This is the Christmas play we will be using in Melbourne, Vero and South Carolina programs of Special Gathering.  You will need to use your imagination to adapt it to your own staging area.  In one of our programs, we have not curtains.  We adapt the play to fit the area in which we must perform.

The music is from Cedarmont Kids, “Gospel Christmas Songs” Album.  Your choir will love the upbeat Spirituals with a Jamaican influence.  My choirs have not even noticed that the songs are sung by a children’s choir. 

You can order the album on line.  The songs are sung twice.  The second set has split track.

Joy!  It’s Christmas Time

By Linda G. Howard

Choir should be positioned on the side of the stage opposite where the actors will be entering and exiting the stage. Three people come to the front. 

Speaker 1—We’d like for everyone to join us as we sing, “Joy to the World.”  Everyone, including audience sings, “Joy to the World.” 

Joy to the World! The Lord is Come

1. Joy to the World!  The Lord is come; Let earth receive her King.

      Let every heart prepare Him room,

      And heaven and nature sing, And haven and nature sing,

      And heaven, and heaven and nature sing.

2.  Joy to the World the Savior reigns, Let men their songs employ.

      While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains

      Repeat the sounding joy, Repeat the sounding joy,

      Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy.

3.  He rules the world with truth and grace,

      And make the nations prove the glories of His righteousness

      And wonders of His love,

      And wonders of His love,

      And wonders, wonders of His love.

Speaker 2—(Comes from the audience.  He puts his hands on his hips as though angry)  Okay, it’s Christmas but can we really be singing about Joy?  Everything is a mess.  There are wars.  People hate us.  We hate others.  I don’t know where you get all that joy stuff.

Speaker 3—Hey, sit down!  You are messing up our play.  This is the story about Jesus’ birth. 

Speaker 1—That’s right.  Can somebody make this person sit down?  Will anyone help us?

Speaker 4—Wait a minute.  Isn’t this why we celebrate Jesus’ birthday?  We need to help people understand why Jesus’ life is important to us.

Speaker 2—Yeah, why do you think that Jesus was such an important person?  What makes his birth special?

Speaker 1—Sit down and watch our play.  We’ll explain it all to you. 

Speaker 2–Okay.  I’ll watch your play.  After all, it is Christmas time.

Reader 1:       God, the Father, knew that people need someone to help them with their lives.  We need a Savior.  Sin has made us fearful.  We hurt each other and ourselves.  God had a plan to send His Savior.  That Savior was His son, Jesus.

Choir sings “The Virgin Mary had a Baby Boy.”   Mary comes from behind curtain, looking up to the sky.  The house lights go off and the only light is on Mary.  The Angel Gabriel comes from the opposite side of the stage.  She should be looking in the opposite direction.  He quietly stands behind Mary.  She does not see him. 

2. The Virgin Mary Had a Baby Boy  

1.     The Virgin Mary had a Baby boy. (3xs)

        And they said that His name will be Jesus.

chorus

He come from the glory.

He come from the glorious kingdom

He come from the glory.

He come from the glorious kingdom

2. The Angels sang when the Baby was born…

chorus

3. The Shepherds came-a when the Baby was born…

chorus

4. The wise men saw-a where the Baby was born…

chorus

Reader 2:  God sent the angel Gabriel to a virgin girl who lived in Nazareth, a town in Galilee.  The girl was engaged to marry a man named Joseph.  Her name was Mary. 

(As the choir begins to sing, “Wonderful Counselor,” the angel takes Mary‘s hands.)

3. Wonderful Counselor 

1. Tell me, who do you call The Wonderful Counselor?

 (Chorus)

Oh, oh, glory, hallelujah

Oh, oh, glory, hallelujah

Glory, Hallelujah to the newborn King.

2. The Holy Spirit will come on the Blessed Virgin Mary.  (Chorus)

3. Well, they’ll call Jesus, “TheWonderful Counselor.”  (Chorus)

4. Cryin’ Peace on earth, Good will to your neighbor…  (Chorus)

5. Well, I call Jesus, my wonderful Savior… (Chorus)

6. They’ll follow the star to find the baby…  (Chorus)

When the song ends, the angel leaves.  The curtain opens and Mary sits on a bench. Hands and face held up in prayer.

Joseph comes out and stands in the center of the stage. Mary stands and meets him and uses gestures to explain about the angel.   As they talk to each other, they move around the stage.  Choir sings, “Jesus, What a Wonderful Child.”


4.  Jesus, Oh, What a Wonderful Child 

(chorus) Jesus! Jesus! Oh, what a wonderful child!

Jesus!  Jesus! So lowly, meek and mild.

New life, new hope, new joy He’ll bring

Won’t you listen to what the angel proclaims.

Glory, glory, glory, to the newborn king.

I am an angel from the heavenly King.

He’ll born in a lowly manger.

The Virgin Mary is his mother.

