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GLAD TIDINGS OF JOY
.                           – written by Tanis Harms
TOPIC:        Christ’s birth
SCRIPTURE:    Luke 1:5-80
Style:        drama/soliloquy: Elizabeth recalls
.             the joy that Jesus’ birth brought
Cast:         ELIZABETH (much older woman)

SCRIPT:

(ELIZABETH delivers her soliloquy.)

ELIZ.   My heart is filled with joy, just
.       remembering how it all happened.
.       But more than that,
.       there is joy - BECAUSE it all happened!  
.       Are you curious yet?
.       I will begin my story with the fact
.       that I had been married to Zacharias
.       for many, many years already –
.       before we had our baby.
.       That in itself was a miracle,
.       because I was well past that age!
.       Just like Abraham’s wife, Sarah.
.       It was probably because of this
.       true story in biblical history
.       that I, Elizabeth, hung on to the hope that
.       we could still be blessed with a child.
.       And to be honest, just like many other
.       Israelite women throughout the years
.       leading up to this point,
.       I was hoping to be extra blessed by God –
.       to perhaps be the one to give birth
.       to the expected Messiah.
.       It was not beyond the realm of possibilities -
.       as long as one was a descendant of King David.
.       Well, after so many years of praying,
.       I did become pregnant in my old age.
.       It was NOT with the Messiah,
.       but of course, I was still filled with joy.
.       As well, now Zacharias and I
.       would no longer feel disgrace.

(ELIZABETH makes a poignant pause.)
.                                                      2
ELIZ.   Yes, amongst our people in those days,
.       if a married couple could not have children,
.       people just assumed that God was punishing you
.       because you had been unrighteous.
.       As well, if a woman became pregnant
.       before marriage –
.       she would be harshly judged.
.       So it was when I was six months pregnant,
.       that my niece, Mary,
.       came for an unexpected visit.
.       She, too, was pregnant.
.       But she was not yet married.
.       In fact, she was still a virgin.
.       It was Mary who was chosen to give birth
.       to our Messiah –
.       the Christ-Child.
.       The One to be named Jesus!
.       An angel had just given Mary this news,
.       and also gave her the message
.       that I was with child.
.       Perhaps knowing this was to help her believe
.       the things that were happening in her own life.
.       I mean, if I was pregnant at MY age,
.       then it be easier to believe that
.       anything is possible with God!
.       So when Mary suddenly arrived at my house,
.       and I went to greet her,
.       the baby in my womb –
.       leaped for joy!
.       My baby, who would be known
.       as John the Baptist,
.       who would go to the people
.       to proclaim the arrival of our Messiah –
.       leaped for joy while still in my womb!
.       Right then and there,
.       as the Holy Spirit filled me,
.       I knew that our Messiah had come.
.       THIS was the greatest joy of all!
.       Knowing that Jesus, our Savior,
.       had come to this earth to die for our sins,
.       and rise again after three days,
.       so that if we believe in Him,
.       we will have everlasting life.

(ELIZABETH pauses again, thinking.)

ELIZ.   You know, us women had only assumed             3
.       that giving birth to the Messiah
.       would be such a great honor.
.       We never thought of the implications.
.       But even though her life was not easy,
.       Mary was indeed blessed among the women.
.       Not that she was perfect.  No!  None of us are.
.       That was why Jesus had to die for all of us
.       in the first place.
.       But Mary was humble and believed in God!
.       So just as she was to be the mother of our Lord!-
.       having God, Himself, inside her –
.       was like – how it would soon be for us –
.       for anyone –
.       who would choose to humble themselves!
.       For when we choose to be born again –
.       God, the Holy Spirit - enters our heart and soul.
.       All of us have the opportunity
.       to have exactly that same blessing!
.       To make Jesus our Lord and Savior –
.       is to have God dwelling within us.
.       This greatest joy can be anyone’s blessing.