Song: Silent Night
Curtain opens on manger scene with Mary, Joseph, and Child.
Narrator: 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. 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.
(Before Narrator gets through visitor stands up in the audience and starts interrupting.)
Visitor: (Walking out in the aisle) Hey man, let me ask you something?
Narrator: Well, we're in the middle of our Christmas play right now.
Visitor: Man, that's what I want to ask you about. I've been to at least a dozen Christmas plays, with the manger scene like this one, and shepherds and angels, but they never tell the whole story. I mean, why is this manger scene so important? I know Jesus came to earth this way, but why did He do it?
Narrator: Well, that's a long story. In fact, it goes all the way back to the beginning of time.
Visitor: But what does this manger scene have to do with the beginning of time?
Narrator: You see, Adam was the first man, and when he sinned........ Well look, why don't you just come on up here?
Visitor: Naw! Man, I don't want to mess up your play.
(Visitor and Narrator ad lib here a little.)
Narrator: If you don't understand how Christmas works into God's plan you probably wouldn't get much out of it.
(Visitor goes onto platform.) (They should sit at this point.)
Narrator: Here it is: "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." Later on, the Bible says He created Adam and Eve. The two had their home in the beautiful Garden of Eden, where they had daily communion with God. Satan, in the form of a serpent, tempted Eve and she was deceived and ate fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil. She also gave fruit to Adam. Thus, sin entered the world.
When Adam and Eve sinned the relationship between God and man was broken, and the gap was formed. This sin had to be paid for. A man must be found to fill the gap. From the time Adam and Eve sinned and were banished from the Garden they began to look fo the Messiah, the Redeemer.
Visitor: When did they think he would come?
Narrator: They didn't know. Each time a child was born, the parents hoped he would be the one to redeem man from his lost state. Luke chapter three gives a list of Adam's descendants. Adam had a son named Seth, but he was not the redeemer. Seth had a son named Enos, and so on.
Several generations passed. Then there came a man by the name of Enoch. People probably thought "this could be the man" because he was a very holy man.
Scene with Enoch
Song: My God and I
Visitor: He wasn't the man, was he?
Narrator: No, he was just a good and holy man. But you know, God demands more than just goodness-- there had to be a sacrifice! Several generations later, there was a man named Abraham, who left his homeland and went to a strange land known as Canaan. There he had a son named Isaac, but before Isaac was grown, God told Abraham to sacrifice the boy.
Scene with Abraham and Isaac
Isaac: Father, are we almost there? I'm very tired and this wood is heavy.
Abraham: We can stop here my son. (Isaac lays down the wood.) Now we must worship the Lord with a sacrifice. Let us pray. (They bow and pray for a second.)
Abraham: Here am I, my son.
Isaac: We have the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?
Abraham: My son, God will provide Himself a burnt offering.
(Place Isaac on altar and raise knife--- then sound of lamb.)
Song: Worthy The Lamb
Visitor: What happened? Did he kill the boy?
Narrator: No, God was simply trying their faith. But even if he had killed Isaac, the sacrifice would not have been enough to pay for man's sins -- the sacrifice had to be spotless and without sin. Again, many generations passed, each looking for the Messiah. The word Messiah means "anointed one", so perhaps he would be one of the anointed kings of Israel. Saul was the first king, and then came David.
Scene with David
Samuel: The Lord told me He would provide a king from among your sons, but none of these have been chosen. Are all your sons here?
Jesse: My youngest son David is out keeping the sheep, but he is very small...
Samuel: Bring him to me. (One of the brothers goes after David.)
The Lord told me not to look on the man's appearance, or his height for the Lord would refuse such a man. God does not see as man sees, for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.
Art thou David?
David: I am.
Samuel: This is he whom the Lord had chosen. (Opens oil and anoints David.) The Lord has anointed thee to lead his people, and to be their king.
Visitor: Why wasn't David the Messiah? Wasn't he the greatest king of Israel?
