TITLE: Once Upon A Christmas...
By Ashley White
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The curtain opens and Mary and Joseph walk on to the stage. In Mary’s arms is her three-week-old baby. Joseph tends to a fire in the fireplace, Mary places the baby in a cradle, and the both of them sit down to tea as Mary rocks her baby to sleep.
Mary: Well I sure am glad we are finally out of that barn and in a real home now.
Joseph: I know what you mean. However, we had to take what we could get at the time. You remember what the innkeeper said. How he had no rooms left for rent
Mary: I know and I am grateful for him. The barn was warm and dry and that is what we needed at the time. That whole scene keeps going repeatedly in my mind. You remember how the innkeeper looked at us? So frantic and stressed, and overworked, if I had not been in labour at the time I would have felt a little more sorry for him.
Joseph: that is for sure well at least we are not still in the stable. It was great temporarily but I was really getting tired of the smell.
Mary: yes donkey and cow poop really not pleasant, especially for a new born baby.
Mary pauses for a moment reminiscing. At that moment, the light dims, Mary, and Joseph walk of the stage. The innkeeper walks on to the stage and the lights come back on. In the background O A Little Town of Bethlehem is playing
Innkeeper: There is just too much work to do. So many people and not enough space for them at all. This inn is too small for this many people and yet every minute I have another person asking me if I have a room for their family to stay in. I tell them “we are already way over capacity, what with three families to one room; there is no way I can fit anymore people in.” Then they walk away rejected and vowing they will never come back. What can I do about it? They should have arrived sooner.
The inn was finally quiet for the night, everyone staying here was happy, when a man and his wife arrived. These two, they were different. Very set in there ways. There was no way he was going to leave. He told me they had been to every inn and that mine was the only one left they had not tried. He said that every inn was full. I could not bear telling him mine was full as well and that there just was no more room. I was about to when I heard the strong screams from his wife behind him. She was perched on a donkey and moaning. It was then that the man told me that she was pregnant and ready to give birth! I just could not leave her there to give birth on the side of a road, and yet I had no answers for them.
My wife came over to see what all the commotion was about and noticed the couple. She immediately pulled me to the side suggesting that we put them in the stable. The stable of all places! But what other option did we have? So that is where they ended up. Their baby boy was born amongst cows and sheep. They told me this child was the messiah of which Isaiah had spoken. They did not seem bothered but thankful that their child, their messiah was born in a barn and not on the side of the road. I just do not know what to think anymore.
The lights dim once again and the music fades out. The innkeeper walks off the stage and Mary and Joseph walk back on the stage again. The lights go back on.
Mary: The innkeeper sure seemed stress when we arrived.
Joseph: well I sure would be if I were he, from the looks of it he had been doing his best accommodating all those people all week. There were so many people in Bethlehem.
Mary: Thank God, they are all starting to leave now. If it were not for that, we would still be in the stable with all those sheep.
Joseph: Yes, that is one way to look it. You know, when you say sheep you remind me of our new friends. Remember the night when our son was born. We had guests that night. Don’t you remember? The story they told us. It was really quite amazing.
Mary: I remember! They were shepherds and they were on the late shift watching there sheep. There were four of them and they all ran in to the stable rather excitedly.
Joseph: At first I wanted to stop them I didn’t want them disturbing you. but they were so excited…
The lights dim once again and Mary and Joseph walk off the stage. A shepherd walks on the stage and the lights go back on. In the background Angles We Have Heard on High is playing.
Shepherd: It was amazing! Extremely amazing to say the least, you see, my friends and I were out in the fields. We were all on the late shift, watching the hundred’s of sheep out there. (hmmm I hope we don’t get fired) but anyways, we were watching our sheep, cold and hungry as ever. All of us had forgotten to bring snacks and blankets you see.
Well the four of us were just debating who would run and get us all something to eat when a bright light flashed before our eyes. It lit up the sky making it appear to be daytime during the night. We all looked away at the same moment and our sheep scurried off to who knows where. We have not seen any sight of those sheep since that night.
Anyways, shielding our eyes from the bright light, we suddenly heard a strong, melodic voice from the sky. “Do not be afraid, I bring you good news that will be for all people, today in Bethlehem, a savoir has been born, he is the Christ child. You will find this baby with his parents in a stable”
Suddenly, the sky got ten times brighter as a whole crowd of voices from the sky began to sing. They were singing praises like, “Glory to God in the highest” and “Peace and Goodwill to all” then the light vanished and the field returned to a dark, cold state. Our sheep were nowhere in sight. We looked up and noticed a star in the sky. This star shone higher and brighter than any other star and we knew that was where the baby was. With out a word each of us got up and began to walk towards that star. We knew our job was on the line and that our boss would probably not be the happiest man when he found out we were gone, but we didn’t care, we wanted to see this baby, the Christ child, the messiah we had been waiting for. For a long, long time.
