For a Moment That Night

  • Cast Number: 1
  • Run-time: 12 minutes
  • Bible Reference: Luke 2
A monologue from a person who lived just across the Bethlehem street from the stable, and how he almost, (but not quite), got personally involved with the happenings of that night.

Cast: 1 could be m or f

Costume: likely, but not necessarily, traditional

Sample of script:

actor enters stage, looks offstage, frowns

Can you believe it?
Sending a pregnant woman, a woman about to deliver a baby, to a dirty, cold barn!
The nerve of that man!
Sold every room he had at inflated prices . . .
“Forces of supply and demand” said The Innkeeper, a big grin on his face!
“Supply and demand” indeed!
He knew that the young couple had no choice; there wasn’t so much as a broom closet in all of Bethlehem that hadn’t been rented out.
“We in the hospitality trade shall be forever indebted to Caesar Augustus,” The Innkeeper said with a mirthless laugh! “Never before has Bethlehem seen such traffic, and never before have we had such opportunity for additional revenue!”
The rogue!
The scoundrel!
Lining his greedy pockets through the misfortune of others!
For a moment there that night I almost told him what I thought of his handling of the young couple!
Unconscionable is what!
looks into audience as though listening to someone, becomes annoyed
Yes, for sure a workman is worthy of his hire, and he who provides service has full right to fair returns!
But a barn is not a worthy lodging. And the sum he charged the young man from Nazareth was likely neither fair nor humane!
looks into audience, frowns
Who am I?
Thaddeus is my name.
I live in Bethlehem, just across the road from the inn.
For several days I had watched the cavalcade of visitors pouring into Bethlehem. From all over the country came these descendants of David, forced to come here, to register. Yes to register, so that the Romans might more methodically, more meticulously, more mercilessly dig out even more taxes from the people who lived like cattle under the Roman occupation.
After all, it would not be good that even one work-worn descendant of David be missed, since this would mean that the Romans would miss out in gouging the last penny from his poor burdened body.
The Romans! An overbearing lot, demanding more and more; allowing our people to keep less and less of the returns of their toil.
I tell you, I stared in amazement, in disbelief, in horror, as The Innkeeper led the boy and his young wife to the barn out behind the inn. And left them there. In the night, in the cold.
I tell you, every shred of decency within me struggled as I saw what was going on. I don’t mind telling you that for a moment there that night it was almost more than I could do to restrain myself, to keep from calling out to the young couple to come and enjoy the warmth of my home. Of course I didn’t, after all, how was I to know who these two might be, and what danger they might pose to my family.
In the next hours I watched from a safe distance, curious as to who this couple was. The night turned colder and I worried about the young couple, hoping that they would not suffer from the cold in that dirty old barn.
I tell you, for a moment there that night I thought seriously about taking some blankets over to the barn, so that they would have protection from the biting cold. I didn’t, of course. My wife greatly prized her blankets, she made them with great precision and care, certainly it would not be right to put such beautiful works of art in a dirty old barn! But my anger did rise, wondering how The Innkeeper could be so callous as to not take more blankets to the couple!
Throughout that night I watched from the shadows as there was a steady stream of people coming to that barn. Amazing! For whatever reason there was literally the full gamut of society, from peasants to kings, a constant parade of visitors.
What would bring these people to a dirty old barn?
For a moment there that night I thought of walking across the street myself, to see what was going on. I didn’t of course, I mean, it was a cold night, and it was comfortable there beside my pleasant fire.
Besides, one must be careful about getting involved.
As I watched and listened from the warm safety of my house, several times I saw the young husband come out of the barn and pace back and forth. Instinctively I knew that the baby would soon be born.

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