And Joseph, you’re His earthly father. 

Take Mary to be your only wife

You’ll be blessed with a heavenly star.

To see King Jesus will be your joy

In a manger filled with hay.

Repeat chorus 2xs

Tag  Glory, glory, glory, to the newborn king.

Reader 1:       Mary was engaged to marry Joseph.  But before they married, Mary learned that she was pregnant with a child by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Mary’s husband, Joseph was a good man.  He did not want to bring shame to Mary before the people.  So he planned to divorce her secretly. 

Mary turns away from Joseph and has her back to the audience. She slowly walks back stage.  The choir sings “Go Tell it on the Mountain.”  Joseph goes to center stage.  He is confused, hurt, and angry.  He sits down and falls asleep. 

As the choir begins to sing “Go Tell it,” Joseph’s Angel comes on stage wakes him up and talks to Joseph.  At verse 3, the angel leaves.  Mary comes on stage.  Joseph goes to Mary, takes her hand and helps her off the stage.

5.  Go! Tell It on the Mountain 

 (chorus) Go, tell it on the mountain,

Over the hills and everywhere;

Go, tell it on the mountain that Jesus Christ is born.

1.     While Joseph tossed in anger,

 An Angel came to earth,

The Angel came to tell him

Of our great Savior’s birth.

2.     The Heavenly One told Joseph,

“Take Mary as your wife.

She’ll be the Savior’s mother.

He’ll live a holy life.”

3.     So he obeyed the angel

The humble Christ was born

And brought us God’s salvation

That blessed Christmas morn.

Chorus

Reader 3:  And Joseph did exactly what God’s angel commanded in the dream.  He married Mary.

(Joseph puts his arm around Mary.  Mary and Joseph walk off the stage. Close curtain or the stage should be empty.)

Reader 2:    At that time Augustus Caesar sent out an order to all people.  The order said that all people must write their name in a book.  All people traveled to their own towns to be registered.  So Joseph went to Bethlehem in Judea.  Joseph went with Mary.  While Joseph and Mary were in Bethlehem, the time came for Mary to have the baby.

 The choir sings, “O, Little Town of Bethlehem.”

6.  O Little Town of Bethlehem 

O little town of Bethlehem—

How still we see thee lie

Above thy deep and dreamless sleep

The silent stars go by.

Yet in thy dark streets shineth

The everlasting light;

The hopes and fears of all the years

Are met in thee tonight.

For Christ is born of Mary, And gathered all above.

While mortal sleep the angels keep

Their watch of wondering love.

O Morning Stars together proclaim the Holy birth

And praises sing to God the king and peace to men on earth!

(Back to first verse.  Audience is invited to sing with them.)

As the choir sings, shepherds should move to the front floor area.  At verse three, open the curtains. Mary and Joseph should be center stage with the baby in Mary’s arms.  There should be no angels or shepherds on stage at this time.

Reader 4:  That night, Mary gave birth to her first son, Jesus. 


Choir sings “Mary had a Baby.”

7.  Mary Had a Baby

Mary had a baby.  Yes, Lord. 

Mary had a baby. Yes, my Lord;

Mary had a baby, Yes, Lord!

The people keep a comin’ and the train done gone.

1. What did she name him?  Yes, Lord.

What did she name?  Yes my lord;

What did she name him, Yes, Lord.

The people keep a comin’ and the train done gone.

2.      She named Him King Jesus, Yes, Lord!

She named him King Jesus, Yes, my Lord.

Wonderful Couns’lor. Yes, Lord.

The people keep a comin’ and the train done gone.

3.      Where did she lay him?  Yes Lord!

Laid Him in a manger?  Yes, my Lord!

Wrapped Him in swaddlin’, Yes, Lord!

The people keep a comin’ and the train done gone

Reader 5:       Some shepherds were in the fields watching their sheep.

Reader 6:       An angel of the Lord stood before the shepherds and said,

Reader 7:       “Don’t be afraid.”

Angels walk up.  They should point the shepherds to Mary and Joseph and the baby. 

Choir sings,“Rise Up Shepherds and Follow.”

8.  Rise Up, Shepherd and Follow

There’s a star in the east on Christmas morn,

Rise up, shepherd and follow.

It will lead to the place where the Savior’s born,

Rise up, shepherd and follow.

Leave your sheep and leave your rams,

Rise up, shepherd and follow.

Leave your flocks and leave your lambs.

Rise up, shepherd and follow.

If you take good heed to the angel’s words

Rise up, shepherd and follow.

You’ll forget your flocks; you’ll forget your herds;

Rise up, shepherd, and follow.

Follow, follow, Rise up, shepherd and follow.

Follow the star of Bethlehem. Rise up, shepherd and follow.

Rise up, shepherd and follow. Rise up, shepherd and follow.

 As soon as the song ends, the shepherds walk to the center stage on the floor and bow, if they can.  One or two shepherds should go on stage and bow before the manger. 

