.          all rights belong to Tanis Harms, © 2015
.             refer to

.                            – written by Tanis Harms
TOPIC:        Jesus’s birth, joy, faith, love, hope
SCRIPTURE:    Matthew, Luke 3:23-38
Style:        Christmas program with scripture readings,
.             songs, and drama bits - as an artist
.             attempts to capture the essence of Jesus
.             on a piece of canvas
.             with the help of a friend
Set & Props:  easel, canvas, pallet, brush, table, Bible
NOTES:       - can take selections from recommended songs –
.              sung either by soloists, choir, congregation;
.              or choose other applicable songs.
.            – can project scripture origins on screen
.              while each portion is being read

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


.         traditional French carol

(ARTIST stands near easel just staring at the canvas.
Every so often, ARTIST almost touches the brush to
the empty canvas, but then quickly pulls away, unsure.
Nearby is a table with a Bible sitting on it.
FRIEND enters with a bunch of CHILDREN,
who look around as if they see many paintings.)

FRIEND   We’re here!  Merry Christmas!  

KID 1    Whoa, this is the coolest field-trip ever.

ARTIST   Merry Christmas.  Come on in.

FRIEND   And kids, remember what I said,
.        do not touch anything!

(KIDS go to stand beside table with the Bible.
Seeing the canvas, FRIEND approaches with curiosity
to study the canvas and then the ARTIST.)

FRIEND   Looks like we’re just in time to see         2
.        the great artist - paint something -
.        START - to paint something...
.        Ah, so, what is it - GOING - to be?

ARTIST   (struggles)  My... interpretation-

FRIEND   Of...?  I don’t see any – model or...  Oh!
.        Are you going to paint that Bible over there?
.        (points at the Bible sitting on the table)

ARTIST   Noooo.  But it is there to be my inspiration.

FRIEND   Okay.  Well, did you want me to help in any way?
.        Like – help you process, or something?

KID 2    And us.  We can help too.

ARTIST   Sure.  Well, I’m actually trying to capture –
.        some of the character traits of Jesus.
.        You know?  Like, what Jesus means to us.

FRIEND   Well, that should be easy.
.        And given that it’s Christmas,
.        you could paint the nativity scene.

ARTIST   What character trait does that display?

FRIEND   Hm, well, let’s see... what did the angel
.        tell the shepherds just after Jesus had been born?

(KID 3 looks in the Bible to read.)

KID 3    (Luke 2:10)  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”

FRIEND   (thinks)  That’s it!  Joy!
.        Jesus as a baby exemplifies joy.  I mean,
.        who can look at a baby – ANY baby -
.        and NOT feel joy?

ARTIST   Although, it’s more than that.
.        As you just said, any baby
.        can bring a certain amount of joy.
.        But the joy that Jesus brings- (thinks)
.        is great.  I mean, it’s really deep.
.        It’s completely fulfilling.

KID 4    1 Peter 1:8  says, (reading) “...and though
.        you do not see Him now, but believe in Him,
.        you greatly rejoice with JOY INEXPRESSIBLE
.        and full of glory-“

ARTIST   That’s exactly what I’m talking about.

.         German carol, arranged by Hugo Jungst

FRIEND   Okay, I see what you’re saying.
.        I guess, a painting of a baby
.        simply would not capture all of that.

(FRIEND and ARTIST both think deeply and wander about.
ARTIST lightly touches the Bible.)

FRIEND   Oh!  Well, what about Jesus as a grown man.
.        Jesus came as a baby – but – obvious grew up.
.        Right?  You know, like that famous
.        portrait painting of Jesus –
.        there’s just something about it –

ARTIST   Those are just other artists’ interpretations
.        of what they imagine-
.        what THEY see Him to be-

FRIEND   You don’t see anything like that?

ARTIST   The only place where the Bible describes Jesus,
.        is in – Isaiah... (thinks)

KID 5    Here it is, Isaiah 53:2-3 says, (reading)
.        “He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
.        and like a root out of dry ground.
.        He had no beauty or majesty
.        to attract us to Him,
.        nothing in His appearance
.        that we should desire Him.  
.        He was despised and rejected by men,
.        a Man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.
.        Like one from whom men hide their faces
.        He was despised, and we esteemed Him not.”

ARTIST   So, you see, the beauty comes from
.        somewhere else.  Jesus was our perfect,
.        earthly example – who remained obedient –
.        and faithful to God, the Father.
.        Even when Jesus was tempted by Satan,
.        Jesus remained faithful.
.                                                    4
KID 6    I know a verse about that... Hebrews 4:15
.       (reading)  “For we do not have a High Priest
.        who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses,
.        but One who has been tempted in all things
.        as we are, yet without sin.”

ARTIST   And Jesus was constantly talking about faith-

KID 7    In Mark 11:22-23, Jesus says, (reading)
.        “Have faith in God.  Truly, I say to you,
.        whoever says to this mountain,
.        ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’
.        and does not doubt in his heart,
.        but believes that what he says
.        is going to happen, it will be granted him.”

FRIEND   That is huge... How does one even begin
.        to capture that?

.         by John Francis Wade

FRIEND   Jesus was also faithful to the point
.        of death.  His death on the cross
.        depicts great sacrifice and love.

ARTIST   Of course – God’s great love for us.

KID 8    As Romans 5:8 says, (reading)  
.        “But God demonstrates His own love toward us,
.        in that while we were yet sinners,
.        Christ died for us.”

ARTIST   There have been many paintings on that subject.
.        Death on the cross definitely symbolizes
.        sacrificial love.  But does THAT even entirely
.        show Jesus’ love?

KID 9    Ephesians 3:19 says, “-to know the love of Christ
.        which surpasses knowledge, that you may be
.        filled up to all the fullness of God.”

