Plot summary: Luke is interviewing Joanna and Mary about events surrounding the birth of Jesus as he prepares to write his gospel. As the interview proceeds, other actors depict the events being discussed, from Zechariah being told about the coming of John the Baptist through a traditional manger scene. Mary concludes by telling Luke how her memories of Jesus’s birth helped carry her through the most difficult times. The play ends with “O Come All Ye Faithful,” sung by cast and congregation.
Here is a PDF files of the entire script: The Interview: A Children’s Christmas Play
and below is the script in regular text:
The Interview: A Children’s Christmas Play
© 2012 by Bill Wood
- Young Mary
- Roman soldier
- Shepherd Mark
- Anyone else can be an extra shepherd
Area 1: A home from Biblical times (the interview area). Backdrop from Vacation Bible School, Seekers Room, front row (close to the sanctuary so all can see).
Area 2: The main raised area and choir loft (the main stage).
Lighting: Spotlights on the interview area, remaining on throughout. Spotlights on the main stage that can be switched on and off.
PASTOR OR NARRATOR: Much of what we know about the first Christmas comes from the gospel writer Luke, who was a doctor. He traveled with early followers of Jesus and carefully wrote down what he learned. Some scholars believe he spoke with Mary, the mother of Jesus. What might that conversation have sounded like? Let’s check in on the interview.
ENTER LUKE, JOANNA and MARY
LUKE: Thank you for talking with me – Joanna – and Mary.
JOANNA: I think it is so good that you are writing down the story of the life of Jesus.
MARY: What do you want to ask me about, Luke?
LUKE: Well, everything. But today I would like to concentrate on the birth of Jesus.
JOANNA: That’s not the most important part. The most important part is how Jesus taught us, and then died for us, and then rose again to conquer death.
LUKE: Yes, it is. And I have spoken with people who were there, and I have listened to Peter preach on the subject. We talk about it a lot in our travels. But someday, I think people will want to know how it all started. What do you most remember about it, Mary?
MARY: Well, I remember how young I was. I am so much older now! But I still remember clearly how there was a great feeling of anticipation among all our people in those days.
CONGREGATIONAL SONG: Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus (178)
LUKE: Why was there such a feeling of anticipation?
MARY: It started with my cousin Elizabeth. She was so much older than I was. She and Zechariah had been married for years and never had a child. Then one day Zechariah walked out of the temple, unable to speak!
(Lights up in main area, as interview continues)
ENTER DANIEL AND JOSHUA,
as ZECHARIAH walks out from the center curtain, unable to speak and pointing to his mouth.
DANIEL: He can’t talk! He was fine when he went in!
JOSHUA: He must have seen a vision or something.
MARY: An angel had told him that Elizabeth, old as she was, would have a baby. Zechariah doubted the angel’s word and was made unable to speak.
LUKE: How long did that last?
MARY: It was just the way the angel said. Zechariah couldn’t say a word until the naming of the baby made the angel’s word come true.
ELIZABETH walks on stage with the baby John the Baptist.
DANIEL: OK, time for a baby dedication. You’re going to name him Zechariah, right? Just like dad?
ZECHARIAH shakes his head “no” vigorously.
ELIZABETH: No. He is to be called “John.”
JOSHUA: Oh come on, Elizabeth. There is no one among your relatives who has that name.
ZECHARIAH motions for a writing tablet, and writes “His name is John,” shows tablet to JOSHUA and DANIEL
JOSHUA and DANIEL together look at tablet and say loudly: “His name is JOHN?”
ZECHARIAH, shouting: His name is John! His name is John!
Hey, who just said that? I did! I can talk again!
(Lights out on main stage)
LUKE: That’s amazing. That’s the baby who grew up to be John the Baptist.
JOANNA: Yes. Ordinarily his birth to such an old couple would have been such a miracle to everybody. But what happened to Mary was even more remarkable.
LUKE: Yes, Mary. About this time you found out you were going to have a baby too?
