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Good News in Bethlehem
by Tim Pickl 
12/13/08
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(Lone spotlight on the Narrator. Bring lights up on Bob and Marcia as the Narrator reads their names.)

NARRATOR
It’s only a few days before Christmas, and Bob and Marcia finally have some time to relax. It’s been a harrowing month of shopping, wrapping and preparing for all 24 grandchildren who will be coming over tomorrow.

(Bob and Marcia seated on comfortable chairs, center stage, facing the audience. There is a small table between them with a lamp. Bob is reading a newspaper. Marcia is working on a needlework project in her lap.)

MARCIA
So, Bob, you sure we got everything wrapped?

BOB
Yeah, I reckon we did.

MARCIA
Well, please make sure. I don’t wanna forget anybody. Remember what happened last year?

BOB
I don’t wanna remember.

MARCIA
Little Nolan was sittin’ in that corner, cryin’…..cuz he didn’t get anything.

BOB
Turn on the TV, I wanna watch the news.

MARCIA
Oh, it’s all BAD news. This world’s gone plum-crazy.

(Marcia picks up a television remote control, points it at the audience, and punches a button.
Sound effect: television news shows and commercials.)

MARCIA
Which channel do you wanna watch?

BOB
I like Channel 7.

(Marsha starts to punch in the number on the remote. We hear GOOD NEWS in Bethlehem, it’s an exciting all-new Christmas play--)

MARCIA
Where’s Channel 7 again? These fancy HDTV channels have different numbers--

BOB
Wait—Wait! Stop.

MARCIA
I thought you wanted Channel 7?

(Bring the entire family! Bring your friends! GOOD NEWS in Bethlehem. Don’t you want to hear some good news for once?)

BOB
Oh…oh no. Guess what?

MARCIA
What Bob, what? What’s goin’ on? You’re scarin’ me. (shuts off the television)

BOB
I COMPLETELY forgot. Nolan’s in that play—he’s playing Joseph. It’s tonight. Poor little guy. Why do we always forget him?

MARCIA
Oh, Bob! I can’t believe this… Well, we better get goin’. We’re already late.

(Lights off. Scene change. Manger center-stage.
Lights on. Mary standing, cuddling baby Jesus in her arms, then places him in the hay. Joseph (Nolan) stands behind her, comforting her.)

NARRATOR
The Good News that Jesus was born in Bethlehem quickly spread throughout the land. Soon, Shepherds gathered to see and to worship Him.

(Seven Shepherds walk on stage, from all different directions, kneel and bow before Him)

NARRATOR
Later, wise men brought gifts to Jesus.

(Three bearded actors walk up to Jesus, kneel and place gifts. Bob and Marcia walk in—late—and sit in the front row in the audience.)

NARRATOR
But—why—why is this Good News? Babies are born every day, right? What made this baby so special? Let me ask you directly.

(The Narrator grabs a microphone, and walks down to the audience. Spotlights follow.)

NARRATOR
What is your name, sir?

BOB
I’m Bob.

NARRATOR
And what is your name—is this your wife?

MARCIA
I’m Marcia.

BOB
Yes.

MARCIA
Yes.

NARRATOR
We’re so glad you folks made it to our play tonight. Bob, do you know what the title of our play is?

BOB
“Good News in Bethlehem”—it says it right here on the Program.

NARRATOR
That’s right! What does that mean to you, Marcia—the Good News?

MARCIA
Well, I reckon it means that the Good News is Jesus was born.

NARRATOR
Right! And—Bob—why is the birth of Jesus so special? What’s so good about it?
He’s still a baby…Mary’s still going to need to feed and change Him, and give him baths.

BOB
Because…(pauses) because He’s God Himself, wrapped up in flesh. Immanuel—God is with us.

NARRATOR
Excellent!

MARCIA
And—I hope you don’t mind me speakin’ outta turn.

NARRATOR
No, go ahead--

MARCIA
If Jesus wasn’t born, He’d never have grown up and done all those miracles and He wouldn’t have died for our sins. We’d still be lost. Unforgiven.

NARRATOR
That’s perfect. (walks back on stage) We need to understand Jesus was born and grew up—just like each of us did—or are in the process of doing. God loves us so much--He GAVE HIMSELF so we could live.

JOSEPH (Nolan)
Excuse me sir, can I say something?

NARRATOR
Sure.

JOSEPH
Bob and Marcia are my grandparents. I’ve been mad at them for a year. But, them showin’ up and tellin’ us the Good News has got me thinkin’.
Granny and Grandpa, please forgive me.

(Nolan walks down to them, and hugs them)

MARCIA
Awww, little Nolan, please forgive us. We love you, honey.



---end---


November 29, 2008 A.D.


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