Angels should move on to the stage.  As the music begins for “Behold that Star,”  the wise men begin to move from the back.  They come on stage and kneel on the floor before the baby.

9. Behold that Star

(chorus)

Behold, that star

Behold, that star up yonder,

Behold, that star

This the star of Bethlehem.

There was no room found in the inn.

This the star of Bethlehem.

For Him who was born free from sin,

This the star of Bethlehem.

(chorus)

The Wise men came from the East

This the star of Bethlehem.

To worship, Him, the Prince of Peace

This the star of Bethlehem.

(chorus)

(tag)  This the star of Bethlehem.

Choir sings, “Silent Night” as speakers 1, 3 and 4 move to the front of the stage on the floor.  Then speaker 1 goes and gets speaker 2 and helps him to come onto the front of the stage.  Speaker 2 bows at the manger.  Then all the other speakers come on the stage and bow with him.

Silent Night

Silent night, holy night, All is calm all is bright.

Round yon virgin, mother and Child!

Holy infant so tender and mild. 

Sleep in heavenly peace,

Sleep in heavenly, heavenly peace

Silent night Holy night

Son of God, love’s pure light

Radiant beams from Thy holy face

With the dawn of redeem grace

Jesus, Lord, at thy birth.

Jesus, Lord, at thy birth.

Choir and audience sings “O Come All Ye Faithful.”  Everyone, except Mary, stands and sings with the choir and audience.

O Come, All Ye Faithful

O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant,

O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem!

Come and behold him, born the King of Angels!

O come, let us adore Him, (3xs) Christ, the Lord.

Sing, Choirs of Angels, Sing in exultation.

Sing, all ye hosts of heav’n above.

Glory to God all glory in the highest,

O come, let us adore Him, (3xs) Christ, the Lord!

Yea, Lord, We greet Thee, born this happy morning, Jesus to Thee be all glory given.

Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing,

O come, let us adore Him, (3xs) Christ the Lord.

 

Several months ago, I promised to publish our 2008 Christmas play.  Here it is.  The music was taken from All the Best Youth Album. 

Above All Else

by Linda Howard

 

Choir should be positioned on the side of the stage.  Two people are sitting on a bench by a bus stop sign.   One person is standing or sitting on the ground. S/he is talking on the phone.  They are dressed in work clothes.  They look tired and they have their lunch boxes.  The music begins but the choir doesn’t sing as a fourth persons walks up.  He also has a lunch box and he is wearing earphones. 

 

Worker 1:          (sounds irritated and directs his speech to the man with the earphones) Hey, Andrew.  The van is late.  We’ll be getting home late tonight. 

 

(Music stops as worker 2 takes off his earphones.)   

 

Worker 2:       That’s all right.  I’m listening to our Christmas music.  I’ve got a solo in the play this year. 

 

Worker 3:       Don’t you ever get tired of all that church stuff?

 

Worker 1:       Oh, come on, Steve.  Why are you always picking on Andrew?

 

Worker 4:         (Gets off the phone and says to everyone) I just talked to the van driver.  He said that it’s going to be a while before the van gets here.  Hey, Andrew.  What are you listening to?

 

Worker 2:  My Christmas music. 

 

Worker 3:  He has a solo this year.  Big wow!

 

Worker 1:  Ignore him, Andrew.  What is the story about this year?

 

Worker 3:       Duh! The story doesn’t change, you know. 

 

Worker 1 and 4:  Steve, bug off!

 

Worker 2:       Actually, Steve is right.  The story of Christmas stays the same but it is a wonderful story.  I love to hear it.

 


Choir Sings: “Above All Else.”

 

A King was born in Bethlehem, Above All Else

We place Him in the highest place Above all else.

 

Right now where we’re standing, everywhere we go.

We place Him in the highest place so the world will know.

 

He was born a tiny Babe.  He rules in honor and light.

Pushing the deeds of darkness, He leads us in our fight.

 

Through the blood of Jesus, victorious we stand.

We place him in the highest place above all else in this land.

(3xs)

 

Reader 1:       God knows that above everything else in our lives we need to know Him.  We like to have things our own way but God helps us to see how much we need Him and that He loves us.  That is what happened 2,000 years ago when a young girl’s life was changed forever.  God loved her and He used her to be the mother of Jesus.

 

Reader 2:  God sent the angel Gabriel to a virgin girl who lived in Nazareth, a town in Galilee.  The girl was engaged to marry a man named Joseph.  Her name was Mary.  

 

Choir sings “Father, I love you.”

Father, I love you.

I lay my life before you.

I want to know you.

Here is my heart.  (5x’s)

 

Mary comes from behind the curtain to center stage and walks around the stage in prayer.  The house lights go off and the only light is on Mary.  The Angel Gabriel appears.  He puts his finger up pointing to the sky.  As the song ends, the angel leaves. 

