"John Finds Christmas"

This Christmas play is about a family who helps a young boy with his family needs, and also with his spiritual needs.   As they spend time with him they help him understand the true meaning of Christmas which leads to his own personal salvation.  The play ends with the use of "cardboard testimonies" but these could be omitted. 

Sign Holder (Carries sign to front for each changing scene.)
Mr. Bright
Mrs. Bright 
Joy Bright  (Young teenager dressed in denim skirt and nice, everyday shirt.)
John  (Young teenager dressed in old clothes, hair a little long.)

Scene opens in the living room of the Bright family.  Deacon bench in center, covered with brown cloth.  Wall behind painted like a living room wall.  Door opening at back left for entrance from kitchen.  (Brown cloth material attached to top of wall and draped behind, which will be lifted over and brought forward to create manger scene.  Additional chair and lamp and small table can be easily removed and replaced with manger.)  Carolers or extra songs could easily be added between scenes.

Scene I - Thanksgiving Day At The Bright's Home

Sign Holder walks to center stage with a sign that reads, "Thanksgiving Day" then exits.

Mr. Bright, Mrs. Bright, and Joy enter room from kitchen and sit down.  Mrs. Bright has a dish towel in her hands.

Mrs. Bright:  Thanks for the help, guys.  All the food has been put away.

Mr. Bright: That was a great Thanksgiving meal, Dear. 

Joy: Yes, Mom, it really was delicious.

Mrs. Bright:  Glad you liked it.  We have enough leftovers to last a week.

Mr. Bright: Well, you fixed enough to feed a small army. (All laugh.)

John walks to front right and knocks.  He is holding a cardboard sign that says, "Will work to help my family."  Joy walks over as to open the door.

Joy: Hey, John, come in.

John: Hey, Joy. (Walks in.)  It sure smells good in here.

Mrs. Bright: Hi, John.  How's your Mom?

John:  Oh, she is still recovering from surgery.  She can't get up and down too well, yet.

Mrs. Bright:  I'm sorry to hear that.  Did you have your Thanksgiving Dinner?

John:  Well, I fixed some sandwiches.  It was fine with me, but Molly wanted turkey.  They dressed up like Indians and Pilgrims at school and she wanted to wear her Pilgrim costume while she ate a turkey dinner.

Mr. Bright:  We have plenty left, if you think your Mom would like for us to bring it over.

John:  I'm sure she would appreciate it.  She is probably getting tired of my peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

Mrs. Bright: I will box it up and go over and heat it up for you.  We even have an extra pumpkin pie. (She leaves through kitchen.)

John: I really appreciate it.  To tell you the truth, I'm getting a little tired of peanut butter myself.  Mr. Bright, do you have any odd jobs that I could help with?   I'm trying to find some work I can do after school to help with the groceries.

Mr. Bright: I don't know of much, but I might come up with something.  Come back over Saturday and I'll see if I can find a little work to do.

John:  Thanks.  I would really like to get Mom and Molly something for Christmas.

Mrs. Bright: (Walks back in carrying box of food.)  You looking for some work?   We could sure use some help cleaning out the garage. 

Joy:  Yeah, we are getting some of my old toys together for the Christmas toy drive.  You want to help?

John:  That would be great.

Mr. Bright:  Well, I can't pay you much, but maybe it will help a little.

Mrs. Bright: Now, let's get this food over to your house.  Maybe Molly will show me her Pilgrim costume.

They all leave out the door with box of food.  Joy carries the pie.

Song:  Any Thanksgiving Song such as "I've Got So Much To Thank Him For"

Scene II - Saturday Afternoon At The Bright's Home

Sign holder walks to center stage with sign that reads, "Saturday Afternoon" then exits.

Mrs. Bright is hand sewing on an angel costume.  Mr. Bright, Joy, and John all walk in carrying big boxes of clothes and toys.

Mrs. Bright:  Wow!  Looks like you guys have been really busy.

Joy:  Yeah, Mom.  You wouldn't believe all the junk in the garage.

Mrs. Bright:  I believe it!  You wanted to keep every toy and doll you ever had.

Joy: Yeah, I really liked my dolls.  This was my favorite.  I played with her so much I don't think anyone would want her.  Just look at this hair!

John: (Picks doll up from box.) Look at this one.  It looks like it just came out of the box.

Joy: She was a special gift from my Grandmother.  I didn't want her to get dirty.  I think there's even a box of clothes and accessories for her somewhere in this mess.  Would you like to give her to Molly?

John: Molly would love it.  Can you keep it here until I get a chance to wrap it?

Mrs. Bright:  Sure.  We can wrap it next Saturday if you want to come help clean out the attic.

Joy:  Oh, Mom.  (They all laugh.)

Mom: You guys look like you could use something to drink.  I'll go get you some tea.  I'm almost finished with this angel costume anyway. (She puts the costume in her chair and leaves room.  John picks up the costume so he can sit down.  Mr. Bright and Joy also sit down.)

John: So, Joy, you going to be an angel or something?

Joy:  Yeah.  In the Christmas play.  I'm an angel every year, but this year my costume was too small so Mom had to make another one.  Would you like to be in the play?

John:  I don't know about that.  I've never even seen a Christmas play.

Mr. Bright: Well, John.  I know we could use another shepherd.  You wouldn't have to have a speaking part. 

Joy:  Yeah, all you would do is follow the other shepherds to the manger and just stand there.  We have a fellowship after the play with all kinds of good food. 

John:  Just stand there? 

Mr. Bright:  Just follow the other shepherds to the manger and just stand there, to worship the Baby Jesus.

