Denise Day Spencer

October 4, 2006

Christmas program: The Story

Filed under: Creative Ministries — denisedayspencer @ 2:37 am

When I first started this blog, I intended it to be partially an opportunity for personal expression, and partially a chance for me to share some of the things I’ve written for creative ministries. I apologize for not getting started with the creative ministries part sooner. But as the holiday season is fast approaching, I’d like to post the chapel Christmas program that we did here at OBI last year. It offers short, easy-to-stage drama segments and several choices of carols for the music spots. If you’re looking for a user-friendly Christmas program for your youth or adult choir that combines music and drama, this may be the thing for you.


Songs One or more of the following:

“It Came Upon the Midnight Clear”

“O Come, All Ye Faithful”

“Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”

GABRIEL: Angels singing of the Christ Child’s birth. What a lovely story!

Hello! My name is Gabriel. I am an angel of the Most High God. How long does it take to write a story? How many days, months or even years does the author turn the idea over and over in his mind before he ever writes a word? This story had been in the making for centuries, because you see, it wasn’t just a story. I know. I was there.

(As MARY enters, crossing toward him, reading a scroll) God sent me to a young girl named, “Mary.”

MARY: (looking up as she hears her name) Yes?

GABRIEL: Mary? You are highly favored by God!

MARY: (mildly fearful) What do you mean?

GABRIEL: Don’t be afraid. I bring good news. You are going to have a son!

MARY: Someday, I hope!

GABRIEL: In nine months–give or take a couple of days.

MARY: Oh, no! You’ve got the wrong girl. I’m not married!

GABRIEL: You will name him, “Jesus.”

MARY: I said I’m not–

GABRIEL: He will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever.

MARY: (afraid and amazed, looking at the scroll) David…Jacob…You mean–

GABRIEL: (gently) The Messiah.

MARY: But…how?

GABRIEL: Nothing is impossible with God!

MARY: (hugging the scroll to her and looking upward) Our people have waited so long…


One or more of the following:

“Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus”

“O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”

“Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming”


GABRIEL: (speaks to audience as he stands next to JOSEPH, who stands in a sleeping pose with his head resting on folded hands, eyes closed) That conversation with Mary went well, don’t you think? Unfortunately, her conversation with Joseph did not go so well. You see, Joseph was her fiance. When Mary tried to tell him she was going to have a baby and he knew he wasn’t the father…well, you can only imagine. And then when she said the child would be the Son of God–poor Joseph didn’t know if Mary was a pathological liar or insane! I mean, her story couldn’t be true…could it? Ah! That’s the trouble with stories that aren’t really stories.

I decided that since Joseph had recently had enough trauma in his life, I’d go easy on him. I would appear to him in a dream. (tapping JOSEPH on shoulder) Joseph? (tapping harder) Joseph?

JOSEPH: (as if waking slowly from a dream) Hmmm? Ummmm…Mommy, I don’t want to go to school today!

GABRIEL: Joseph!

JOSEPH: You don’t have to yell! (seeing GABRIEL for the first time) Who are you?

GABRIEL: And angel.

JOSEPH: Wow! I’ve never met an angel before! (to audience) This is cool!

GABRIEL: I’m here to tell you to take Mary as your wife.

JOSEPH: But–she’s (twirls finger next to head to indicate “crazy”)

GABRIEL: Joseph. (waits for JOSEPH to make eye contact with him) It’s true.

JOSEPH: Wait a minute. (to audience) This is definitely not cool.

GABRIEL: The Child is the Son of God. He will save His people from their sins.

JOSEPH: (beginning to understand) You mean…

GABRIEL: (with JOSEPH, in unison) The Messiah. (speaking alone) You are asleep, Joseph. (waving his fingers in front of JOSEPH’s drooping eyelids like a hypnotist) Your eyelids are getting very heavy. (JOSEPH closes eyes) When you awake, you will remember…(with a smile) everything!

(to audience) It is a time to sing–to rejoice! (He turns to leave, then turns back to JOSEPH and snaps his fingers near JOSEPH’s face. JOSEPH wakes with a start. He and GABRIEL exit in opposite directions.)


One of more of the following:

“Good Christian Men, Rejoice”

“All My Heart This Night Rejoices”

“On Christmas Night All Christians Sing”


GABRIEL: Now every story needs some interesting characters. All the characters can’t be neat and tidy. Some need to be kind of rough around the edges. After all, that’s what makes them interesting! Enter…(gesturing toward them) the shepherds.

These guys were a pretty motley crew, if you will. Not the kind of gentlemen you invite over for tea. They lived rough, they talked rough…(fanning the air in front of his nose) and they didn’t smell so good, either.

SHEPHERD 1: (offended) Hey!

GABRIEL: But sometimes it’s the most unlikely people that God chooses to speak to. (brief pause) Have you ever seen a grown man cry? (spotlight immediately up on GABRIEL)

SHEPHERDS: (cowering in fear and all calling out the lines one on top of another) It’s an angel! The light; it’s so bright! It’s a whole army of angels! Please don’t kill us!

SHEPHERD 2: We’re all gonna die!

GABRIEL: (loudly, with authority) You will not die! (aside) At least not today. (louder again) In the town of David a Savior has been born; He is Christ the Lord! You will find Him wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger. It’s good news of great joy for all people!

SHEPHERD 1: Even shepherds?

GABRIEL: (smiling broadly) Especially shepherds!


One or more of the following:

“Angels We Have Heard on High”

“While By the Sheep We Watched at Night”

“While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks”


GABRIEL: Have you ever watched a play that you thought was over, but it wasn’t? Maybe you applauded; perhaps you even stood up to leave–but there was more. That’s the way this story goes. Mary and Joseph had a sweet, little baby boy. The shepherds came and worshipped Him. “The end!” But no.

The baby grew into a toddler. He walked; He said his first words. And then one day wise men came from the East, wearing strange clothes and bearing odd gifts. They worshipped the Child as a king, for a king He was. But the king of the land, Herod, wanted to kill the boy. (JOSEPH enters, stands next to GABRIEL, and sleeps as before) Remember now–this is a real story…with real danger. (whispering) Joseph!

JOSEPH: (rousing and looking at him) It’s you again! Are we going to have another baby? There can be only one Messiah.

GABRIEL: And His life is in danger. Herod seeks to kill Him.

JOSEPH: (alarmed) What can we do?

GABRIEL: Go to Egypt until I come to you again. He will be safe there.


One or more of the following:

“The First Noel”

“As With Gladness Men of Old”

“We Three Kings”


GABRIEL: And so Joseph and his family stayed in Egypt until Herod died. Then they returned to their homeland and settled in a town called “Nazareth.”

We’re several chapters into the story, aren’t we? Many people would be happy if it would end right here. Everybody loves little children. But the plot thickens, as they say. The boy Jesus grows into a man. He preaches, He teaches, He heals the sick and casts out demons…until He is put to death to pay for your sins. The tale turns gruesome and ugly. But still there is more.

Jesus is raised from the dead, and then returns to heaven. And now we sing, not only of His birth, or of His death or even of His resurrection. Now we sing because someday He will return to judge the earth and rule over all creation–a new creation!

And that will be the end of the story.


One or more of the following:

“What Child is This?” (Be sure to use the version that includes “…Nails, spear shall pierce him through; the cross be borne for me, for you…”)

“O Jesus Sweet” (Be sure to use the version that includes “…Your death has ransomed our lost race; for on the cross you took our place…”)
“Joy to the World”



Leave a Comment »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: