Christmas is a time of giving. We give each other gifts in celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. Tonight in our play, we will present gifts that God gives us through Christmas.
Angels go onstage.
The Gift of Prophecy
First we have the Gift of Prophecy. The birth of Jesus was planned from the very beginning. Bethlehem was chosen as the birthplace of Christ many years before He came to earth. In the Old Testament, Micah prophesied, saying, “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.” (Micah 5:2)
Two angels open Bethlehem scene, center stage on platform.
Song: "Beautiful Star of Bethlehem" or "O Little Town of Bethlehem"
Mary joins angels onstage.
Just as Bethlehem was the chosen place, Mary was God’s chosen woman. In Luke 1, we read, “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, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. 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, 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.” (Luke 1:26-33) Isaiah’s prophecy was fulfilled, as was mentioned in Isaiah 7:14, “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” The Gift of Prophesy shows us of our Savior’s humble beginnings and how He brought himself from the majesty of heaven to the lowliness of earth.
Song: "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel" or "What Child Is This?"
Joseph goes onstage. He and Mary open Manger scene, center stage under Bethlehem.
The Gift of a Savior
As the birth of Jesus was prophesied, so it was fulfilled. This is the Gift of a Savior, because Jesus was God’s Gift to us. Luke 2:1-7 says, “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.”
Song: "Away In A Manger"
Shepherds go onstage, and open Shepherd scene, left side of stage.
The Gift of Joy
Our next gift is the Gift of Joy. As people on Earth rejoiced over Jesus, angels rejoiced as well. Luke 2:8-14 says, “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, 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. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”
Song: "Angels We Have Heard On High"
Shepherds go towards manger.
“And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. 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.” (Luke 2:15-20)
Song: "We Three Kings"
Wise men go onstage and open Wise Men scene, right side of stage.
The Gift of Worship
“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, 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. When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. … And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, 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. 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. And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.” (Matthew 2:1-12)
Wise men go towards manger.
This gift shows us that is important to worship and give things to God. While we do not give gold, frankincense, and myrrh, other possessions are very valuable to God, such as our prayers, time, and tithe. We are even instructed to give our entire life and body to God. Romans 12:1 says, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”
Song: "How Many Kings?"
Young man and woman carry Cross scene to center stage and open.
The Gift of Love
Each of these gifts is very important, but none is as precious as the Gift of Love. As God gave us these gifts at the birth of Jesus, the greatest gift was given through His death and resurrection. We read in 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." Also in John 15:13, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." Jesus came that first Christmas morn, to give Himself as our supreme sacrifice, as proclaimed by John the Baptist, the "Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." (John 1:29) God gave His all in His gift of love through His Son. Please believe and accept His precious gift of love.
Entire cast moves down on the altar steps, facing the cross. All kneel at the cross.
Song: "In The Bleak Midwinter"