John:  I really don't know much about the Christmas story, and I would hate to mess anything up, but it does sound kind 'of fun.

Mrs. Bright:  (Walks in bringing drinks.) What sounds kind 'of fun?

Joy:  John's going to be a shepherd in the Christmas play.

Mrs. Bright: Wonderful! 

John:  Are you sure all I have to do is just stand there?

Joy: You follow the other shepherds to the manger and just stand there.

Mr. Bright: (Taking a Bible from the small table.) You see, John.  God made the world and everything was perfect.  But Adam and Eve, the first man and woman, didn't obey God and did wrong.  That's called "sin".  The Bible tells us in Romans 3:23 that everybody has sinned.  "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;"  We also read in Romans 6:23, "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."  You may have heard John 3:16, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

John: Yeah, I've heard that verse before, but I never really thought about it.

Mr. Bright:  God sent His Son, Jesus, to come down from heaven.  That's the Christmas story.  Mary and Joseph had to go to Bethlehem to pay their taxes and there was no room for them in the inn.  They had to stay in the stable, and that is where Baby Jesus was born.  Mary laid Him in a manger. 

Joy:  The shepherds were watching their sheep on the hillside and the angels came and told them that Baby Jesus was born.  I get to be an angel.  The angels and shepherds go to Bethlehem and stand at the manger.

Mr. Bright: I'll be praying for you, John.  If you hear the voice of the Holy Spirit telling you inside that you are lost, and you want to be saved, just bow on your knees to God and ask Him to forgive you of your sin and save you.  Romans 10:9 tells us, "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." 

John: Thanks, Mr. Bright.  I've never heard that part of the Christmas story before.  I'll think about it.  Guess I better be going now.  I have some chores to do for Mom. (Gets up to leave.) Are you sure you don't mind giving the doll to Molly?

Joy:  Sure, John.  I'll look through and find the clothes and stuff.

Mrs. Bright:  Bye, John.  Tell your mother, "Hello" for me.

Song:  "Away In A Manger For Me"

Scene III - One Week Before Christmas

Sign holder walks to center stage with sign reading, "Week Before Christmas" then exits.

Mrs. Bright and Joy are coming home from shopping and walk toward front door with shopping packages.

Mrs. Bright: I sure am glad we finished our Christmas shopping.

Joy: Me, too.  Now all we have to do is finish with the wrapping.

John walks by still carrying sign, "Will work to help my family."

Mrs. Bright:  Hi, John.  Still looking for work?

John: Yeah.  Mom is almost ready to go back to work, so I'm just trying to help out a little more for Christmas.  Thanks for wrapping the doll and clothes for Molly.  I'm sure she will love it.

Joy: You're welcome.  Are you ready for the Christmas play? 

John: Yes I am.  Mom and Molly are coming with me.  I've been going to practice.  The preacher told me more about the Christmas story.  He also told me about Easter when Jesus died on the cross and arose again on the third day.  He said that was the reason Jesus came.  I never knew that Jesus loved me so much He came and died for me.

Mrs. Bright: Yes, John, we read in Romans 5:8, “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

Joy:  And don’t forget John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

John:  Yes, I understand what that verse means now.  I’ve been thinking about it a lot.  Got to go.  See you Sunday.

Mrs. Bright and Joy:  See you Sunday, John.

Mrs. Bright and Joy go into house and John walks off.

Song:  "How Many Kings?"  or other song while manger scene is being set up. 

Move out furniture, packages, etc. except for deacon's bench still covered in brown.  Leave the Bible on the deacon's bench.  Pull brown cloth down over wall to front to create backdrop for manger scene.  Place manger in front of deacon's bench.

Scene IV - The Christmas Play

Sign holder walks to center stage with sign reading, "Christmas Play" then exits.

Narrator: (Reading from Luke 2:1-16)   
"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:)"

Mary and Joseph walk down center of church to their place at the manger scene.

"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."

Shepherds and angels take their place at side of stage.

"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,"

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."

Narrator: "And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,"

Angels: "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."

Narrator:  "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."

Narrator: "And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger."

Angels and Shepherds go to manger and stand on each side looking down at the Baby.

Song: "O Holy Night" by Adolph Adam

"O holy night!  The stars are brightly shining.

It is the night of our dear Saviour's birth.

Long lay the world in sin and error pining,

Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth.

A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices

For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.

Fall on your knees!  Oh, hear the angel voices! 

Oh, night divine!  O night when Christ was born,

O night divine, O night, O night divine."

When singer comes to the line, "Fall on your knees!" then John bows down to the manger.  After John bows down, then Joy bows down on the other side.  Joseph then kneels down and puts his arm around John.  He opens the Bible and appears to be reading the scriptures to John.  Mary kneels, and the remaining angels and shepherds also bow down so that by the end of the song the whole cast is kneeling at the manger.

Mr. Bright: (Stepping to the front of the church.) We tried to show in our play tonight that we can make a difference in the lives of others when we show them we care.  In our play a young boy found Jesus as His Savior at the manger.  That's what Christmas should be all about.  John carried a cardboard testimony, that he wanted to help his family, and in turn, the Bright family helped him find the Lord.  My cardboard testimony is… (Hold sign up as he reads front of how life used to be, then turns cardboard over to back to read how life is now.) 

Let some people in the audience bring their own cardboard testimonies to hold up and read while piano plays softly with song Amazing Grace.

I once was lost … but now I'm found.
I walked in sin and darkness… Now God shows me the way.
I lost my job... My God shall supply all my need.