(not including music)  all rights belong to Tanis Harms –
.             refer to

TOPIC:      Jesus’ birth and salvation message
SCRIPTURE:  Gen.12:2, 49:10; Num.24:17; Dt.18:15-18;
.           2Sam.7:12-16; Ps.2:6, 110:4; Is.7:14;
.           Mic.5:2; Mt.1:1,2,16,18,23, 2:6, 21:5,11;
.           Lk.2:3-4; Jhn.18:37; Acts3:22-23,
.           Gal.3:16; Hb.5:6-10, 6:19-20
Style:      a Christmas program with scripture readings,
.           soliloquys, and songs.
.           - I’ve recommended songs to be sung either
.             by soloists, choir or congregational
.           – you can choose not to do the soliloquys
.             (can be in costume, read from scroll)
.             (dressed modern, read from Bible)
.           JOSEPH         (in 30s)
.           MARY           (late teens, early 20s)
.           SHEPHERD       (young man)
.           MAGI           (wise man from Asia)
.           ANNA           (prophetess in 80s)
.           SIMEON         (priest, older)
Props:      scroll, Bible


SONG      “It Came Upon the Midnight Clear
.          by Edmund H.Sears, and Richard S. Willis
.          (particularly verse 4)

JOSEPH     To an Israelite, genealogy is very important.
.          Even though there hasn’t been a king on
.          the throne for many years, one keeps hoping.
.          And Israel’s hope lies within the prophecies
.          of the expected Messiah.  Both my wife, Mary,
.          and I - come from the line of Abraham, Judah
.          and King David. So any child of ours
.          would have been able to legitimately
.          and rightfully take the thrown of Israel –
.          along with many other offspring
.          from many other families.  Except that -
.          the Messiah would be the perfect King
.          to bring about perfect peace.  To be perfect?

(JOSEPH thinks and reacts to this thought.)
.                                                       2
JOSEPH     Well, this is just not possible with mankind –
.          So what was most astounding about our
.          firstborn – Jesus – He didn’t really come
.          from me - He came from God.  God the Father.
.          How worthy is that?  How else
.          to bless the nations through our genealogy?

(If you need to shorten this reading a bit, I have
put a few things in brackets which may be omitted.
I would suggest the New Testament reader to follow
quickly, but the Old Testament reader can take
a slight pause before beginning again.)

OT READER  The prophecy of Jesus being from the line
.          of ABRAHAM - is found in Genesis (12:2) –
.          “And I will make you a great nation, and
.          I will bless you, And make your name great;
.          And so you shall be a blessing...”

NT READER  Prophecy fulfilled.  Galatians 3:16 –
.          “Now the promises were spoken to Abraham
.          (and to his seed He does not say,
.          ‘And to seeds,’ as referring
.          to many, but rather to one,)
.          ‘And to your seed,’ that is, Christ.”

OT READER  From the line of JUDAH - in Genesis (49:10) -
.          “The scepter shall not depart from Judah,
.          Nor the ruler's staff from between his feet,
.          Until Shiloh comes,  And to him
.          shall be the obedience of the peoples.”

NT READER  Prophecy fulfilled.  Matthew 1:2 –
.          “Abraham was the father of Isaac,
.          Isaac the father of Jacob, and
.          Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers.”
.          This genealogy leads to verse 16 – “by whom
.          Jesus was born, who is called the Messiah.

OT READER  From the line of DAVID in 2 Samuel (7:12-13) -
.          “(When your days are complete
.          and you lie down with your fathers,)
.          I will raise up your descendant after you,
.          who will come forth from you,
.          and I will establish his kingdom.
.          He shall build a house for My name,
.          and I will establish the throne
.          of his kingdom forever.”

NT READER  Prophecy fulfilled.  Matthew 1:1 -           3
.          “The record of the genealogy of Jesus
.          the Messiah, the son of DAVID,
.          the son - of Abraham.”

