THE FIRST CHRISTMAS GIFT
[bedroom, two cots with a little boy in each, about 6 and 10 years of age]
Ivan: Pssst! Gabe! You still awake?
Gabe: [rolls over] Yeah, Ivan. What's wrong?
Ivan: Nuthin'. I'm just excited 'cause tomorrow's Christmas. D'ya think Santa will bring that skateboard I've been begging for?
Gabe: [in thoughtful tones] I dunno, Ivan. You were a real pill to Mom last week.
Ivan: [with a whine in his voice] Yeah, but... I worked double hard at being good over the weekend!
Gabe: [trying not to laugh] And you broke Mimi's favorite vase this afternoon.
Ivan: [defensively] You know that was an accident, Gabe. 'Sides, you threw that pillow!
Gabe: [snickers] Yeah, well, Mimi wasn't too upset. MAYYYYYbe Santa will bring all the loot we asked for. I really, really want that new bike!
[woman's voice from off-stage] You boys go to sleep or Santa will never come!
[in unison] Yes, Mom! [snuggle down in cots]
[lights dim, dream sequence begins with K thru 1st grade children singing first verse of "Away In A Manger"]
Lead Angel: For unto you a Child is born.
Angel chorus: a Child is born
Lead Angel: Unto you a Son is given
Angel chorus: a Son is given
[all angels in unison] : And His name shall be called Wonderful, [little louder] Counsellor, [louder] the Mighty God, [firmly louder - no screaming] the Everlasting Father, [softly] the Prince of Peace.
Prince of Peace. So the prophets said He would be called. But, I don't remember much being peaceful about that night. God's only begotten Son was born in a city so crowded, people were literally sleeping in streets and alleys. I was so glad Joseph was able to talk an innkeeper into letting us use his stable. [shakes head, small smile] This King of kings, the Prince of Peace, Immanuel Himself was born in a small, dirty, smelly hole in the wall when He had every right to be born in a palace.
But, He came to give, not take.
To be a servant, not a King.
I remember His first visitors, too. [laughs] You'd think just-hours-old parents would be left in peace but, no, a bunch of unwashed, burly shepherds found us, wanting to see Him. They said God sent angels to tell them of His Son's birth. The Lamb of God visited by keepers of the lambs used in sacrifice.
Lead Angel: Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy...
Angel chorus: good tidings of great joy
Lead Angel: For unto you is born this day... a Saviour which is Christ the Lord.
Angel chorus: a Saviour, a Saviour, a Saviour which is Christ the Lord
[first verse of "Silent Night"]
Silent night? HA! There wasn't much silent around Bethlehem that day OR night. So many people were crowding into the city, kicking up dust as they came over the roads and through the hills, scaring our sheep out of their wool.
Then the angels appearing in the middle of the night to proclaim the birth of the long-awaited Messiah. This time, it was we shepherds who had the wool scared off of us! We got the idea, though, and raced off into the city, looking for a manger with a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes. [chuckles] We made quite a ruckus ourselves with our looking but the angel didn't say which manger He'd be in!
Well, we found Him. Oh, yes, we found Him! We paused before we got too close, wanting to calm ourselves and not wake the baby. The gift of God.
The Lamb that taketh away the sin of the world.
Lead Angel: For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulders: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.
All Angels [unison]: Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
We weren't there at His birth even though we saw the star announcing it. We had a long way to travel; mountains to cross, bandits to fight off, animals to care for, people to protect. It took us close to two years or so to even reach the city of Bethlehem and the first place we went was to the palace. I mean, where else do you find a King? But, King Herod wasn't too happy when we asked for the one born King of the Jews. I'm sure he had no idea what we mean. He wasn't looking for the King of kings. He had no help to offer but he asked us to let him know if we found the child. That made us nervous and, because of a dream we all had later, we never went back to tell Herod where He was. When we left the palace we happened to look up and His star was back in the sky and it was moving! It led us right to the house where the yound child lived. We surprised his family when we knocked, but they welcomed us and allowed us to see Him. We only had small gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh but it was the very best we had to offer Him.
The King of kings.
God with us.
[lights come up slow--like a sunrise]
Gabe: [rolls over and stretches, then sits up fast] Hey, Ivan, you up!?
Ivan: [pops up quickly] Yeah! And, I had the coolest dream!
Gabe: Me, too! All about the first Christmas and -
Ivan: [interrupts Gabe before he can finish the word "and"] -and God's Son!
Gabe: - and Mary!
Ivan: - and Angels!
Gabe: - and Shepherds!
Ivan: - and Wise Men!
Ivan: Think we ought'a tell the others?
[woman's voice from off-stage] Boys! Mimi made homemade waffles and French toast! And Santa came last night with presents!
Gabe: [grinning] Yeah, we should!
[scramble out of bed and run from the room, whooping with excitement]
© Copyright 2011 Pam Sears (UN: condorsfan at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
(may not be used without permission of author)