I have no pretensions of being a script writer, but I have come up with some drama scripts to go along with the sermon series “Christmas According to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.” They give a bit of a summary of what the sermon is about, and since I often think of the “Sermon Tidbit” as being a summary, I thought I’d print them here in addition to my usual “blog” offering.
A big “thank you” to the children and youth of the congregation for bringing these through acting and the puppets. And a big “thank you” to my wife for directing!
Scene #1 “Calling First Witness Matthew”
Setting: a court case
- Four witnesses: Matthew, Mark, Luke, & John
- Two people watching the court case
- Court attendant
- Defendants – congregation
- Jury – choir
Two puppets, Fred and George, appear (members of the gallery)
Fred: I’m glad we are not late for this court case, this should be one interesting trial.
George: Well at least watching all these people in trouble (pointing to the congregation) will be a nice change from watching Rob Ford getting into trouble. (pause) Hey Fred, remind me why these people are in trouble . . .
Fred: For not telling the truth and doing drugs.
George: No, I don’t mean Ford, I mean all these people.
Fred: Well for not telling the truth – they are being charged with spreading the ridiculous idea that Jesus is the King of kings and Lord of lords, and even worse, they claim that Joseph is not the Dad of Jesus, but God Himself is! They claim that Jesus was born to a virgin and they would have to be on drugs to believe that – everyone knows that everyone has a mother AND a father!
George: Well they must all be guilty!
George: Because they look guilty! (pause) Especially all those defendants in the back row. Look there is Mr. Adams back there – he looks REAL guilty!
Fred: I think he looks guilty because we caught him napping in church.
George: And look there is Rita, she looks really guilty too!
Fred: Oh make sure you are nice to Rita, she makes really good soup on soup Sundays!
George: Oh look I think we are about to get started!
Court attendant stands:
Court Attendant: ALL RISE!
Judge enters from the choir entrance and goes to the pulpit
Court Attendant: Please be seated.
Judge: What are the charges?
Prosecutor: Your Honour, and members of the jury (pointing to the choir) all these people here before you (pointing to the congregation) are guilty of claiming that Jesus is King of kings, Lord of lords, greater than all rulers including our emperor Caesar, and greater even than the esteemed mayor of Toronto. Furthermore, your Honour, they claim that this Jesus has no human father but is born of a virgin. We think you will agree with the prosecution that this is most ridiculous.
Judge: Very well then, call your first witness.
Prosecutor: I am calling to the stand Matthew, writer of a book these Christians call the Gospel of Matthew.
The puppet Matthew appears
Fred: I don’t think I like this Matthew guy already – I’m sure he is just a puppet of these Christians here.
George: Quiet Fred – you are just a puppet too you know!
Prosecutor: Tell us Matthew, is it not correct that you wrote the first Gospel found in the New Testament in the Bible?
Matthew: That is correct.
Prosecutor: And is it not correct, that you believe the believe the Bible to be true?
Matthew: Yes, all Christians believe that.
Prosecutor: Exhibit A, your honour (hands the judge a Bible). So you say that everything in the Bible is true, and yet, in your writing, even in the very first pages you would have us believe in something that is impossible?
Matthew: Nothing is impossible with God.
Prosecutor (interrupting): Matthew, please tell this jury here, are babies ever born without a human father?
Matthew: well not normally . .
Prosecutor (interrupting again): And yet you say here (reading from the Bible) “Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit.” So you expect us to believe that in just this one time, things didn’t happen normally?
Matthew: That is correct, it was a miracle
Prosecutor: Ah a miracle! But I know, and the jury knows, and the judge knows that miracles cannot happen. You expect us to believe that God just decided someday to do a miracle, just out of the blue to do something really amazing?
Matthew: It’s not like that – God actually had been telling us all along that He was going to do something amazing. God had been telling us through the prophets of the Old Testament that He was going to come and put things right. That is why when I wrote my Gospel I quoted from the Old Testament often, for example this passage from the prophet Isaiah: “Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,” which means “God with us.”
Prosecutor (in a ridiculing tone): so now you are going to have us believe that not only has God done one miracle, but many miracles including speaking through prophets.
Matthew: Yes, that is what we believe, as is written in Hebrews 1:1 “Long ago God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways by his prophets, but in these last days he has spoke to us by a Son.” (pause) If you believe God exists and that He has created the universe, then you can believe that nothing is impossible for Him. And if God exists and loves us, we should expect Him to reveal Himself to us. We believe God has revealed Himself through the prophets and and through Jesus whose coming and birth the prophets spoke about. We are not spreading lies, but a wonderful truth.
Prosecutor: We will let the jury decide for themselves what is true.
Judge: Court is adjourned until next week when we will call our next witness.
Fred: What do you think George, are all these people guilty of spreading lies?
George: I don’t know yet, but if it is true, then it is the most wonderful truth that could ever be told.
Candle Lighter: Today we light the first advent candle which we call prophecy. The prophets had spoken about God breaking into the world to bring salvation and had pointed to the coming of Jesus whose birth we celebrate at Christmas. (Lights one candle) Let us pray: “Lord we thank you for all the amazing things that you do. Thank you Lord that you spoke through the prophets. Thank you that you spoke about the wonderful salvation that you would bring through Jesus who is King of kings and Lord of lords. Use us your witnesses in this sceptical world. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.