SONG      “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”
.          by Thomas Helmore, and Tom Fettke;
.         or “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”
.          by Charles Wesley, and Felix Mendelssohn

MARY       Before we were married, an angel appeared
.          to me to explain that I would conceive
.          and bear a Son, and was to name Him Jesus.
.          The angel went on to say that - He will be
.          great and be called the Son of the Most High;
.          and the Lord God will give Him the throne
.          of His father David;  and He will reign
.          over the house of Jacob forever.
.          (humbly looks down a moment, remembering)
.          Joseph found out that I was expecting.
.          Naturally, he wanted to do the right thing,
.          but God sent an angel - to him - to explain
.          that this Son was of the Holy Spirit.
.          I don’t know, how ELSE can one believe
.          that this would even happen – except -
.          through the power of God’s word?

OT READER  The prophecy of the virgin birth
.          is found in Isaiah (7:14) - “Therefore
.          the Lord Himself will give you a sign:
.          Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear
.          a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.”

NT READER  Prophecy fulfilled.  Matthew 1:18
.          “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows:
.          when His mother Mary had been betrothed
.          to Joseph, before they came together
.          she was found to be with child
.          by the Holy Spirit.”

SONG      “Angels We Have Heard on High”
.          traditional French carol

SHEPHERD   I was with a group of shepherds one night,
.          when an angel of the Lord suddenly appeared.
.          It was very bright and - very frightening.
.          But the angel told us not be afraid, because
.          there was good news - of peace and great joy –
.          for... everyone.  Even including us –
.          outcast members of society.
.                                                       4
(SHEPHERD continues humbly.)

SHEPHERD   We were told that we would find the Savior,
.          Christ the Lord, as a baby, in a manager -
.          in the city of Bethlehem.  Then the sky lit up
.          with angels all giving glory to God.
.          As soon as they were gone, we all decided
.          we HAD to go straight to Bethlehem
.          to see this great and awesome thing.

OT READER  The prophecy of Jesus being born
.          in Bethlehem is found in Micah (5:2) -
.          “’But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
.          Too little to be among the clans of Judah,
.          From you One will go forth for Me
.          to be ruler in Israel
.          His goings forth are from long ago,
.          From the days of eternity.’”

NT READER  Prophecy fulfilled.  Luke 2:3-4 –
.          “And everyone was on his way to register
.          for the census, each to his own city.
.          Joseph also went up from Galilee,
.          from the city of Nazareth, to Judea,
.          to the city of David
.          which is called - Bethlehem, (because
.          he was of the house and family of David.)”

SONG      “Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus”
.           by Charles Wesley, and Rowland H.Prichard;
.          or “Thou Didst Leave Thy Throne”
.           by Emily E.S.Elliott and Timothy R.Matthews

MAGI       Throughout the ages, we had the word
.          passed down to us.  We knew of the prophecies
.          told about the coming of the King of kings.
.          So when we saw His star appear,
.          we set out with a large caravan – in search
.          of Him.  Finding ourselves in Jerusalem,
.          we stopped to ask King Herod where
.          this King of the Jews had been born.
.          He was unaware - and questioned us,
.          asking us to send word back to him
.          once we had found this Child King.
.          After continuing our trek, once again,
.          the star led us to Jesus.  With great joy
.          we spent time worshiping and honoring Him.

(MAGI puts hands together in a slight bow of honor.)
.                                                       5
MAGI       Then being warned in a dream not to go back
.          to Herod, we returned to our homeland
.          by another way.  We knew this Child
.          had a great purpose to fulfill - which would
.          impact people of all nations - for all time.

OT READER  The prophecy of Jesus being a King
.          is found in Numbers (24:17) and Psalms (2:6) -
.          “I see him, but not now;
.          I behold him, but not near;
.          A star shall come forth from Jacob,
.          A scepter shall rise from Israel,
.          And shall crush through the forehead of Moab,
.          And tear down all the sons of Sheth.”
.          (Psalm 2:6)  “But as for Me,
.          I have installed My King upon Zion,
.          My holy mountain.”

NT READER  Prophecy fulfilled.  John 18:37 -
.          “Therefore Pilate said to Him,
.          ‘So You are a king?’
.          Jesus answered,
.          ‘You say correctly that I am a king
.          For this I have been born,
.          and for this I have come into the world,
.          to testify to the truth
.          Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.’”

