The Gospel According to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John: Puppet Remix

Advent Puppet Scene #5 for Christmas Eve “Summing Up”

Two puppets, Fred and George, appear (members of the gallery)

George: When will this trial ever end?

Fred: The end of the trial is coming soon George!

George: (sarcastically) Yeah, well so is Christmas

Court attendant stands:

Court Attendant: ALL RISE!

Judge enters from the choir entrance and goes to the pulpit

Court Attendant: Please be seated.

Judge: In this case against the Christians for spreading lies, we will hear the summary statements from the Prosecution and the Defense

Prosecutor: Honorable Judge, members of the jury, in my closing arguments you will be convinced that these Christians are spreading lies about the Christmas story and especially about the virgin birth of Jesus. I will show that Jesus really was just a man like any other, and that his birth was like any other.

Judge: Very well. And we will hear from the Defense. (looking at Fred and George) What do you have to say?

Fred and George look at each other and back to the judge a few times

Judge: Well?

Fred: George, I think the judge thinks we are the defense attorneys!

George: Well I can’t be an attorney – I don’t even know how to spell it! . . But we better say something, or we will be here forever! Can you remember what Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John had to say about Christmas?

Fred: I think I can remember. (turning to the judge) Honorable Judge, members of the jury, we will be showing that these Christians are not spreading lies about the Christmas story, but the truth, a most wonderful truth.

Judge: Very well then, let’s proceed.

Prosecutor: These Christians claim that a virgin gave birth. We all know that such would be a miracle and there is no reason to expect a miracle like that.

Fred: On the contrary, Your Honour, we learned from Matthew that Jesus’ birth fulfilled both specific prophecies spoken by the prophets centuries earlier, and also fulfilled the overall promises God made in the Old Testament. We have good reason to expect God to work a miracle, and in Jesus he did.

Prosecutor: Your honour, the first person to write an account of these things was Mark, and he did not write anything about the Christmas story at all, so shouldn’t we listen first to him?

George: Your honour, we should listen to Mark, and to all the Gospel writers. Mark did not tell the story of Jesus’ birth, but he did tell us about Christmas. He quoted prophecies from the Old Testament about God’s promise, not just to send us a prophet, but to come to us Himself! The rest of Mark’s Gospel points to what God has done for us, showing His love by the death of Jesus on the cross.

Prosecutor: Your honour, everyone knows that when a king is born, he is born to a queen, a woman of stature and prominence, but Jesus was born to Mary, a simple teenager. Everyone knows that when a king is born he is put to bed in the most expensive cradle money can buy – but Jesus was put to bed in a manger. Everyone knows that when a king is born, all the important people are invited to celebrate, but Jesus’ birth was announced only to a band of stinky shepherds. What kind of king do these Christians expect us to believe in?

Fred: Your honour, in telling us the story of Christmas, Luke helps us to understand that Jesus is a different kind of king, with a different kind of Kingdom. This is good news, for power corrupts and history is full of rulers gone bad. But Jesus as King rules with righteousness and compassion, justice and love, wisdom and a concern for all. God’s Kingdom is a different kind of Kingdom!

Prosecutor: Your honour, these Christians make a claim even more ridiculous than that a virgin gave birth. They claim that God Himself became a baby, as John said “The Word became flesh and lived among us.” We think you will find that silly.

George: Your honour, it is not silly, but amazing. We love to sing “Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me.” It is because God came to us in Jesus that we can know His amazing grace. At funerals we like to think of our loved ones in heaven. But people cannot get into the presence of God on their own. We needed the death of Christ on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins. And for Jesus to die on the cross, we needed Jesus to be born, and this is why we celebrate the birth of Jesus, the birth of our Saviour! God Himself saves us by His grace.

Judge: Has the jury reached a verdict?

Lead Jury Member (a choir member stands with the verdict in hand): we have your honour. (takes the verdict to the judge)

Judge: In this trial against Christians for spreading lies about Christmas, we find the defendants capable of deciding for themselves whether such things be true or not. Furthermore, we find that each person should be given the freedom to hear about the birth, teaching, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Let the Christians celebrate Christmas, and let them invite their families and friends to consider receiving Jesus as their King and Saviour . . .judge stops reading the verdict) very well then, Christians, you are free to go . . . of course we do encourage you to stay for the rest of the Christmas Eve Service!

Candle Lighter: So far we have lit the candles “The Promise of God”, “The Love of God”, “The Kingdom of God,” and “The Revelation of God” (lights four candles). Today we light the fifth advent candle which we call “The Christ Candle”. (lights candle) We celebrate the birth of Jesus, the coming of God into the world through Jesus to be our Saviour and our Lord. Let us pray: “Lord we thank You for what you have done for us through Jesus Christ. May we be full of celebration. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.