Christmas, a time of paper and presents. Carols and cookies. Family and food. But, what is sometimes pushed to the back of our minds during this hectic season? The reason for the season. The birth of Jesus Christ!
Last week at my grandparent’s house, me and my younger cousins put on a Nativity Pageant. I wrote the play and here it is.
Scene 1: Introduction
Narrator: 100 score and eighteen years ago, a new chapter was added to the story, that began at the beginning of time.
(Narrator steps back, allows someone who is holding scroll to step forward)
Scroll-man: In those days, Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census must be taken and the whole world must go his own town to be taxed and accounted for.
Narrator: So Mary, who was pledged to be married to Joseph, traveled with her betrothed to his town of birth, Bethlehem. (Joseph and Mary enter. Look tired.)
Narrator 2: And she was great with child.
Mary: Are we there yet?
Joseph: We’re close, Bethlehem is in the distance. Soon we’ll be able to enjoy a hot meal and relax.
Mary: I can’t wait. (Couple walks to Bethlehem. Knock on door of the inn. Mary slumps to the ground while Joseph silently argues with the innkeeper)
Narrator: Alas, it was not to be. For, because of the census, every inn was full.
Joseph: Please is there nothing you can do (gestures at Mary). My wife is pregnant.
Innkeeper: (Rubs his chin) I’m sorry, sir. I have no room.
Innkeeper: I do have a stable. Will that do?
Joseph: Yes. God bless you! (Innkeeper leads the couple to the stable. Joseph helping Mary to walk)
Narrator: And there, in the stable, the Son of God was born to save the Son of Man. His name was Emmanuel. The promised savior that was to crush the serpent’s head.
Scene 2: Shepherds in the Field
Narrator: Lo, in the fields outside of Bethlehem there were shepherds tending their flocks by night. (Angels appear)
Narrator 2: And to them appeared angels. (Shepherds cower)
Angel 1: Do not be afraid, for we bring you news of great joy for all the people.
Angel 2: For this day, in the city of David, is born a savior, who is Christ the Lord. (Shepherds bow down and worship)
Angel 1: And this will be a sign to you. You shall find a babe wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.
Narrator 2: Suddenly, the sky was filled with the heavenly host, praising God.
“Hark the Herald Angels Sing”
Shepherd 1: (Gestures in direction of Bethlehem) Let us go to see this child that we heard about.
Shepherd 2: Yes, can you imagine? The Savior of the world.
Shepherd 1: This will be a night to remember.
Narrator: The shepherds left their flocks and hurried to Bethlehem.
(Mary now holding Jesus)
(Shepherds approach in awe. Shepherd 1 reaches out a hand and touches Jesus’ cheek) Shepherd 1: The Savior of the world.
Shepherd 2: He’s so small.
(Mary smiles. Lays Jesus in the manger.)
“Away in the Manger”
Narrator: The shepherds spread the news throughout Bethlehem.
Narrator 2: And all who heard, wondered at these things.
(Everyone except narrators goes and worships Jesus)
Narrator: God’s promise of a Messiah, had taken thousands years to fulfill.
Narrator 2: But now he has come! Hallelujah!
Narrator: We not only celebrate Christ’s birth into the world, but also his sacrifice thirty-three years later, which allowed him to be born into our hearts.
Scene 1: Magi from the East in Herod’s Palace
Narrator: After the child was born, Magi from the east came to honor him.
Narrator 2: They stopped in Jerusalem and visited King Herod. (Herod seems uninterested at his visitors)
Wise Man 1: Greetings, King of the Jews. We have traveled many leagues searching for the new king. Do you know where he is?
Herod: (Herod is instantly interested) King? I know of no other king but myself.
Wise Man 2: Your Majesty, you must be mistaken, for we have seen his star in the east and have come to worship him.
Herod: When did this star appear?
Wise Man 2: About a year ago.
Priest: (Priest rushed into Herod’s presence) Yes, your Majesty?
Herod: Where is the promised king to be born.
Priest: (Runs away and grabs a scroll. Begins to read) And you Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, consider yourself not the least of the rulers of Judah. For out of you shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.
Herod: (Taps his chin. Smiles at the Wise men) You shall find him in Bethlehem.
Wise Man 3: (Bows his head) Thank you, your Majesty.
Herod: (Puts up his hand) It was my pleasure. (Leans forward) But please, when you find the one who you seek, please return here, and fetch me, for I want to worship the child also.
(Wise men bow and exit)
Herod: (Herod rubs his hands together) Yes, yes, I shall worship him. (Cackles. Turns to a palace sergeant) Ready your men to ride for Bethlehem the instant those fools return. (Spats) No CHILD is going to take my throne.
Palace Sergeant: Of course, sir. Your wishes will be carried out.
Herod: Of course they will! Or I shall I have your head!
Scene 2: Wise men visit Bethlehem
Narrator: As the Wise men left Jerusalem, the star went before them and settled over the house where Jesus was staying.
(Wise men see Jesus, bow down)
Narrator 2: The Wise men opened their treasures and gave the child gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
Wise Man 1: (Lays down the gold) May this gift allow you to live in security.
Wise Man 2: (Lays down frankincense) May your life be filled with sweet aromas.
Wise Man 3: (Lays down myrrh) May this gift preserve you for many years.
Narrator: The wise men worshiped the child.
Narrator 2: But when they left Bethlehem, they did not go back to Jerusalem and King Herod, for they were warned by God not to see him again.
Scene 3: Herod Incensed
Herod: (Paces up and down, hands behind back) Where are those rascals?
Palace sergeant: I do not know, your Majesty, they should have returned days ago.
(Priest bursts into the throne room, gives a brief bow)
Priest: Your Majesty, I have news about the travelers from the east.
(Herod gets into the face of the priest) Herod: What is it? Tell me!
Priest: A shepherd from Bethlehem says that the men from the east departed from that place five days ago and went south.
(Herod throws the priest backward)
Herod: They tricked me! Those camel-pullers acted so naive, yet they tricked me! (Turns to the palace sergeant) Round up twenty of your men.
Palace Sergeant: (Grins) Of course, sir. (He walks away)
Scene 4: Joseph Is Told to Flee to Egypt
(Joseph and Mary lie down to sleep. Angel enters)
Angel: Joseph. Arise!
Joseph: (Open his eyes yawns) Whaat?
Angel: You, Mary, and the child must leave this place. Herod wants to kill him.
Joseph: But where can we go?
Angel: Egypt. Go with haste. Stay there until I give you word that it’s safe to return.
(Joseph wakes Mary)
Joseph: Hurry, we must fly.
Joseph: Herod is going to kill the child.
Mary: (Eyes widen) How do you know?
Joseph: An angel visited me and told us to go to Egypt.
Mary: Then let’s go!
(Mary and Joseph hurry away)
Narrator: Joseph, Mary, and Jesus were able to escape before Herod’s men arrived.
Narrator 2: Years later, they would return and settle in Nazareth, but that’s a story for another time.
Narrator: Thank you for attending the inaugural, (family name removed), Nativity Pageant.
Narrator 2: May you all have a blessed Christmas!
This is the true meaning of Christmas. The story of God taking the form of man and eventually dying in our place. Let us all rejoice this Christmas season and thank God for His gift as well as the preservation of this story throughout the centuries.
May we never forget Christ’s sacrifice.
Writing for His glory,
David B. Hunter