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The Great Story
by Fay Johnson
07/18/06
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THE GREAT STORY©

written by Fay Johnson



Scene One

Matthew
[excitedly] Hello, is everyone well and happy?

Joseph
[warmly] Ah! Matthew and Luke, glad tidings, please come in and join us for our evening meal.

Luke
We have been about the city today and have not had the pleasure of being with brethren. Tell me, how is everyone this day?

Joseph
Well and fine Luke. God always sees to our care and our needs. The Lord has been very good to us.


Mary enters with food and places it on the table

Mary
Matthew and Luke what a wonderful surprise, it is so good to see you both. We would be honored if you would join us in our evening meal. [examining Luke] Luke, have you been loosing weight?

Luke
Maybe a little. [with excitement] I have just been so busy lately; many are accepting Jesus as their Savior and giving their lives to Him.

Mary
Well, you will eat well tonight. Now I know that teaching the word of God is very important but I want you to know that you need to eat to stay strong and healthy.

Luke
My sincere thanks for all of your hospitality Mary. Would you give me the pleasure of hearing you tell the “Great Story” of or Lord’s birth? I have heard it told many times from one and then another. It is such a wonderful story. I would be honored if you could share it with me this night.

Matthew
I believe that it was about this time of year, is that correct?

Joseph
Yes, that is correct.


Mary places all of her bowls on the table and wipes her hands on her apron and slowly sits down in the chair beside Luke and begins to travel back into that most special time in her life. She looks past Luke as if she could see her life before her eyes.

Mary
[slowly] Ah yes! It was so long ago yet it seems like yesterday. I was just a young woman planning to marry.


Joseph turns and speaks to Matthew.

Joseph
Yes, Mary was espoused wife. I learned that she was with child when an Angel of the Lord appeared chariasto me in a dream and said to me, “Joseph, though son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife; for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.” [1]


Zecharias and Elisabeth enter

Joseph
Come in, welcome! We were just telling Matthew and Luke about Jesus’ birth.


Elisabeth greets Mary, but Mary is deep in thought.

Joseph
[to Zacharias] Are you doing well tonight my good friend?

Zacharias
Ah, yes. We have been greatly blessed with God’s wonderful work in our lives!


Joseph returns to speak to Matthew. Elisabeth begins to serve refreshments.

Joseph
Now where was I? Oh yes, [thoughtfully] I would never wish any harm or hurt to befall Mary, so I thought that I would put her away privately and not make any public display.

Matthew
[nods, and says to himself] I must have been a difficult situation.

Joseph
I had given great thought to the circumstance and was amazed when the angel of the Lord appeared to me in my dream. The angel told me that Mary would bring forth a son and his name would be Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.

Matthew
Glory to God.

Joseph
Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, behold a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel.[2]


With great admiration as if they were hearing the story for the first time.

Luke
[to Mary] Tell me about the angel which appeared to you.

Mary
An angel, named Gabriel, appeared unto me and I was very afraid, he told me I was to have a child. I was shocked with all that I had learned. The angel also spoke to me of my cousin, Elisabeth, and told me that she was also expecting a child. Elisabeth had been barren for many years.


Mary looks out into space as she remembers and the lights go down.


Lights down, change set and light up.

Scene Two

Elisabeth
[hugging] Mary, I am so glad to see you, we have not visited in so long. Please come in and sit, we have so much catching up to do. Hungry?

Mary
[puzzled] I really need to talk to you Elisabeth. So many things have been happening that I do not understand. An angel of the Lord came to me and told me that you were to have a child.

Elisabeth
Yes, this is my sixth month. I never thought that I would have a child. Zacharias and I are so excited.

Mary
[slow and hesitant] Elisabeth, when the angel visited me and told me of the child that you were to have, he also told me that I too would have a child.

Elisabeth
[amazed] That is wonderful. Joseph will be pleased…

Mary
The angel said, “hail thou that are highly favored, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.

Elisabeth
Oh.

Mary
When I saw him I did not know what to say, I was so surprised. The he said, “Fear not, Mary: for though has found favor with God. And, behold, though 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:

Elisabeth
But how can that be?

Mary
I then asked him how this could happen, as I have never known any man, and the angel answered and said that the Holy Ghost shall come upon me and the power of the Highest shall overshadow me, therefore, the holy one born to me shall be called the Son of God.[3]


Elisabeth holds her stomach. [Zecharias enters room]

Elisabeth
[slow; amazed] Mary, as you were telling me these things, the child leaped inside my womb. Blessed art though among women.[4]

Mary
[happy, worshipfully] Oh! My soul does magnify the Lord and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.[5]


Lights down; Elisabeth moves to another part of the room and picks up a baby. Lights up. Zacharias enters

Zacharias
The Lord has given great blessings to our humble home.

Elisabeth
Yes, Zacharias. I never knew how much I missed hearing your voice. Until we took the child to be circumcised and your tongue was loosed and you began to speak once again.

Zacharias
I too am quite happy with that.

Elisabeth
Tell us how it happened.

Zatharias
The angel of the Lord told me all that would happen but I doubted how these things could come about, so my speech was taken away until his words were fulfilled.

Mary
I am so happy for both of you but, I feel that I have stayed too long. I must take my leave now and go to my own home. Joseph will worry and I have been gone so long.


Zecharias and Elisabeth bid Mary goodbye; lights fade and spot moves to room.

Scene Three

Joseph
Mary, I have disturbing news. A decree has come about, I know that this is a very bad time, but we must travel to Bethlehem to pay our taxes.

Mary
Joseph, is there any other way? I fear that the journey will be difficult for the child.

Joseph
If there was any other way, I would certainly try to find it but the law says that everyone is to be taxed into his own city.[6] The Lord will be with us. We have nothing to fear


They leave and start the journey. Joseph and Mary walk down the aisle. Lights down, Mary and Joseph are making their way, they are approaching an Inn; lights up.

Mary
Joseph, I do not think that I can go much further; I think the time is very near.

Joseph
Are you sure? I do not know what to do; we have no place to stay. Fear not Mary, the Lord will give us direction soon.

Mary
I pray that our prayers will be answered soon for I am so very weary.

Joseph
Mary wait here – I see an Inn; maybe they will have some room for us.

Innkeeper
It pains me to tell you that because of the number of people that have come to pay taxes, all my rooms are filled.

Joseph
[very sad] Then there is no shelter and the time is so near.

Innkeeper
There is one place left – no you would not consider it.

Joseph
Please tell me.

Innkeeper
It is the stable, but it is very old, dirty, and full of animals.

Joseph
If you would permit us to stay there, we would be grateful.

Innkeeper
[Nods and bows]


Joseph returns to Mary – spot follows

Joseph
They do not have a room, but they will allow us to stay in the stable.


They move over to the “stable.” Lights down and Mary and Joseph make their way to the stable.


Another part of the stage or room, the shepherds were lying in the field watching their sheep.

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.[7]

Angels
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.[8]

Shepherd 1
Let us go and find this child, so that we might know and always remember.

Shepherd 2
What a marvelous occurrence. Surely this is the Christ Child and how blessed we are to be witnesses.

Shepherd 3
Glory to God in the highest.


The shepherds go (follow the star) directly to the Inn. Mary has wrapped the baby and is holding him.

Shepherd 2
Good evening, we do not wish to bother you, we were keeping our sheep in the fields when an angel appeared to us and told us of the magnificent things that has happened here this night.

Shepherd 3
The angel said that the Saviour had been born. We so wanted to see Him, so we followed the star, which lead us here.

Shepherd 1
Behold here is such a child!


[all shepherds bow before Jesus] Lights down.

Scene Four


Back at the home of Joseph. Lights up.

Mary
[speaking to Luke] We had no choice but to travel to Bethlehem we both knew that the journey would be very hard for me and Joseph was kind and tried to make me as comfortable as possible.

Luke
But of course.

Mary
The shepherds told us all that the angel said, that the Saviour had been born and then the star led them to Him. [slowly; thoughtfully] As I listened to what the shepherds told us; I kept all of these things and pondered them in my heart.[9]


All are happy and are filled spiritually by the Great Story.

Luke
Thank you all for sharing such a “Great Story” with us this eve. My prayer is that as this glorious story is told and retold will live within each one of us.






--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

[1] Matthew 1:20

[2] Matthew 1:21-22

[3] Luke 1:28-35

[4] Luke 1:38-41

[5] Luke 1:46-47

[6] Luke 2:1-2

[7] Luke 2:8-14

[8] Luke 2:15

[9] Luke 2:19

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