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Christmas Pageant
December 24, 1996

QUARTET:

A child is born in Bethlehem. Bethlehem.
That gladdens all Jerusalem. Halleluiah. Halleluiah.

GK
Now the birth of Jesus Christ happened like this: when Mary was engaged to Joseph, before they lived together, she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. An angel appeared unto her and said: (ANGEL FANFARE)

MAUREEN
Fear not, Mary, for the Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women. For you shall conceive and bring forth a son and shall call his name Jesus. And of his kingdom there shall be no end.

(MUSIC BRIDGE)

GK
In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. And everyone went to his own town to register. And Joseph also went up to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David.

(CROWD HUBBUB)

JOHN
This the line for the lottery?

IVY
It's for the inn.

RICHARD
We're from Nazareth. We came down for the census.

JOHN
Got a reservation?

IVY
No, we're on standby.

JOHN
Well, these inns always over-book. You'll probably get a room. Good luck---

RICHARD
Hope so. My--- my wife is due to have a baby any minute.

IVY
Fiance, Joseph.

RICHARD
Fiance.

JOHN
Well, congratulations. Your first?

IVY
Yes.

JOHN
I'd be glad to stand in line for you, if you care to sit down.

RICHARD
No, that's all right. You don't need to do that.

IVY
Joseph---

RICHARD
Actually we'd be very grateful if you would.

IVY
You're very kind. Where do you come from?

JOHN
I'm a shepherd. We got flocks just outside town and I came in to return some empty wineskins. I bet if I go up to that clerk and scream at the top of my voice, I could get you two a room.

RICHARD
God will provide.

IVY
God has promised to be with us through everything.

GK
But there was no room for them in the inn.

MAUREEN
Folks, if I could have your attention --- Folks, I want to thank you for your patience. You've really been wonderful. I'm very sorry, but the inn is completely sold out. I want to apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you, but due to a systems error in our Jerusalem office, there simply are not any rooms. This was not the fault of the Bethlehem staff. Once again, I apologize for the inconvenience, I hope you have a good evening here in Bethlehem or wherever your final destination may be. And I hope that you will think of Holy Day Inns in the future, when making your travel plans.

JOHN
Hey! These people here have a reservation! Look! She's pregnant. What's the matter with you?

RICHARD
Please--- don't. We'll find a place.

GK
They found a stable. And while they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in strips of cloth and placed him in a manger. (COW, SOFTLY. THEN SHEEP. THEN COW. THEN DOG. AND CAT.)

QUARTET (SOFTLY)
In a crib, she laid him down.
With joy, the angels gathered round.

The Wise Men offered gold and spice,
To welcome him, sweet Jesus Christ.

(MUSIC UNDER)

GK
When Jesus was born in Bethlehem, behold there came wise men from the east.

RICHARD
Are you three together?

ROBIN
Yes.

RICHARD
Passports? Thank you. Mmm-hmmm. Hmmm. Mmnim-hmmm. Says here you're Wise Men.

ROBIN
That's right.

RICHARD
You have any proof of that?

ROBIN
Well, these two are associate wise men, and I'm the chairman of the Wisdom Dept.

RICHARD
Never mind. Destination?

ROBIN
We're not sure. We're seeking.

RICHARD
Purpose of visit?

ROBIN
To find the King.

RICHARD
King Herod?

ROBIN
No, the Christ Child.

RICHARD
What's in the bags?

ROBIN
Gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

RICHARD
Gifts?

TOM
Yes.

RICHARD
Did you say of "myrrh"?

TOM
Yes, myrrh.

RICHARD
Myrrh, huh....

ROBIN
Myrrh.

RICHARD
Can't bring in myrrh.

ROBIN
No?

RICHARD
No. Illegal.

TOM
Myrrh?

RICHARD
Yeah, we got strict myrrh controls in this country. People can't just come in here with myrrh.

ROBIN
Why not?

RICHARD
Look. I just work here. It's in the book. Regulations. Right here. Paragraph two.

ROBIN
But that doesn't say "myrrh." That says, "murals." we're not bringing in murals. This is myrrh.

RICHARD
Well, why didn't you say so. okay. (STAMPS PAPER) Come on through. Thirty days. Watch your step there.

(MUSIC)

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. (SHEEP SFX THROUGHOUT IN BACKGROUND)

JOHN

Sheep. Man, I tell you. They stink, they're stupid --- you try to get them to go that way, they all come this way. You try to drive them, they circle around behind you. You try to lead them, they stand there and laugh at you. After a day of dealing with sheep, a guy'd be glad to try herding turtles or something reasonable. I never used to drink until I became a shepherd. (PULLS ON BOTTLE, DRINKS, SIGHS WITH PLEASURE) (SHEEP)

(MUSIC)

GK
And suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. (ANGEL MUSIC)

JOHN
Hey, cut it out! Cut the lights! Who is it? Is that you, Paulie? Is this a joke? This is a joke, right?

GK
But the angel said to them,

MAUREEN
"Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. You will find him wrapped in strips of cloth and lying in a manger."

GK
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

CHOIR
"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, Alleluia"

GK
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another,

JOHN
Let's go and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.

JIM
Sure, but how?

JOHN
We'll follow the star.

JIM
Which one?

JOHN
The brightest one.

RICHARD (OLD MAN)
Hard to tell at this angle, isn't it?

JOHN
There's got to be a way.

JIM
Look. If it's the Savior, then we can't be the only ones going, right? Right. There'd be a whole lot of people. So we'll just follow the crowds.

JOHN
Maybe we're the first ones to hear about it.

JIM
Us? shepherds?

RICHARD (OLD MAN)
You think they came and told shepherds before they told anyone else? Ha! Ha. Ridiculous. (SHEEP)

(MUSIC)

GK
So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. (COW, QUIETLY. THEN SHEEP. THEN DOG. AND CAT.)

QUARTET
The shepherds came from far and near,
And recognized their Savior dear. Halleluia. Halleluia.

GK
When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

(SHEEP)

CHO
Along our way, the bright stars shine,
The happiness of all mankind.

The angels teach us harmonies
That echo through the centuries.

And someday angels we shall be
And Jesus' gentle face we'll see.

We'll sing his praises without end,
our brother, Savior, and our friend.


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