The shepherd pauses for a moment as the light dims. He walks off the stage and Mary and Joseph come back on the stage resuming their positions. The lights go back on and the music fades out.
Mary: I hung on to their every word. Their words will forever be stored in my heart. The joy on those shepherd faces when they looked upon the face of our baby boy that night was something that will never leave me.
Lights dim and a spot light is placed on Mary. She stands up with her baby boy. Joseph leaves the stage. Away in a Manger begins to play in the background.
Mary: I was just a regular girl only a year ago though it feels like five. I was in the garden pulling weeds. I remember thinking how over looked our garden had become. Why no one noticed it sooner is beyond me. I was getting more and more frustrated by the second when suddenly a man was standing straight in front of me.
He was dressed very nice, in clean robes, and smelled… well…. almost heavenly. When he spoke, he had a voice that was soft and gentle, but firm at the same time.
He stretched out his hand as to help me up from the ground. At first I didn’t take it. However, his face… it was so angelic I could not hold myself back. I gave him my hand and he pulled me to my feet.
Then the next thing he said still repeats in my mind to this day. He said “Mary, humble Mary, God has found favour with you. He then went on to say this I shall have a son and that He will be God’s son… the son of the highest king!
Well I looked up at him with a puzzled look. “Excuse me?” I said, “How can this be? I have never been married. I have never been with a man alone in my life.”
Well do you know what he said? What he said next made me believe this message was from God. That the man in front of me was an angel from God, First the man said, “Elizabeth, your cousin, she is also with child. She has been for six months now.” I thought about this. How could he possibly know Elizabeth and I were cousins?
I told him that was quite impossible, that Elizabeth was too old for child bearing. This would be her first child!
The second thing he said was this. He looked in to my eyes, and then, he gave me a hug. Then, just before he left he said this. “Mary, nothing is impossible with God.”
I just stood there staring at the half basket of weeds sitting in the dirt. I did not understand what the angel meant. His words, “nothing was impossible with God” those words, filled with such peace and joy. (Mary looks down at the baby in her arms) Thank you God for all you have done. Your work of art could not be anymore perfect. Nothing is impossible when you’re in charge.
Lights dim and Joseph rejoins Mary on stage and takes the baby from her arms. O Come Emmanuel begins to play in the background.
Joseph: We could not have asked for a better son. He is perfect in every way.
Mary: I agree, God sure knows what he was doing when he planned this out. I think this little one might need a changing. She takes the baby from Joseph and walks off the stage.
Joseph: The day I met Mary I knew she was different… special. I knew God had a special purpose for her I just did not know what it was. When she told me she was pregnant, I did not know what to think. What could I think? We were betrothed. I admit I did think she had been unfaithful, I had not seen her for many months. She left home not pregnant and came back pregnant. What could I think? However, thanks to God he set me straight. With his creativeness, he gave me a dream telling me the truth. Mary had not done anything wrong. This was all part of God’s plan. He had chosen me to be this baby’s earthly father and Mary to be the mother.
Filled with joy I slept peacefully the rest of that night and early the next morning ran to tell Mary that our wedding was on once again. As soon as we were married, the king issued a census and I had to leave with her to go to Bethlehem. The king’s timing could not have been worse of course but everything turned out okay. Mary had her baby and he is healthy and strong even to this day. I thank God everyday for this new life he has given me. For my wonderful wife and baby son, I could not have asked for much more. Just think I, a carpenter, and my wife, parents to the savoir of the world!
At that point Mary walks back on to the stage with the baby and they silently sit in front of the fire. Mary rocks the baby to sleep as Joseph stokes the fire. And the music fades out.
Mary: humming silent night to the baby
Joseph: moves towards Mary, Just as Mary comes to the end of the song, Joseph joins in
Sleep in Heavenly Peace
Sleep in Heavenly Peace
They move off the stage and an angel walks on to the stage
Angel: For God so loved the world that he sent his only son that whosoever should believe in him will never parish but have everlasting life.
My name is Gabriel, I appeared to Mary with the good news of her son, I appeared to Joseph in a dream, and I appeared to the shepherds with the good news. I appear to you as well with another message. Jesus was born today! Jesus brings a light that shines brighter than we can ever imagine. This light fills anybody in its presence with peace and joy and he wants us to take it to the world. His light shines in the darkness and the darkness can never put it out. Merry Christmas Everyone
Immediately after the angel finishes speaking Joy to the World begins to play, the angel walks off the stage and the curtain closes and opens again for the final bow.
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