad even more angry at the Romans.
.       Dad cannot WAIT until the MESSIAH
.       gets here and gets our land back.
.       Anyway, what are you talking about?
.       What did those lowlife shepherds do now?

KID 1   Well, it all started with the NICE shepherds,
.       but it really is all about our Messiah –
.       coming right here – to Bethlehem.

KID 3   WHAT?  Why didn’t you say so?
.       How come my dad doesn’t know about this yet?
.       Where is He?  Where is the Messiah?

KID 2   His name is Jesus.

KID 3   Well, okay!  So when is Jesus going to become
.       our King and get rid of these Romans?

KID 2   Ah, He’s still just a baby.
.       He’d be about two years old now.

KID 3   I’m so confused.                              3
.       Did our Messiah get here or what?

KID 1   Yeah.  About two years ago,
.       while the census was being taken,
.       some shepherds were out in a field –
.       I guess just minding their own business -
.       when a host of angels appeared to them,
.       and gave them a message.

KID 3   Angels brought an important message
.       about our Messiah to some nobody shepherds?
.       Why them? Shepherds are just a bunch of losers.

KID 2   Maybe that’s the point.  
.       God cares about all of us.

KID 1   Anyway, the shepherds went looking for Him,
.       and found Jesus, just like the angels said.

KID 3   And what exactly did the angels say?

(GROUP 1 freeze while...)

READER   (from Luke 2:10-12 [NASB])
.       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.”

SONG 2  “ANGELS WE HAVE HEARD ON HIGH”

KID 3   So, our future King, who is going to
.       bless Israel and get our land back,
.       and bless the entire world somehow –
.       was born in a barn?

KID 1   The shepherds went to check it out,
.       and found that everything
.       the angel said was true.  Then
.       the shepherds went around telling everyone.

KID 2   We just had to see for ourselves, too.        4
.       And - without a doubt – well - it was – just –
.       so very amazing.  Even though the baby
.       was wrapped up in rags and lying in a manger –
.       you just knew there was something – very special.

KID 3   He was lying in an animal’s feeding trough?

KID 2   Yeah...  But... hey, apparently –
.       when the parents got here for the census taking,
.       all the rooms at the inn were totally filled up.

KID 1   Our house was filled up with all our relatives.
.       There was no room anywhere in this town.
.       So I guess, all that was left, was the barn.

KID 3   Where is He now?  Is He still there?

KID 2   They still live here in Bethlehem.  But -
.       they finally found a little house to move into.
.       The dad is a carpenter.  He’s very good.
.       He has helped fix a few things around our house.

KID 3   Wait!  The Messiah’s dad - is a carpenter -
.       and they live in a little house?
.       IF this is all true - if we really have
.       the Messiah, the King of kings, God in the flesh,
.       living right here in our town –
.       You’d think this would still be a big deal.

KID 2   I still see some people go there to visit.
.       But you know how grownups are –
.       they get too busy to care about other details.

KID 1   Maybe the novelty has worn off?
.       I sometimes wonder if God ever forgets about us?

KID 2   I believe it’s us!  WE forget about God.
.       So if we sometimes forget about God,
.       that would explain why we’d forget that
.       Jesus was living right here with us.

KID 1   So what else could God do to make us remember?
.       I mean, somehow – Jesus - is supposed to save us.

(A bright light catches their attention and causes them
to sink to their knees and look up in awe.)
.                                                   5
KID 3   What is that?

KID 2   A really bright star.  You’re only noticing that
.       NOW?  It’s been there every night for 2 years.

KID 3   I wonder if it means something?

READER  (from Micah 5:2 [NASB])
.       But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
.       Too little to be among the clans of Judah,
.       From you One will go forth for Me
.       to be ruler in Israel.
.       His goings forth are from long ago,
.       From the days of eternity.