FRIEND   It is beyond our earthly understanding,
.        isn’t it?

.        by Benjamin R. Hanby

ARTIST   See? So much to grasp!  Where does one even begin?

FRIEND   What about displaying the peace that comes     5
.        from knowing Jesus and believing that
.        He died for our sins and - rose again?

KID 10   There is a verse that talks about God’s peace
.        in Psalm 29:11, (reading)
.        “The Lord will give strength to His people;
.        The Lord will bless His people with peace.”

ARTIST   Hm, peace.  Yes, I have experienced this
.        in my life.  How is it that I STRUGGLE -
.        to capture PEACE?

FRIEND   I envision a beautiful hillside with flowers-

ARTIST   But we can also experience God’s peace
.        in the midst of trials and suffering.

KID 11   John 14:27 says “Peace I leave with you;
.        My peace I give to you;
.        not as the world gives do I give to you.
.        Do not let your heart be troubled,
.        nor let it be fearful.”

.        by Henry W.Longfellow, Jean Baptiste Calkin

ARTIST   I have experienced many storms in my life,
.        but through it all, I have found inexplicable
.        peace.  That kind of peace is incredible.
.        It gives one hope.  And I’m not talking about
.        the wishy-washy kind of hope where you wish
.        that something is there.  I’m talking about-
.        the kind that gives you confidence in knowing.

FRIEND   Hope!  There’s another essence to try to
.        incorporate.

KID 12   Ephesians 1:18 says, (reading)
.        “I pray that the eyes of your heart
.        may be enlightened, so that you will know
.        what is the hope of His calling,
.        what are the riches of the glory
.        of His inheritance in the saints”

ARTIST   With everything that we have discussed,
.        I am now overwhelmed with inspiration.

FRIEND   So you know what you are going to paint then?

ARTIST   No!  If anything, I feel more humbled       6
.        than ever.

SONG 6   “Come, thou Long-Expected Jesus”
.        by Charles Wesley & Rowland H. Prichard

FRIEND   There must be something.  After all,
.        our Lord and Savior is Creator of everything,
.        and we are created in His image –
.        so that means we are all – creators –
.        or artists, if you will.  And we’ve all been
.        given gifts to use with a purpose.  And -
.        Your gift is obviously painting.
.        So, what will it be?  What will you create?

ARTIST   All of these things of Jesus:
.        joy, faith, love, peace and hope –
.        are all things that God expects us to have-
.        through knowing Jesus.  God wants
.        all of us to experience these things.

KID 13   These are some of the fruit of the
.        Holy Spirit seen in Galatians 5:22.
.        (reading)  “But the fruit of the Spirit
.        is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness,
.        goodness, faithfulness-“
.        Then verse 25 says, “If we live by the Spirit,
.        let us also walk by the Spirit.”


FRIEND   So God gives us these things,
.        and we should do something with these?

KID 14   (John 15:11)  “These things I have spoken
.        to you so that My joy may be in you,
.        and that your joy may be made full.”

ARTIST   So not only are we to experience joy,
.        but we should be filled with joy.

KID 15   (Ephesians 4:13)  “Until we all attain
.        to the unity of the faith,
.        and of the knowledge of the Son of God,
.        to a mature man, to the measure of the stature
.        which belongs to the fullness of Christ.”

ARTIST   Not only are we to experience faith,
.        but we should be growing in our faith.
.                                                   7
KID 16   (Ephesians 5:2)  “And walk in love,
.        just as Christ also loved you
.        and gave Himself up for us, an offering
.        and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.”

ARTIST   Not only are we to experience love,
.        but we are to practice this same love.

KID 17   (Romans 5:1 & 12:18)  “Therefore, having
.        been justified by faith, we have peace
.        with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
.        “If possible, so far as it depends on you,
.        be at peace with all men.”

ARTIST   Not only are we to experience peace,
.        but we are to seek peace with everyone.

KID 18   (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17)
.        “Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself
.        and God our Father, who has loved us
.        and given us eternal comfort
.        and good hope by grace,
.        comfort and strengthen your hearts
.        in every good work and word.”

ARTIST   Not only are we to experience hope,
.        but we are to spread this hope
.        through everything that we do.


FRIEND   Okay, my mind is starting to be blown away.
.        How are we supposed to do all of that?

ARTIST   This is the most amazing part.
.        Not only is our Lord God all of these things,
.        and – not only does our Lord God
.        want to give us these things,
.        but when He expects these things from us-

KID 19   It says in Hebrews 13:20-21 that Jesus will
.        equip us, “in every good thing to do His will,
.        working in us that which is pleasing
.        in His sight, through Jesus Christ...”

ARTIST   He does this for us, in us, and through us.
.        We just have to be willing.
.        We have to allow Jesus to continue to mold us,
.        shape us, create in us...
.                                                     8
(ARTIST pauses to study canvas, then becomes inspired.)

ARTIST   I have finished my painting!

FRIEND   But – you haven’t even started.

ARTIST   All these things that I am trying
.        to capture on canvas – THIS-
.        (turns easel around to show blank canvas)
.        THIS represents my life GIVEN to God.
.        I give myself as a blank canvas to God –
.        I want the Creator of the Universe
.        to paint on the canvas of my soul –
.        all of these marvelous things.
.        And I only pray that other people will see-
.        I pray that this will inspire.  I pray –
.        that this message of Jesus will spread.

(FRIEND nods knowingly, then exits with ARTIST and KIDS.)
(PASTOR can insert a short message of salvation here.)

READER or PASTOR begins to spread the candlelight.)

.        by Joseph Mohr, John F.Young, Franz Gruber