 

Mary sits on one of the benches. Hands and face held up in prayer.

 

Joseph comes out and Mary goes to him and gestures to explain about the angel.   As they talk to each other, they move around the stage. (NOTE TO LINDA:  BEGIN READER AT THIS TIME.)

Reader 1:       Mary was engaged to marry Joseph.  But before they married, Mary learned that she was pregnant with a child by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Mary’s husband, Joseph was a good man.  He did not want to bring shame to Mary before the people.  So he planned to divorce her secretly. 

 

Sadly, Joseph walks off stage.  Mary comes to the edge of the stage. She falls down on the floor beside the bench.  She looks in the sky.  Choir sings, “I Can Do All Things.”

 

I can do all things through God

       who give me strength.

But sometimes I wonder

       what He is doing with me.

No great success to show. 

       No glory of my own.

Yet in my weakness, God has chosen to use me.

 

(chorus) His strength is perfect

When our strength is gone.

He’ll carry us when we can’t carry on.

Raised in his power, the weak become strong.

His strength is perfect.

His strength is perfect.  (repeat chorus)

 

Raise in his power, the weak become strong.

His strength is perfect.

His strength is perfect.

 

 


As  the choir sings, Mary gets up smiling  and moves off  the stage.  After the song, the curtains open and Joseph is asleep on the floor.  Angel come on stage and talks to Joseph.

 

Reader 3:       But an angel came to Joseph in a dream.  The angel said, “Don’t be afraid to take Mary to be your wife.” 

 

(Choir sings, “Stand up, Joseph!)

 

(male solo) Stand up, Joseph, I’ve got something to say.

Singing, “God’s still working.  Mary will have a son.

Stand up Joseph! I’m not here to play. 

Stand up.  Listen! Jesus will be His Name. 

(male chorus repeats verse.)

 

(choir) Hey Now, Joseph, I’ve got something to say.

Singing, “God’s still working.  Mary will have a son.

Hey, Now, Joseph I’m not here to play.

Stand up, Listen! Jesus will be his name.

 

(Joseph goes to Mary) Hey, Now, Mary, I’ve got something to say.

Singing. God’s not dead.  His children aren‘t ashamed.

Hey Now, Mary, I’m not just here to play.

Stand up, Shout it! There’s power in Jesus’ Name.

 

Hey, Now People, We‘ve got something to say.

 

 

When the solo stops singing the first verse, the angel will leave.  Joseph will rub his eyes.  Then he goes over to Mary who is standing off stage.  They walk back on stage. 

 

(Joseph talks to Mary and points to the sky and hugs her.  They will leave the stage together. The curtain closes.   As they hug, the choir sings:  “O, Lord, My Rock. 

 

(female solo) O, Lord, my rock and my redeemer,

You are a holy God and we give ourselves to you.

 

(male solo) O, Lord, My rock and my redeemer,

Let my life be an offering unto you.

 

(male and female duet.  Then entire choir.)

 

Let my life be an offering unto you.

Let my life be an offering unto you.

 

The couple comes out in front of the curtain and stands while the choir sings the first verse of song.  Then they leave the stage. 

 

 As the next reader begins, Mary and Joseph come back on stage, with a  pack in their arms.  They are walking together.  They walk across the stage and then go back stage.  They should move immediately to the manger scene.  Mary should be seated with the baby in her arms.  Joseph should be standing beside or in back of her.  The manger should be in front. 

 

Reader 2:    At that time Augustus Caesar sent out an order to all people.  The order said that all people must write their name in a book.  All people traveled to their own towns to be registered.  So Joseph went to Bethlehem in Judea.  Joseph went with Mary.  While Joseph and Mary were in Bethlehem, the time came for Mary to have the baby.  She gave birth to her first son, Jesus.

 

As the reader speaks, shepherds should move to in front of the stage.  When shepherds are in place, the curtain opens.  The music will play, “Jesus, I love you.” (song 2)

 

Reader 3:       Some shepherds were in the fields watching their sheep.

 

Reader 4:       An angel of the Lord stood before the shepherds and said,

 

Reader 5:       “Don’t be afraid.”

 

Choir sings “The Angel Cried.” (Song 6)  

 


(female) And angels cried, Glory, Glory, Glory to God.

And blessed be His name.

(all choir) Glory, Glory, Glory to God

There’ll be peace on earth for all.

You must go to Bethlehem and find this Child.

 

The angels said, Glory, Glory, Glory to God.

And blessed be His name.

Glory, Glory, Glory to God

There’ll be peace on earth for all.

You must go to Bethlehem and find this Child.

 

You must go to Bethlehem and find this Babe.

 

During the song, all the angels appear.  They should point the shepherds to the manger.  The choir sings, “Messiah is Born.”

 

Messiah is born in Bethlehem’s stall.

I know we’ll see him when we call.

Walking side by side we’re hurrying on.

Messiah has come to Bethlehem’s stall.

