To Commoners and Kings 2

  • Cast Number: 19
  • Run-time: 75 minutes
  • Bible Reference: Luke 2
Christmas script tells that Jesus came for, and impacts, both commoners and kings. The impact was felt far and wide and few since that time have not been impacted.

The following are the characters in the drama:

Off-stage voice Narrator, Abi older woman.
Gabriel angel could be any age
Mary, approximately thirteen
Rizpah, friend of Mary, teen
Joseph, may be teen or older
Daniel friend of Joseph, teen or older
Zachariah, older man
Elizabeth, older woman
Joachim, father of Mary, older
Anna, mother of Mary, older
Herod, any age
Helen, Herod’s daughter, likely teen
Wiseman 1 & Wiseman 2, likely older
Lydia, any age
Shepherdess 1, 2 and 3, likely teen
Innkeepers wife, any age
Innkeepers daughter, likely teen
any number of extras for crowd scene, manger scene, angels

Other instructions: Abi may be used as either a roving narrator or off-stage voice. If used as off-stage voice it is very important that the crowd scene be well developed in order to hold the audience’s attention during Abi’s long narrative.

Sample of script:

lights up on crowd scene

Abi: You would not believe it! The whole town is in shock! Never have I seen such a wave of controversy! Who am I you ask? I am Abi, self-appointed interpreter of all that happens locally. Yes, some would term me a busybody, I prefer to be referred to as interpreter. With age comes certain rights, and I hold firmly to all I am able.
My late husband, Mordecai, was, prior to his death a decade ago, one of the leaders in this town. People talk about me behind my back, call me loose tongued. The women sometimes speak against me, but this is nothing more than jealousy. And as for the men who speak against me, well, we all know men speak first and think later. If ever.
It is well known that as history is recorded it must first be interpreted. And further it is well established that interpretation may take only two forms: either interpretation from a womanly perspective or . . . misinterpretation.
So shall it be that what you hear now will be a woman’s more balanced perspective. I shall endeavour to keep my words and remembrances sufficiently uncomplicated that all, even men, may comprehend. But for you to comprehend the story I am about to relate you must first realize that I was there, up close and personal, a witness, even a participant to the wonderful harvest of prophesied scripture and history that took place among us in this, my town.
I know this town. I know the people of this town, I speak my mind, I spare no feelings. Oh, yes! I know this town.

more active crowd movement

This town. Nazareth. Are you that unaware of our background? Fine, I will tell you. Of the town. And the people.
Nazareth is a small town here in southern Galilee, about fifteen miles southwest of the Sea of Galilee, twenty miles from the Mediterranean, westward in the basin of the hills of the lower Galilee.
We are a small and insignificant agricultural town settled by only few dozen families. Am I being unfair in speaking thus about my home town? No, as I said, I speak my mind; I am too old to do other than be frank.
How insignificant is Nazareth? Joshua, servant and successor of our father Moses, in the Holy book which he wrote, never so much as mentions Nazareth in the list of settlements of the tribe of Zebulon.
I am not being unkind, I am simply being frank. Insignificant is a fair assessment. Nazareth is isolated, and shall remain so, since no trade routes run through this town, meaning that a visit to Nazareth would be a waste of time. In the great scheme of things we are without economical value.
As I said, Nazareth, an insignificant town. It is common comment throughout Galilee that nothing good could come out of Nazareth. I know of no resident of Nazareth who lost sleep over this apparent slight on our town. But back to my story. Truly stories within a story, much of which the people of Nazareth were unaware until later.
Myself being aware of every whisper, every secret, I was privy to these things much more quickly. Eventually even the men of Nazareth became aware of what was taking place. There is not one person in Nazareth, young or old, not personally involved. Nor a person without an opinion. People like old Zachariah!

Abi pauses as though reflecting

Are you aware of the procedure followed regarding those men who serve in the temple? Many seem to feel that just anyone may offer or demand and so become the designated official. Hardly so! Although many would serve in the outer areas of the temple, one man was chosen by lot to serve in the Holy of Holies, the very dwelling of the Lord God Jehovah. Only once in a man’s life, if he were so fortunate, might he serve in this Holy manner.

