Thought about how I could do something different that the adults could minister to the children and then also involve the children. I feel like the Lord is leading me in the following:
(Stage is dark and the narrator reads the following)
In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. And everyone went to their own town to register.
So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 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 cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
(lights begin to fade in)Stage setting is only a manger scene. Perhaps some rocks or boulders and some hay spread out.
Song: Child of Love (Andrew Peterson – The Nativity Story)
Mary and Joseph walk slowly to the front of the stage from the back of the church. Mary is still pregnant. At the start of the second verse, they get to the front of the stage. The chorus starts and the lights go out and they sit. The lights come back on at the next verse and they are holding the baby. They look adoring at the child until the song ends. When the song ends, Joseph stands and holds the baby.
Joseph: Look at him! He’s perfect. How can I care for someone who has such a tremendous burden ahead of Him? I am just a humble carpenter, I know nothing. (pause) My son, My precious son. I remember it like it was yesterday. I was ready to put Mary away, thinking she was not a pure woman. And the servant of God tells me to keep her, to help her bring you into this world and that you would be the one to save God’s people from their sins! How can I be your father? I am just a carpenter. (looks to heaven) Help me God. I am your servant. Help me to be this child’s father. This child…….my son….Jesus.
Song : Joseph’s Lullabye
(They again adore the child as new parents would. Joseph hands baby to Mary at the end of the song).
Mary: My son, my beautiful son. I never thought holding you would bring me such joy! (kisses child) I feel in my heart you are destined for great things. I know God has brought you here in this way for reasons I cannot understand. Will I be able to let you do God’s work and not stand in His way? You are so beautiful and so perfect. Whatever God has for you, I know I will be his servant. Right now, you are here and I love you. My baby…..Emmanuel.
Song: Mary did you know?
(1st verse has the light on Mary and Joseph. At the 2nd verse the light shows to the left of the manager scene and we see a grown Jesus touching the eyes of the blind man. The blind man jumps up, able to see, hugs the neck of Jesus….lights fade and Mary kisses the forehead of the baby. At the 3rd verse, the light fading back in to the right of the manger scene Jesus is praying for the adulterous woman at the well. She is falling before Jesus’ feet and worships him. Towards the end of the 4th verse, that scene light fades and the light comes on with Jesus on the cross at the back of the manger scene. While seeing Jesus on the cross, you see Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus together, at the foot of the cross.