 

We’re going to see the Babe.

We’ll get down on our knees

He’ll be wrapped in swaddling cloths

Lying in a Manger bare.

Well the angel said, Go find the child.

He’ll bring peace to all the friends of God

The reason we know we’ll find him there

Is the Angel appeared and he said to Go

 

 Some of the shepherds will move on to the stage.  Some of the angels will go on stage.  The shepherds on stage kneel before the baby.  (IMPORTANT NOTE:  Be sure to choose shepherds who can kneel to go on the stage!)

 

Reader 3:       Wise men came from the East to worship the new born king.

 

As the music begins for “God is Gonna Lead us.”

 

God is gonna lead us to the Messiah

See the holy star that’s guiding us forward

Lift up your heads, don’t be discouraged

God is gonna lead us to the tiny Babe.  (2x’s)

 

He who began our trip to the West

Is able to guide us.

He who began this work for us

Is able to guide us.

 

 

 The wise men begin to move from the back.  They come on stage and kneel before the baby.

 

Worker 3:       You know, that is a great story.  Sometimes I forget that God loves me.  When is that Christmas play anyway?

 

All the other workers:  All right, Steve!  Workers high five Steve and each other.

 

Choir sings, “Above All Else” as everyone stands and sings.

Who Is This Supper Man?

Who Is This Super Man?

As soon as I have the play for 2008 written, I will post it.  However, here is a play we have done in the past.  The music for this play came from the album Gospel Christmas Songs by Cedarmont Kids.  I hope you find this beneficial.  Feel free to modify and change anything you need.  In our plays we use few scenery but some props.  We do have pretty amazing costumes that were sewn for us by a wonderful lady from First Baptist Church of Merritt Island.

Who Is This Super Man?

 

By Linda G. Howard

 

Choir should be positioned on the side of the stage opposite where the actors will be entering and exiting the stage. Choir sings, “Joy to the World.”  People come from the side of the stage on the floor.  They are eating popcorn and drinking Coke.   Their scripts can be put on the popcorn boxes so they can read them.  There is an eating table with a table cloth and four chairs.  One of the movie goers is pretending to fly. Everyone except three of the people leave the stage.   Three of the movie people move toward the audience.

 

Joy to the World! The Lord is Come

 

Everybody say, Joy!  (3xs)

Everybody say, Joy to the world!

 

1. Joy to the World!  The Lord is come; Let earth receive her King.

      Let every heart prepare Him room,

      And heaven and nature sing, And haven and nature sing,

      And heaven, and heaven and nature sing.

 

2.  Joy to the World the Savior reigns, Let men their songs employ.

      While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains

      Repeat the sounding joy, Repeat the sounding joy,

      Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy.

3.  He rules the world with truth and grace,

      And make the nations prove the glories of His righteousness

      And wonders of His love,

      And wonders of His love,

      And wonders, wonders of His love.

 

Male Movie Goer 1: That’s the seventh time I’ve seen the Superman movie.  I love Superman.  I wish I could be just like him.   

 

Movie Goer 2:  That’s the silliest thing I ever heard.  Superman isn’t real. 

 

Male Movie Goer 1:    (He takes the table cloth and wraps it around his neck like a cape.)  I know but wouldn’t it be wonderful if we had a savior like him.  You know, someone who is there whenever we have a need.  (Pauses and scratches his head)  Why, I could have used Superman today.  The bus was late and I had to miss work.

 

Movie Goer 3:  Yeah, Superman could’ve flown you to work in no time.

 

Movie Goer 2:  (Taking the table cloth from Movie Goer 1 and putting it back on the table)  I can’t believe you’re talking like this?  Don’t you remember what season this is?  It’s Christmas time.

 

Male Movie Goer 1:  What does Christmas have to do with my missing the bus?

 

Movie Goer 2:  (irritated) You said that you needed a savior.  Well, that’s why Jesus was born. He is the Savior of the world, remember?

 

Movie Goer 3:  No! No! No! I need a super hero!  A really, special man who can help keep us out of trouble.  (MG 1 and 3 show their muscles.)

 

Movie Goer 2:   Have you totally missed what happened when Jesus was born?  Everything about it was a miracle. 

 

The three movie goers sit at the table.

 

Reader 1:       God, the Father, knew that people need someone to help them with  their lives.  We do need a Savior.  Sin has made us fearful.  We hurt each other and ourselves.  God had a plan to send His Savior.  That Savior was His son, Jesus.

 

Choir sings “The Virgin Mary had a Baby Boy.”    Open the curtains.  Mary comes to center stage and is looking up to the sky.  The house lights go off and the only light is on Mary.  The Angel Gabriel appears.  He puts his finger up pointing to the sky. 

2. The Virgin Mary Had a Baby Boy

 

1.     The Virgin Mary had a Baby boy. (3xs)

        And they said that His name will be Jesus.