MARY: Yes, Elizabeth and I overlapped a few months. My miracle started with a visit from an angel.
(Lights up on main stage, where the Angel is standing before Young Mary)
ANGEL: Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.
YOUNG MARY: How can this be, seeing that I have no husband?
ANGEL: The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. For no word from God will ever fail.
YOUNG MARY: I am the Lord’s servant. May your word to me be fulfilled.
(Lights down on main stage.)
LUKE: Were you afraid?
MARY: Well, yes, at first. But the angel told me not to be, and I trusted him.
LUKE: How did Joseph feel about all this?
MARY: Oh, he was so good! He knew the child was not his, but he understood it was God’s own son I was carrying. You know, he could have sent me away or even worse, but he didn’t.
LUKE: You and Joseph are from Nazareth. Why was Jesus born in Bethlehem?
MARY: That trip! I’ll never forget the trip to Bethlehem! It started when a Roman soldier came around with a decree.
(Lights up on main stage, as ROMAN SOLDIER enters to confront JOSEPH and YOUNG MARY)
ROMAN SOLDIER (holding a scroll): Hear, everyone! By decree of Caesar Augustus! A census must be taken of the entire Roman world. Everyone, you must go to your own ancestral town to register.
JOSEPH: But this woman is expecting a child. She could deliver any time now!
ROMAN SOLDIER: So take her to your ancestral town.
JOSEPH: That’s all the way down to Bethlehem!
ROMAN SOLDIER: Let’s see (looking at scroll) . . . expecting a child, expecting a child. I don’t see any exceptions.
YOUNG MARY: We must be obedient.
(Lights down on main stage)
LUKE: So that census was taken, Caesar Augustus ruled . . . let’s see, Quirinius would have been governor of Syria then, right?
JOANNA: That’s right. You’re being so careful about dates and emperors.
LUKE: I’m a doctor, not a historian. But I have carefully investigated everything about the life of Jesus. And I have spoken to eyewitnesses and servants of the word.
JOANNA: I’m glad you’re doing this, Luke.
LUKE: So Mary, you journeyed all the way to Bethlehem in your delicate condition?
MARY: Yes. But the worst part was when there was no guest room available.
CONGREGATIONAL SONG: O Little Town of Bethlehem (191)
(Lights up on main stage, as NATHANIEL is talking to JOSEPH and YOUNG MARY)
NATHANIEL: I am sorry there is no room here. But there is a place you can have in the stable.
JOSEPH: Look, any quiet place would be OK now. The time is near.
YOUNG MARY: I am weary from travel but I am confident that God will help us.
JOSEPH: I will get some blankets and water and put them here by this manger.
(Lights down on main stage)
LUKE: Can you describe that night?
MARY: Luke, I will never forget it. After I had delivered, I was exhausted. But then it became a wonderful mystical night when an angel visited shepherds out in the country nearby and then the shepherds visited us.
LUKE: That’s curious to me. Why shepherds? Why didn’t God announce the birth of Jesus in the temple to the great religious leaders of the time?
MARY: I don’t know, but I do know the shepherds were told of this birth.
CONGREGATIONAL SONG: Away in a Manger (194)
(Lights up on main stage as ANGEL appears to SHEPHERD MARK and all extra shepherds, who fall back in fear.)
ANGEL: Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.
SHEPHERD MARK: Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.
(Lights down on main stage)
LUKE: So that’s how Jesus was born.
MARY: Yes. I often thought of that night later. I treasured up all these things and pondered them in my heart.
LUKE: You had some bad times later.
MARY: That’s right. But even in the darkest days – when I thought I had lost my son to crucifixion – I remembered everything that happened that night. I did not fully understand what was happening at the time. Who could? But I knew God was doing something wonderful and he was doing it through me. And now it is said of God’s son, the son I carried: “His kingdom will never end.”
ENTER ENTIRE CAST ON MAIN STAGE, lights up
Lights up on cast, which leads congregation in singing O Come, All Ye Faithful (212)