On the Road to Bethlehem
The Rev. Ann M. Smith
(A stable is set up at one side of the church. The door is closed.)
Scene 1 - Isaiah Greets the People
(Isaiah enters and stands at the lectern.)
||My name is Isaiah. I am a prophet of God. God sent the people
of Israel a sign saying to them: "There is a young woman
who is going to have a baby. She will call him Emmanuel, which
means 'God is with us'. Then all the people who have lived in
the dark will walk out into the light. The baby to be born will
be our King. He will be as wise as Solomon, and as strong as God.
He will be called the Prince of Peace. Now take heart, my people.
Make a road through the desert for your God to come to you."
Processional Hymn: Prepare the Way of the Lord 107
(The choir processes into the church singing the hymn.)
||Here today, you are beginning a journey that leads
to Bethlehem. There are others on the road to guide you on your
way. Now hear the message the angels of God have for you.
Scene 2 - The Message of the Angels
Hymn: Gloria 376
(During the singing of the hymn the angels process in and take their
place on the altar steps. Angels 1 and 2 and Gabriel go to the lectern.)
||The power of God can do all things,
even things we think impossible.
||God always makes a new beginning possible.
||Glory to God, glory to God, glory to God in the
||God sent me to the town of Nazareth, to a young
girl called Mary. She was engaged to a man called Joseph, of the
house of David. I said to her, "Hail Mary, full of grace,
the Lord is with you, and you are blessed. Don't be afraid. God
has chosen you to be the mother of his Son. You must name him
Jesus which means 'God has come to save us'."
Hymn: Once in Royal David's City
||Then we appeared to some shepherds out in the fields
watching their flocks. We told them the wonderful news of Jesus'
birth and where they could find him.
Hymn: Shepherds in the Field Abiding (vs. 3 & 4)
(Liturgical dance of the angels -
Vs. 3 The angels spread out into the aisles of the church.
Chorus: Gloria - they twirl to the right.
In excelsis deo - hand come together as if in prayer.
Gloria - twirl to the left.
In excelsis deo - they go down on one knee.
Thanks good shepherds, true your story - hands held out
Let us go to Bethlehem - motion with one hand towards the stable.
Angels hymn the king of glory - one hand from their mouth to heaven.
Carol we with you and them - hands in motion to congregation.
Repeat chorus as angels take their place in the stable.)
Scene 3 - The Story of the Shepherds
(The shepherds enter and begin to build their campfire. Two of the
shepherds leave the fire building and go to the lectern.)
||We are poor, yet the angels visited us and told
us of the birth of Jesus.
||May it bring joy to us and peace to the earth.
||We were taking turns looking after the sheep that
night when the strangest thing happened. The sky filled with light
as if it were day. God's angels appeared to us. They told us the
good news that Jesus was born. They sent us to Bethlehem to look
for the child. We found them - Mary, Joseph, and the baby - just
as we had been told.
||Shepherd If you come with us to Bethlehem, you too
will find the child wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in
Hymn: Go Tell it on the Mountain (insert)
(During the hymn the shepherds go to the congregation, shake their
hands and gesture for them to follow to Bethlehem. During the final
chorus, they go to the stable.)
Scene 4 - The Three Kings
Hymn: We Three Kings (insert)
(During the singing of the hymn, the kings enter following a small
child dressed as a star. The star stands behind the altar. The three
kings go to the lectern.)
||We followed a star from the East where we live.
It was a long journey. But we knew that the star would lead us
to a king such as the world had never seen.
||We brought fine gifts with us - gold, frankincense
||Follow the star to Bethlehem and bring your gifts
to the child.
Hymn: As with Gladness Men of Old vs. 1&3 160
(During the hymn the star leads the kings to the stable.)
Scene 5 - The Baby Jesus
(The door to the stable is opened to reveal Mary, Joseph and the
baby in the stable.)
||Come in, dear people. You are welcome here. This
is Jesus, the child you are looking for. Your journey ends here.
||His birthplace is but a stable, poor and lowly.
But the child you see before you is the Prince of Peace. Isaiah
foretold it. Angels announced it. Humble shepherds brought their
simple gifts. Great kings brought precious gifts. Come now and
offer your gifts to the child.
Offertory hymn: Joy to the World 154
For Sunday School
and Home School
Daniel in the Lion's Den