 

chorus

He come from the glory.

He come from the glorious kingdom

He come from the glory.

He come from the glorious kingdom

 

2. The Angels sang when the Baby was born…

chorus

3. The Shepherds came-a when the Baby was born…

chorus

4. The wise men saw-a where the Baby was born…

chorus

 

 

Reader 2:  God sent the angel Gabriel to a virgin girl who lived in Nazareth, a town in Galilee.  The girl was engaged to marry a man named Joseph.  Her name was Mary. 

 

(As the choir begins to sing, “Wonderful Counselor,” the angel takes Mary‘s hands.)

3. Wonderful Counselor

 

1. Tell me, who do you call The Wonderful Counselor?

 

 (Chorus)

Oh, oh,  glory, hallelujah

Oh, oh,  glory, hallelujah

Glory, Hallelujah to the newborn King.

 

2. The Holy Spirit will come on the Blessed Virgin Mary.  (Chorus)

3. Well, they’ll call Jesus, “TheWonderful Counselor.”  (Chorus)

4. Cryin’ Peace on earth, Good will to your neighbor…  (Chorus)

5. Well, I call Jesus, my wonderful Savior… (Chorus)

6. They’ll follow the star to find the baby…  (Chorus)

 

When the song ends, the angel leaves.  Mary sits on one of the benches. Hands and face held up in prayer.

 

Joseph comes out and stands in the center of the stage. Mary meets him and uses gestures to explain about the angel.   As they talk to each other, they move around the stage.  Choir sings, “Jesus, What a Wonderful Child.”

4.  Jesus, Oh, What a Wonderful Child

 

(chorus) Jesus! Jesus! Oh, what a wonderful child!

Jesus!  Jesus! So lowly, meek and mild.

New life, new hope, new joy He’ll bring

Won’t you listen to what the angel proclaims.

Glory, glory, glory, to the newborn king.

 

I am an angel from the heavenly King.

He’ll born in a lowly manger.

The Virgin Mary is his mother.

And Joseph, you’re His earthly father. 

Take Mary to be your only wife

You’ll be blessed with a heavenly star.

To see King Jesus will be your joy

In a manger filled with hay.

 

Repeat chorus 2xs

Tag

Glory, glory, glory, to the newborn king.

 

 

Reader 1:       Mary was engaged to marry Joseph.  But before they married, Mary learned that she was pregnant with a child by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Mary’s husband, Joseph was a good man.  He did not want to bring shame to Mary before the people.  So he planned to divorce her secretly. 

 

Mary turns away from Joseph and has her back to the audience. She slowly walks back stage.  The choir sings “Go Tell it on the Mountain.”  Joseph goes to center stage.  He is confused, hurt, and angry.  He sits down and falls asleep. 

5.  Go! Tell It on the Mountain

I said, Go!

(chorus) Go, tell it on the mountain,

Over the hills and everywhere;

Go, tell it on the mountain that Jesus Christ is born.

 

1.     While Joseph tossed in anger,

 An Angel came to earth,

The Angel came to tell him

Of our great Savior’s birth.

 

2.     The Heavenly One told Joseph,

“Take Mary as your wife.

She’ll be the Savior’s mother.

He’ll live a holy life.”

 

3.     So he obeyed the angel

The humble Christ was born

And brought us God’s salvation

That blessed Christmas morn.

 

And I said, Go.

Chorus

 

 

Joseph’s Angel comes on stage wakes him up and talks to Joseph.  After one minute of singing, the  angel leaves.  Mary comes on stage and Joseph goes over to Mary, takes her hand and helps her off the stage.

 

Reader 3:  And Joseph did exactly what God’s angel commanded in the dream.  He married Mary.

 

(Joseph puts his arm around Mary.  Mary and Joseph go to back of the auditorium.) The choir sings, “O, Little Town of Bethlehem.” 

6.  O Little Town of Bethlehem

 

O little town of Bethlehem

How still we see thee lie

Above thy deep and dreamless sleep

The silent stars go by.

Yet in thy dark streets shineth

The everlasting light;

The hopes and fears of all the years

Are met in thee tonight.

 

As the choir sings, shepherds should move to the front of the stage (on stage).  When the choir begins to hum, The reader reads:

 

Reader 2:    At that time Augustus Caesar sent out an order to all people.  The order said that all people must write their name in a book.  All people traveled to their own towns to be registered.  So Joseph went to Bethlehem in Judea.  Joseph went with Mary.  While Joseph and Mary were in Bethlehem, the time came for Mary to have the baby. 

 

While the choir is humming and the reading is reading, Mary and Joseph come from the back of the room and go to the back of the stage.

 

Reader 4:  That night, Mary gave birth to her first son, Jesus. 

Choir sings “Mary had a Baby.”

7.  Mary Had a Baby

 

Mary had a baby.  Yes, Lord. 

Mary had a baby, Yes, my Lord;

Mary had a baby, Yes, Lord!