SONG 3  “WE THREE KINGS” by John H.Hopkins, Jr. (vs.1-2)

(GROUP 1 now all looks in a specific direction,
like they are watching something happen very nearby.)

KID 3   Look at all of them.  Who are they?
.       They’re definitely not from around here.
.       Even when we traveled to Cadasa –
.       I’ve never seen people who look like that.

KID 1   Definitely from another country.  Asia, maybe?
.       But – they are going to visit Jesus.
.       That star must have guided them here.

KID 2   And they’re bringing Him gifts.  Lots of gifts.

KID 3   I don’t know what THAT is, but I know gold
.       when I see it.  Those gifts are fit for a king.

KID 1   Jesus IS the Messiah.  He IS the King of kings!
.       What does this mean?  You have to wonder.
.       What is the Messiah going to do, anyway?

KID 3   My dad keeps saying that the Messiah
.       will get our land back form the Romans.

KID 1   So we’ll be going to war?  Jesus still has to
.       grow up before He can really do anything like that.

KID 2   I just have this funny feeling that
.       Jesus is going to do something very different.
.                                                    6
KID 1   But, the scriptures say that our perfect King
.       will come and take the throne and then
.       we will have blessing and perfect peace-

KID 3   Hard to imagine, when I cannot even find
.       inner peace.  I mean, I have even found myself
.       arguing – with myself.

KID 2   So instead of war - what if Jesus’ coming
.       has more to do with peace - and - love?
.       (looking)  Just look at them over there,
.       strangers – important men from another land –
.       worshipping Jesus.   There MUST be a bigger reason.

KID 1   Do you think that when we’re adults,
.       we’ll remember all of this and figure it out –
.       and remember that Jesus is our Messiah and Lord?

KID 3   Do you think anyone would believe us
.       if we told them about it?

(GROUP 1 exits while...)

READER  (Isaiah 53:1-6)  Who has believed our message?  
.       And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
.       For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot,
.       And like a root out of parched ground;
.       He has no stately form or majesty
.       That we should look upon Him,  
.       Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him.
.       He was despised and forsaken of men,
.       A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;  
.       And like one from whom men hide their face,
.       He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
.       Surely our griefs He Himself bore,
.       And our sorrows He carried;
.       Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken,
.       Smitten of God, and afflicted.
.       But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
.       He was crushed for our iniquities;
.       The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,
.       And by His scourging we are healed.
.       All of us like sheep have gone astray,
.       Each of us has turned to his own way;
.       But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all
.       To fall on Him.
.                                                     8
SONG 4  “THOU DIDST LEAVE THY THRONE”
.       by Emily E.S.Elliott, and Timothy R.Matthews

(GROUP 2 enters.  KID 4-5/s enter.  They are all sad.
KID 6/s enter and notice.)

KID 6   What’s wrong with you guys?

KID 4   Haven’t you heard?  They killed Jesus.
.       About three days ago.  We just got the news now.

KID 6   Who is Jesus?

KID 5   Remember the stories our parents told us
.       about the birth of our Messiah, the Savior.

KID 6   My parents don’t really talk about that stuff.

KID 4   My mom and dad have always talked about it.
.       They were just teenagers back then,
.       but they remember it like it was yesterday.
.       Like – it changed their lives – or something.

KID 5   Mine too.

KID 6   So what?

KID 4   So WHAT???  God sent us our Messiah,
.       the Man who is to be our King –
.       and lead us into perfect peace –
.       but they killed Him.  The people in Jerusalem
.       just killed Jesus by hanging Him on a cross.

KID 6   Being hung and killed on a cross
.       is the punishment meant for criminals.

KID 4   Except Jesus did nothing wrong.

KID 6   He must have done something wrong.

KID 4   The only thing that Jesus did was go around
.       and heal people, and tell them
.       how to have eternal life.

KID 5   Does this mean that we will not be saved?

KID 6   You mean – from the Romans?                   8

KID 4   We once got to hear Jesus speak.
.       I think He was talking about something else.
.       Huh, I wish I would have listened better.

KID 5   My uncle comes to visit and he brings us news
.       about what’s happening and what Jesus is saying.
.       But - what are we going to do now?
.       My parents are going to be so sad.

KID 4   What if – He has the power to rise from the dead?

KID 6   Yeah right.  Who can do that?

KID 5   God.  God can totally do that.
.       Besides healing people, my uncle heard
.       that Jesus raised a few people from the dead.

KID 6   You can’t believe everything you hear.

KID 5   Hey!  I trust my uncle.

KID 4   When we went to see Jesus, we saw Him heal
.       a person, blind from birth.  They can now see.

KID 5   Why didn’t you say so before?

KID 4   Most people do believe me when I tell them.

KID 6   I need to see something for myself
.       before I will believe it.

(Lights start to dim and KIDS notice.)

KID 6   Ah, what’s happening?

(As it gets dark, they all slowly fall to their knees
in sadness, then freeze, while...)

READER  (from 1 Peter 3:18 [NASB])
.       For Christ also died for sins once for all,
.       the just for the unjust,
.       so that He might bring us to God,
.       having been put to death in the flesh,
.       but made alive in the spirit!”

(Lights get bright again.)                            9

SONG 5  “ONE DAY” (vs.1-4)  
.       by J. Wilbur Chapman, Charles H.Marsh

(KID 7 rushes in, very excited.  Seeing the others,
KID 7 encourages them to stand back up.)

KID 7   Hey! Everyone! We just got news from Jerusalem.
.       He’s alive!  Jesus - is - alive!

KID 4   Are you sure?

KID 7   Yes. There are many people who have witnessed this.
.       Remember that day, when everything went
.       really dark?  Well, there was also a big earthquake
.       that took place in Jerusalem.  And get this –
.       right at that very moment, the curtain at the temple
.       tore into two - from the top - down.

KID 5   You mean, the huge curtain that separates people
.       from the Holy of holies?  I hear that is
.       very, very  thick material.  Even more than a rug.

KID 7   Anyway, after being dead and buried for 3 days,
.       and while all the stuff was happening – Jesus arose.

KID 6   Maybe He wasn’t really dead.

KID 7   Oh, the Pharisees made sure that Jesus was dead.
.       And they buried Him in a tomb with a big stone
.       in front of the door and then they had the grave
.       guarded by Roman soldiers.  Jesus was dead.
.       Now – He is alive.

KID 5   So there is hope.

KID 4   Does this mean that Jesus
.       will be our King now?

KID 7   Well... the rest of the message is that
.       Jesus returned to heaven.  Like –
.       He went up in a cloud or something.
.       A whole crowd of people saw that happen.

KID 4   Why would Jesus leave us?

KID 5   I don’t think He really did leave us.         10
.       There were things that Jesus talked about –
.       about things that are still to come. Like,
.       His Helper – who is the Holy Spirit.

KID 4   That’s right.  Jesus said that there would be
.       salvation and eternal life when we believed in Him!
.       We have to choose for ourselves to make Jesus
.       our personal King – and Savior - of our hearts.

KID 6   Do you think people are just going to forget
.       that any of this ever happened?

KID 5   Well, I’m never going to forget this.

KID 4   I’m definitely going to tell my children
.       all about this.  Just like my parents
.       told me about Jesus.

KID 7   I think it’s important enough
.       to pass the message on to everyone.  
.       Don’t you think?  

READER  [NASB] (John 8:12)  “Then Jesus
.       again spoke to them, saying,
.       ‘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 5:14-16)  “You are the light of the world.
.       A city set on a hill cannot be hidden;
.       nor does anyone light a lamp
.       and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand,
.       and it gives light to all who are in the house.
.       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.”

INSERT:  short message from Pastor, then the
.        lighting of the candles and passing of the light
.        usually done while singing “Silent Night”
.