Saturday, December 21, 2013

More Christmas Drama


Setting:  A humbly furnished room. Furnishings include a rocking cradle, bed or sleeping mat, table. Gold, frankincense and myrrh sit on table.

(MARY sits rocking the cradle. JOSEPH enters on tip toe.)

JOSEPH:  (in a stage whisper) Is he asleep yet?
MARY: (leaning over cradle, also whispering) Yes, I think he’s finally asleep. (walks away from cradle) I didn’t think he’d sleep at all after all this excitement!
JOSEPH:  I don’t think I will sleep well after all this excitement. It’s not every day we entertain such important visitors.
MARY:  Wise men from the east…and Herod sends them here? How on earth does Herod know about the child?
JOSEPH:  That half-breed King Herod knows nothing! The scribes--they know. You don’t spend a lifetime copying the scriptures, copying, copying, word by word, letter by letter, counting jots and tittles, without knowing. They know the prophecies.
MARY:  Well, I just pray Herod leaves us alone.
JOSEPH:  Mary, you worry too much! What does Herod want with Bethlehem? With the accursed Roman census over, it’s just another sleepy village. Herod won’t move his plump royal posterior to bother with the likes of us.
MARY: I hope that you are right.
JOSEPH:  Of course I’m right! Everything’s going to be fine. Didn’t I find us this great little fixer-upper? And there’s room for my carpentry business in the shed. And with these generous gifts ( gestures toward gold, frankincense and myrrh) we’ll be able to get caught up on the rent, and start showing a profit. We’ll be able to give Jesus a proper upbringing…buy him new robes and sandals…
MARY:  fresh fruits and vegetables…
JOSEPH:  send him to the best schools.
MARY:  He won’t have to work as a carpenter.
JOSEPH:  Bethlehem’s not such a bad place to live. (lays his hand on Mary’s shoulder) Do you miss the family?
MARY:  A little. But when they come to Jerusalem for the Passover, they can stay with us.
(They both look around the little room)
MARY and JOSEPH:  (in unison) Where? (both laugh)
JOSEPH:  It’s good to hear you laugh. You weren’t laughing when I brought you to Bethlehem.
MARY:  I was scarcely able to talk or walk when you brought me to Bethlehem! If you hadn’t found the stable, I would have given birth on the street.
JOSEPH:  I’m sorry about the stable. You deserved better. I’m sorry about a lot of things.
MARY:  Joseph…don’t. (takes his face in her hands) Any man would have had difficulty believing his fiancée was carrying God’s child. You’re only human.
JOSEPH:  I could have trusted you. I could have trusted God. If it hadn’t been for that angel in my dream…(shakes his head)
MARY: When are you going to tell me what that angel said to you?
JOSEPH:  He said enough to get my head on straight. That’s all. (walks over to the cradle) He’s such a joy. Who knew I would enjoy being his father so much? From the moment I saw him…
MARY:  What a night that was! Who would think that out-of-towners bunking in a stable would have visitors?
JOSEPH:  God sent them. I’m sure they were more surprised to see holy angels than we were to see shepherds!
MARY:  Their visit made the night perfect. It more than made up for the stable. (yawns) Are you ready to turn in? Our sleeping son will be up hollering for his breakfast when the first rooster crows.
(Mary and Joseph lie down on the bed/mat and cover with a blanket. After a pause, Joseph begins to snore.)
(The Angel enters quietly and stands by the bed.)
ANGEL:  (softly) Joseph, son of David.
(Joseph stirs and moans.)
ANGEL:  (louder) Joseph, son of David!
(Joseph turns and groans.)
ANGEL:  (very loud) Joseph, son of David!
JOSEPH:  (Sits up) What? What? Who are you? How did you get in here?
ANGEL:  I’m ba-a-ck.
JOSEPH:  It’s you! You came back! Am I dreaming?
ANGEL:  Of course you’re dreaming.
JOSEPH: I’m so happy to see you! Everything happened just like you said it would.
ANGEL:  And what part of that surprises you? After all…I am an angel. So, how are you, Joseph, Son of David?
JOSEPH:  Great, great. Never been happier to be a son of David. Or father of the Messiah.
ANGEL:  No trouble with Roman soldiers…or hillbillies?
JOSEPH:  Sh!! (looks at Mary) She’ll hear you.
ANGEL:  She can’t hear me. I’m in your dream. So anyway, I have another message for you.
JOSEPH:  Things have been just great! We found this house. Sure it’s small, but it’s just perfect for the three of us. And there’s a shed I can use for my carpentry business.
ANGEL:  I have another message for you.
JOSEPH:  And now we don’t have to worry about money anymore. These men stopped by earlier. They said they were following a star, looking for the king of the Jews and Herod sent them here. Strange-looking guys, but nice enough. Said they were from somewhere east of here.
ANGEL:  (louder) Joseph, Son of David, I have another message for you.
JOSEPH:  Anyway, they bowed and worshiped the child. Worshiped him! Like they knew he was the son of God! And then they gave Jesus these gifts. (gestures toward table) This will pay for everything he needs for years to come!
ANGEL:  (shouting) Joseph, Son of David, I have another message for you!
JOSEPH:  Huh? Another message? Why am I not liking the sound of that?
ANGEL:  I’m sorry. Do you want me to get out of your dream?
JOSEPH:  No, no. tell me the message.
ANGEL:  (as if quoting) Take Mary and the child and get out of here.
JOSEPH:  Out of here? (angel nods) Out of this house? (angel nods) Now? (angel nods) But…but… The rent’s paid through the end of the month!
ANGEL:  Forget the rent. Get out of this house. Get out of Bethlehem. The child is not safe here…
JOSEPH:  (interupting) Herod!
ANGEL:  Yes, Herod.
JOSEPH: (sits down abruptly) Whoa!
ANGEL:  Herod plans to search for the boy to kill him. Get up and take Mary and Jesus to Egypt. You’ll be safe there.
JOSEPH:  Egypt? (angel nods) Egypt? (angel nods) (Joseph stands up) But everyone there is so…Egyptian! My people don’t get along with Egyptians. A lot of bad history between us. Remember Moses?
ANGEL:  Of course I remember Moses. Do you remember Joseph, for whom you were named? He was like a father to the pharaoh, lord of his household, and ruler of Egypt. You’ll like Egypt. It’s sunny all the time. You can see the pyramids.
JOSEPH:  I don’t know…
ANGEL: Many of your countrymen have settled there, Joseph. Many sons of David. They’ll be your family.
JOSEPH:  My family. My family! I’ve got to get them out of here. Mary! Wake up!
(to angel) Wait! Will I ever see you again?
ANGEL:  Count on it. Now wake up, Joseph, Son of David. Flee to safety!
JOSEPH:  (waking up, looks dazed) Mary! Mary! Wake up! We’re going to see the pyramids!

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