The people keep a comin’ and the train done gone.

 

1. What did she name him?  Yes, Lord.

What did she name?  Yes my lord;

What did she name him, Yes, Lord.

The people keep a comin’ and the train done gone.

 

2.      She named Him King Jesus, Yes, Lord!

She named him King Jesus, Yes, my Lord.

Wonderful Couns’lor. Yes, Lord.

The people keep a comin’ and the train done gone.

 

3.      Where did she lay him?  Yes Lord!

Laid hIm in a manger?  Yes, my Lord!

Wrapped Him in swaddlin’, Yes, Lord!

The people keep a comin’ and the train done gone

 

 Open the curtains, Mary and Joseph should be center stage with the baby in Mary’s arms.  There should be no angels on stage at this time.

 

Reader 5:       Some shepherds were in the fields watching their sheep.

 

Reader 6:       An angel of the Lord stood before the shepherds and said,

 

Reader 7:       “Don’t be afraid.”

 

Many Angels appear.  They should point the shepherds to Mary and Joseph and the baby. 

Choir sings, “Rise Up Shepherds and Follow.”

 

8.  Rise Up, Shepherd and Follow

 

There’s a star in the east on Christmas morn,

Rise up, shepherd and follow.

It will lead to the place where the Savior’s born,

Rise up, shepherd and follow.

 

Leave your sheep and leave your rams,

Rise up, shepherd and follow.

Leave your flocks and leave your lambs.

Rise up, shepherd and follow.

 

If you take good heed to the angel’s words

Rise up, shepherd and follow.

You’ll forget your flocks, you’ll forget your herds;

Rise up, shepherd, and follow.

 

Follow follow, Rise up, shepherd and follow.

Follow the star of Bethlehem.

Rise up, shepherd and follow.

Rise up, shepherd and follow.

Rise up, shepherd and follow.

 As soon as the song begins, the shepherds walk to the center stage on the floor and bow.  One or two shepherds should go on stage and bow before the manger . 

 

Angels should move on to the stage. 

 

As the music begins for “Behold that Star”  The wise men begin to move from the back.  They come on stage and kneel on the floor  before the baby.

 

9. Behold that Star

 

(chorus)

Behold, that star

Behold, that star up yonder,

Behold, that star

This the star of Bethlehem.

 

There was no room found in the inn.

This the star of Bethlehem.

For Him who was born free from sin,

This the star of Bethlehem.

(chorus)

 

The Wise men came from the East

This the star of Bethlehem.

To worship, Him, the Prince of Peace

This the star of Bethlehem.

(chorus)

 

(tag)  This the star of Bethlehem.

 

Choir sings, “Silent Night” as all the movie goers get up walk on stage or go to the front on the floor and bow before the King. Movie Goers 1, 2, and 3 move to the front but they don’t bow.

 

Silent Night

     Silent night, holy night, All is calm all is bright.

Round yon virgin, mother and Child!

Holy infant so tender and mild. 

Sleep in heavenly peace,

Sleep in heavenly, heavenly peace

 

Silent night Holy night

Son of God, love’s pure light

Radiant beams from Thy holy face

With the dawn of redeem grace

Jesus, Lord, at thy birth.

Jesus, Lord, at thy birth.

 

 

Movie Goer 1—Who needs Superman?

 

Mover Goer 2—We have a Super King and Savior.  (Pointing to the manger)  His name is Jesus.

 

Movie Goers 1, 2, and 3 bow.

 

Choir and audience sings “O Come All Ye Faithful.”  Everyone, except Mary, stands and sings with the choir and audience.

 

O Come, All Ye Faithful

O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant,

O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem!

Come and behold him, born the King of Angels!

O come, let us adore Him, (3xs) Christ, the Lord.

 

Sing, Choirs of Angels, Sing in exultation.

Sing, all ye hosts of heav’n above.

Glory to God all glory in the highest,

O come, let us adore Him, (3xs) Christ, the Lord!

 

Yea, Lord, We greet Thee, born this happy morning, Jesus to Thee be all glory given.

Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing,

O come, let us adore Him, (3xs) Christ The Lord.

 

 

 

Choir yesterday was fun again.  We are learning the new music that we’ll be singing in 2009.  These new arrangements are not our typical style.  Therefore, our first couple of practices learning this stuff have been hard.

The choirs of Special Gathering of Indian River are the outreach extension of our ministry.  We are a ministry within the mentally challenged community.  Our members are developmentally disabled.  Choir consists of people who want to go into churches and the community to help share the gospel and to help educate the local church to the spiritual needs of people who are mentally challenged. 

Anyone can join the choir who has shown a commitment to The Special Gathering.  However, choir is hard.  We are keenly aware that when we perform we represent the Lord Jesus to the community.  We represent the mentally challenged community, Special Gathering and, of course, ourselves.  Much of what we require from our choir members goes against the grain of the overarching principles of The Special Gathering.  For instance, at SpG, we want our members to question and to give input.  If at all possible, we are repsonsive to the needs, desires and requests of our members.

