For ages 12 and older, for small or large groups.
Stage is darkened with a single spotlight from which the actors rotate in and out of the spotlight to deliver their lines.
Actors dress in black and read or recite from memory the paragraphs, below. (For
small groups, actors can recite more than one paragraph. For large groups,
paragraphs can be divided and recited by more than one actor.)
There are three sections: The Prophecies, The Birth of Jesus, and One Solitary Life. Announce each section before delivering the parts. (Bible references are listed consecutively, below)
1) The Prophecies
The LORD God said to the serpent, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed. He will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”
Who has believed our message? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? He grew up before Him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground.
Then a shoot will spring up from the stump of Jesse, and a Branch from his roots will bear fruit. The Spirit of the LORD will rest on Him—
But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come forth for Me One to be ruler over Israel—One whose origins are of old, from the days of eternity.
Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call Him Immanuel.
2) The Birth of Jesus
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. . . and the Word became flesh and lived among us.”
Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that a census should be taken of the whole empire. This was the first census to take place while Quirinius was governor of Syria. And everyone went to his own town to register.
So Joseph also went up from Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, since he was from the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to him in marriage and was expecting a child.
An angel of the Lord appeared to [Joseph] in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a Son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins.
While they were there, the time came for her Child to be born. And [Mary] gave birth to her firstborn, a Son. She wrapped Him in swaddling cloths and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
And Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.
3) One Solitary Life (the original version)
[Jesus] was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman. He grew up in another obscure village, where He worked in a carpenter shop until He was thirty, and then for three years He was an itinerant preacher. He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never owned a home. He never had a family. He never went to college. He never put his foot inside a big city. He never traveled two hundred miles from the place where He was born. He never did one of the things that usually accompany greatness. He had no credentials but Himself. He had nothing to do with this world except the naked power of His divine manhood.
While still a young man, the tide of public opinion turned against Him. His friends ran away. One of them denied Him. He was turned over to His enemies. He went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed to a cross between two thieves. His executioners gambled for the only piece of property He had on earth while He was dying—and that was his coat. When he was dead He was taken down and laid in a borrowed grave through the pity of a friend.
Nineteen wide centuries have come and gone and today He is the centerpiece of the human race and the leader of the column of progress. I am far within the mark when I say that all the armies that ever marched, and all the navies that ever were built, and all the parliaments that ever sat, all the kings that ever reigned, put together have not affected the life of man upon this earth as powerfully as has that One Solitary Life.
Copyright 1926 James Allan Francis - “One Solitary Life,” originated as part of a sermon that Pastor Francis delivered on July 11, 1926 to the "Baptist Young People’s Union" at a Los Angeles Convention. A friend transcribed the message titled “Arise, Sir Knight,” and Dr. Francis published it that same year in a collection called "The Real Jesus and Other Sermons."
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Bible references: Genesis 3:15; Isaiah 53:1-2; 11:1-2; Micah 5:2;
Isaiah 7:14; John 1:1,14; Luke 2:1-5; Matthew 1:20-21; Luke 2:6-7, 19.
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