Narrator: Yes, but he sinned, like every other man, even though he was a man after God's own heart. Many kings followed, but they were not the Messiah. Many people started to doubt God's promise. So God gave the people new promises, through the prophets, such as Isaiah.
Isaiah: Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. 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. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this. Amen.
Narrator: Several hundred years went by and no such child was born. The Jews went in and out of captivity, and at times only the hope of the blessed Messiah kept them going. But just when things seemed darkest and the Romans ruled over the Jews, a new message came from God.
Song: Alleluia or His Name Is Wonderful
Scene with Mary (Mary is sitting reading.)
1st Angel: 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: How shall this be, for I know not a man?
Angel: The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
(Points to the other side of stage, and light comes on Elizabeth)
And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible.
(Lights out, angel leaves, then lights back on for scene with Mary and Elizabeth.)
Mary: (Arise.) Elizabeth!
Elizabeth: Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.
Mary: My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name.
Song: His Name Is Wonderful or He's The Great I Am
Visitor: I never knew that all those people, for all those years, had been waiting for Jesus. That makes His birth really a special event, doesn't it?
Narrator: Yes, but the story isn't over. Elizabeth's son was John the Baptist, who helped prepare the Jews for Jesus' work. We read in Luke about the voice of one crying in the wilderness.
Scene with John the Baptist -- John is preaching to a crowd.
John the Baptist: Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth; And all flesh shall see the salvation of God. Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
Israelite: What should we do then?
John the Baptist: He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise.
(Moneybags in their hands.)
Publican: Master, what shall we do?
John the Baptist: Exact no more than that which is appointed you.
Israelite: Are you the Messiah which is to come?
John the Baptist: I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire:
Song: Old Time Power (chorus)
Narrator: Then Jesus Christ began His work. He healed the sick, performed miracles, and even raised the dead. And throughout His whole life He never once committed a sin.
Visitor: Man! After all those thousands of years of waiting, I'll bet those Jews were really glad to see Jesus.
Narrator: Well, they should have been, but they were not. They wanted a mighty military man who could defeat the Romans. Jesus was meek and lowly. He was a suffering Messiah, and so the Jews rejected Him.
Visitor: After waiting all those years?
Narrator: Yes, they took Jesus and crucified Him, not knowing that He was their beloved Messiah. He was the man who filled the gap. The one they had looked for all those years. On the cross Jesus reached down and took the sinful hand of man with one hand and reached with the other and took the Holy Hand of God and crossed them over His heart of love and reconciled God and man and bridged the gap between God and man. Now man can be saved.
Song: The Heart That Was Broken For Me
Visitor: What a sad way for things to end.
Narrator: That wasn't the end.
Visitor: But I thought you said they killed Him.
Narrator: They did, but Jesus was the true Son of God, and He did something no other man could ever do.
(Three Women come to the tomb.)
Mary Magdalene: I don't understand! His body was right here!!
(2 Angels appear, in "shining garments". Women kneel and are afraid.)
1st Angel: Why seek ye the living among the dead?
2nd Angel: He is not here, but is risen: remember how He spoke unto you in Galilee, saying, "The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again."
Song: His Tomb Is Empty Now
Visitor: You mean He really did rise again the third day?
Narrator: Yes, He appeared to several groups at several different times, and there were over five hundred witnesses that saw Him after His death. Forty days later, Jesus ascended into heaven, where the Bible says He is now seated at the right hand of the Father, making intercession for all those who claim Him as Messiah and Lord of their life.
Narrator: Is He Lord of your life?
Visitor: No. I guess He hasn't been Lord of my life -- I never realized that I was part of the reason for Jesus coming to earth or that He loved me.
Narrator: (Hand extended.) What better time than now to make Him Lord of all!
(Visitor takes Narrator's hand and they kneel. Lights go to the manger scene.)
Song: When I Say Jesus