I recall my Mordecai telling me of performing these duties when he was chosen. So exclusionary was this function that no other person would dare go inside the Holy of Holies. And so in fear were all others that prior to entering the Holy of Holies this selected person would tie a rope around his own leg, that if struck down or incapacitated while within, the person could be dragged out by the others. Obviously no one would dare enter in.

lights up on Zachariah and Elizabeth

With that background let me tell you how it so happened that a man, Zachariah, was chosen for this duty. Zachariah and his wife Elizabeth lived honourably before God, careful in keeping to the ways of the commandments and enjoying a clear conscience before God. But they were childless because Elizabeth could never conceive, and now they were quite old.

lights down on crowd as Zachariah kisses Elizabeth on the cheek, picks up his satchel and leaves.
As soon as Zachariah leaves Elizabeth starts to talk.
Zachariah walks through crowd and to a position at extreme stage right, ensure that this is sufficiently apart from the crowd scene so that it is obvious he is alone.
Zachariah bows to pray, freezes.

Elizabeth: The Lord has blessed me richly. He is a good man, my Zachariah! The honour he has received, to be chosen to perform the priestly duties before God, this has brought honour to both he and myself.

Abi voice: Truth be known, God has given Elizabeth all she could want, except that one thing that she wants most of all. Continually Elizabeth fasted and prayed that God might allow her to bear a child, to deliver her from her barrenness and shame. Though God has not seen fit to answer her prayer, still she will not give up hope. After all, she rationalizes, did the Lord God Jehovah not provide children for our father Abraham and Sarah at a time when they were much older than she?

Elizabeth: My Zachariah! Carrying out his priestly duties before God, himself working the shift assigned to his regiment. His one opportunity in life to enter the sanctuary of God and burn incense. I am so proud of my husband! See the congregation gathered, praying outside the Temple as my Zachariah prepares the incense offering?

lights up on Gabriel on raised stage

What is that? There, just to the right of the altar of incense! It is . . . it must be . . an angel of God! Poor Zachariah! He is paralysed in fear.

Gabriel: Don't fear, Zachariah. Your prayer has been heard. Elizabeth, your wife, will bear a son by you. You are to name him John. You're going to leap like a gazelle for joy, and not only you--many will delight in his birth. He'll achieve great stature with God. He'll drink neither wine nor beer. He'll be filled with the Holy Spirit from the moment he leaves his mother's womb. He will turn many sons and daughters of Israel back to their God. He will herald God's arrival in the style and strength of Elijah, soften the hearts of parents to children, and kindle devout understanding among hardened sceptics; he'll get the people ready for God.

Zachariah: Do you expect me to believe this? I'm an old man and my wife is an old woman.

Gabriel: I am Gabriel, the sentinel of God, sent especially to bring you this glad news. But because you won't believe me, you'll be unable to say a word until the day of your son's birth. Every word I've spoken to you will come true on time; in God's time.

Elizabeth: What shocking words! Wonderful, but . . shocking! See the townspeople who are waiting for Zachariah, they are getting restless, wondering what was keeping him so long in the sanctuary.

Zachariah comes toward the crowd, miming that he can’t speak, they react with shock, fear, stepping back from Zachariah, talking excitedly among themselves.

Elizabeth: See that, the people know that my husband has seen a vision since he is speechless.

Zachariah goes through crowd, off stage

Elizabeth: When Zachariah’s priestly assignment was completed, we went back home. And just as the angel Gabriel had promised, it wasn't long before I conceived!

Abi: Never in all her long life had Elizabeth felt such excitement as to feel the baby’s movement within her, felt the exhilaration that comes from the knowledge that you are carrying a new life within. Only you women will understand the feelings going through Elizabeth’s mind!

Elizabeth: And so it was that I kept to myself for the next five months, relishing my pregnancy. And revelling in the role and responsibility which God had given me. My heart and my mouth were both full of song: Over and over I said, “So, this is how God acts to remedy my unfortunate condition!”

lights down on Elizabeth, up on Gabriel

Gabriel: Just six months later, God again sent me on a mission to the little town, to a virgin, a mere child, she engaged to be married to a man descended from David. His name was Joseph, and the virgin's name, Mary.

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