SONG      “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day”
.          by Henry W. Longfellow, Jean Baptiste Calkin
.          (particularly verses 4 and 5)

ANNA       I am the prophetess, daughter of Phanuel,
.          of the tribe of Asher.  As a widow,
.          I have served at the temple, with fasting
.          and prayers, day and night.  Never leaving.
.          Oh, how I longed to see the Messiah,
.          the coming of our King, the Great Prophet-
.          who would not only speak to His people
.          with the message of hope and salvation,
.          but would BE our hope and salvation.
.          And then - I saw Him.  When Joseph and Mary
.          brought the baby Jesus to the temple where
.          I served.  At the very moment I happened upon
.          them, I began giving thanks to God.
.          And continued to speak of Him – to all those
.          who were looking for the redemption
.          of Jerusalem.  This is the great news
.          of redemption - for all people.
.                                                       6
OT READER  The prophecy of Jesus being a Prophet
.          is found in Deuteronomy (18:15-18) -
.          “(The LORD your God will raise up for you
.          a prophet like me from among you,
.          from your countrymen, you shall listen to him.
.          This is according to all that you asked
.          of the LORD your God in Horeb
.          on the day of the assembly, saying,
.          ‘Let me not hear again
.          the voice of the LORD my God,
.          let me not see this great fire anymore,
.          or I will die.’)
.          The LORD said to me, ‘They have spoken well.
.          I will raise up a prophet
.          from among their countrymen like you,
.          and I will put My words in his mouth,
.          and he shall speak to them
.          all that I command him.’”

NT READER  Prophecy fulfilled.  Matthew 21:11
.          “And the crowds were saying,
.          ‘This is the prophet Jesus,
.          from Nazareth in Galilee.’”

SONG      “Once in Royal David’s City”
.          by Cecil F. Alexander, Henry J. Gauntlett
.          (in particular verse 4)

SIMEON     The parents of Jesus were obedient
.          to the law of Moses.  Accordingly, after
.          eight days had passed, Joseph had named
.          the baby – and Jesus was circumcised.
.          Accordingly, after thirty-three more days,
.          Mary completed the days for - purification.
.          And accordingly, after this – a sin offering,
.          Joseph and Mary presented an acceptable
.          sacrifice of two turtledoves, because
.          they could not afford to present - a lamb.
.          Were they aware at that moment, that JESUS –
.          was the Lamb of God – who would one day -
.          be ultimately sacrificed - for ALL sins?
.          For many years, while serving in the temple,
.          I so longed to see the consolation of Israel.
.          One day the Holy Spirit had revealed to me,
.          that I would not see death BEFORE I had seen
.          the Lord’s Christ – our Messiah.  And there
.          He was – in my arms – when Joseph and Mary
.          had brought Jesus to the temple to carry out
.          for Him the custom of the Law.
.                                                       7
(SIMEON holds his arms out as if holding a baby and
looks down in awe, and then slowly up with praise.)

SIMEON     There in my arms, I blessed God, saying-
.          “Now Lord, You are releasing
.          Your bond-servant to depart in peace,
.          According to Your word;  For my eyes
.          have seen Your salvation, Which You have
.          prepared in the presence of all peoples,
.          And the glory - of Your people Israel."
.          I am just a priest.  Jesus – is to be
.          our High Priest - to forever
.          intercede for us on our behalf.

OT READER  The prophecy of Jesus being a Priest
.          is found in the Psalms (110:4) -
.          “The LORD has sworn and will not change
.          His mind, ‘You are a priest forever
.          According to the order of Melchizedek.’”

NT READER  Prophesy fulfilled.  Hebrews 6:19-20 -
.          “This hope we have as an anchor of the soul,
.          a hope both sure and steadfast
.          and one which enters within the veil,
.          where Jesus has entered as a forerunner
.          for us, having become a high priest forever
.          according to the order of Melchizedek.”

SONG      “O Little Town of Bethlehem”
.          by Phillips Brooks, and Lewis H.Redner