My Christmas Essay
Mother is sitting on the rocking chair, knitting. Daughter comes in, drops her bookbag on the floor, and sits near Mother. Angels are waiting in the choir, with the choir lights off. For songs the angels sing, the singer stands and the lights are turned on during the song.
Mother: So how was school today?
Daughter: Oh, okay I guess. But our teacher gave us homework, on a Friday!
Mother: Really? Well, I’m sure it won’t take you the whole weekend. What’s the assignment?
Daughter: We have to write a few paragraphs on what Christmas means to us.
Mother: Well that doesn’t sound too hard. What are you going to write about?
Daughter: I don’t know. (sighs) Amanda is writing about how she goes to her grandma’s house and spends time with all her family. And Lydia is writing about how she always writes a long list of toys that she wants. I guess I’ll write about how the Wise Men gave gifts to baby Jesus.
Mother: Well, Christmas actually started a long time before that, ya know.
Daughter: Oh yeah, I know, it’s really about when Jesus was first born.
Mother: Christmas really started before that too.
Daughter: (looks puzzled) Huh? What do you mean?
Mother: (puts down her knitting and picks up a Bible) Christmas started a long, long time ago. It actually began with the first two people, Adam and Eve. Do you remember about their first sin?
Daughter: Yeah, they ate fruit that they weren’t supposed to. We learned all about that in Sunday School. But what does that have to do with Christmas?
Mother: Well, Paul said in Romans 5:12, “…by one man sin entered the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” That means that because of the first sin of Adam and Eve, all people are born into sin. In the old days, they made atonement for their sins by sacrificing animals, but God knew there would come a time when that wouldn’t be enough. So He planned to send His own Son into the world, and that’s how Christmas came about.
Daughter: I never really thought about that. So Jesus’ birth was planned from the very beginning?
Mother: It sure was. And God even told the people about this plan by using prophets. He sent prophets with messages about His son Jesus. One of these prophets was a man named Isaiah. Let’s look at what he said in Isaiah 7:14 and Isaiah 9:6.
Isaiah walks onstage.
Isaiah: “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14)
Song: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel (sung by angel)
Isaiah: “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)
Isaiah walks offstage.
Mother: Around that same time, Micah prophesied about Jesus also. He told the people that God’s son would be born in Bethlehem, in Micah 5:2.
Micah walks onstage.
Micah: “But thou, Beth-lehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be a ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.” (Micah 5:2)
Song: O Little Town of Bethlehem (sung by angel)
Micah walks offstage.
Mother: Malachi prophesied about the coming of Jesus too, as well as the work of John the Baptist. Let’s read Malachi 3:1.
Malachi walks onstage.
Malachi: “Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.” (Malachi 3:1)
Malachi walks offstage.
Mother: So you see, Christmas really started with the messages of all these prophets. God knew from the beginning that Jesus would come to Earth. Then as the time came for Jesus to
come, God sent his angel to a virgin named Mary, to tell her she would give birth to God’s son.
Mary comes onstage and Gabriel stands in the choir, facing her. The choir lights are turned on.
Mother: (reading in Luke 1:26) “And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said…”
Gabriel: “Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.”
Mother: “And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her…”
Gabriel: “Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.”
Mary: “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.” (Luke 1:38)
Song: Mary, Did You Know?
Mary walks offstage during the song. Gabriel sits back down in the choir. As the song ends, and Mother starts reading, Mary and Joseph walk back onstage, into the choir or Nativity area. From this point onward, choir lights stay on to light Nativity area. As Mary and Joseph walk back onstage, the 'star' lights are turned on, to look like a starry night sky.
Mother: (reading in Luke 2:1) “And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.”
Song: Breath of Heaven or Happy Birthday, Jesus (sung by Mary)
Mother: “And so it was, that while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.”
Mary picks up a baby doll and holds it.
Song: Away In A Manger (sung by entire cast)
Mother: “And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them…”
Shepherds go onstage and face the angels in the choir. One angel stands to address the shepherds.
Angel: “Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.”
Mother: “And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying…”
All angels stand.
Angels: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”
Song: Silent Night (sung by Angels)
Angels sit down in choir.
Mother: “And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another…”
Shepherd: “Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.”
Shepherds go to left of choir near Mary and Joseph.
Mother: “And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.”
Song: God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
Mother: “And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.”
Song: Go Tell It On The Mountain (sung by Shepherds) or What Child Is This?
Shepherds go offstage.
Song: We Three Kings (sung by Wise Men or played as Wise Men enter)
Mother: (reading in Matthew 2:1) “Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying…”
Wise men come near stage and meet Herod.
Wise man: “Where is he that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.”
Herod: “Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.”
Wise Men go across stage and up into the left side of choir, kneeling down to Jesus and presenting their gifts. The stars change to a solitary bright star. Herod exits.
Mother: (reading in Matthew 2:9) “When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.”
Song: O Holy Night
During the song, the shepherds come back onstage on the left side of baby Jesus, on a different pew than Wise Men. The Angels on right of choir face baby Jesus.
Mother closes the Bible.
Mother: That’s the Christmas story. The birth of Jesus is the reason we celebrate Christmas. We celebrate His birth because of His life. God’s Son born in Bethlehem became our sacrifice, our only way to get into Heaven. So while the birth of Jesus is important, it means so much more that Jesus died for our sins.
The bright star changes to a cross of lights.
Closing Song: A Way In A Manger For Me