However, that is not the case in choir.  We need to have a commitment level that is deeper than we would ever ask from our members.  When I stand before the choir as their director, I expect their full and undivided attention.  During rehearsals and performances, they are to look at me.  In addition, I require that when we are performing they are to obey without questioning me. 

Of course, they still have a choice in all of this.  They are given the rules before they join the choir; and they are not required to stay in the choir. More than one person has left the choir because it was too difficult.

Last month, I tried something new and let the choir pick out the musical selections they liked.  That’s a good thing; because otherwise, I believe they would’ve all walked out in exasperation.  In these new pieces, the timing, the beat, the words are all different from what we are accustomed to and, consequently, harder to learn. 

The new arrangements are modern day choruses wrapped around familiar hymns.  The problem:  My members only know the Christian music I’ve taught them.  They like the hymns but they don’t know the words.  Also, the words in the typical hymn are more complicated than the choruses I choose for them to learn. 

But yesterday, we turned the corner and it was fun again.  “It’s time to go,” the timekeeper/member said.  There was a collective groan.  No one wanted to stop. 

Have you found that hard work seems to produce the most satisfaction from your members?  Is there something that you do that demands a greater commitment from your members?  What is it?

Last week we started learning new music at The Special Gathering Vero and Melbourne choirs.   I am the director of two of the six choirs at Special Gathering.  Our choirs sing in local churches and during our chapel services.  Our purpose in traveling to other congregations is to educate the church to the spiritual needs of people who are mentally challenged.  

Trying to keep the choirs more interested in the newer music we will learn, I let them choose the new songs.  Because our members memorize the music, it takes a bit longer to teach them the words and melody.  Therefore I begin about three or four months before they will preform the songs.  This new music contains the songs we’ll be singing in the summer and fall.

During the time we were going over the new selections, Anna kept wandering away in her mind.  Lucy and Nancy were nodding off.  Only Sheila was awake and perky during the half hour that we were rehearsing the new numbers.  After we had sung the new pieces once, maybe twice, we jumped into the older music that we knew.  Immediately, Anna was centered. Lucy and Nancy woke up with smiles.  Their grins returned and they were laughing and happy to sing our old melodic friends.

My philosophy with music and pretty much every project I endeavor is to learn as much as I need so I can do the job and leave the other stuff to people who compose, fix and invent things.  That is especially true with the computer.  After all, I don’t have to have all the music memorized to lead the choir in their first rehearsal of a song and I don’t need to understand the transfer of electrical currents to turn on a light switch.  Usually, my life philosophy serves me will.  That is until I try to invade a world where I need to understand more than I know.  Like blogging.

Our executive director gave me a wonderful gift last week.  It’s a manual on blogging.  Excited and happy, I immediately started reading it.  I underlined and tried to memorize as I went along.  You see, after about a month of blogging, I realized that I know so little about the internet that I don’t even know what I don’t know.  That, of course, means that I don’t know enough about what I’m doing to know what I need to know–much less know how to do what I need to know.  If you are confused by all this, imagine how I feel.

After a few hours of reading my rich treasure book, I needed to put it down–for a few days.  This was a fatal mistake.  I picked it up again yesterday.  I’d forgotten to mark the page I was last reading but that didn’t matter to me at the time.  Because I’d underlined key passages as I went along. I was confident that I could find my way back to my place.  The only problem.  I somehow didn’t remember any thing I had read.  I needed to begin from page one.

This time through I wrote out each acronym that I came to.  Therefore, I was not only remembering what the acronym means but I’ll understand the sentence better.  (My philosophy in reading is the Lemony Snicket Theorywhich is similar to my life philosophy.  I skip the words I don’t understand and usually the context of the material will help me to understand the sentence and the words I didn’t understand. This is not true in blogging.)

Jesus said that we should never begin a blog unless we understand enough about the internet so we can estimate the amount of time it will take us to complete each daily article and draw traffic to our web entry.  Of course, I’m paraphrasing but you get the point.  I’m not a quitter but I sure wish I could sleep through the learning process, like my choir. 

As I venture into a fresh project, I find I have much in common with my mentally challenged members.  It’s easy for me to lose interest in the new things as they become more complicated.  But that is childish, not child-like.  Struggle helps us to learn and survive.  Forcing, Nancy and Lucy to stay awake while we’re doing the hard work of rehearsal is beneficial.  Rereading those first four chapters will embed them into my brain. 

Have you found that your members are sometimes enthused to start a new project only to become totally disinterested when it’s a bit harder than they anticipated?  Have you found, like me, that you are sometimes enthused to start a new project only to become totally disinterested when it’s a bit harder than you anticipated?   Is it possible that we are more like our members, than we are different?