Christmas Play | by Richard Ruddle
Scriptural Reference: Matthew 2:1-3
Theme: As the Magi did so long ago, each of us must search diligently to find Jesus and the gift of salvation that he brings to us.
Cast: Narrator (1 Male or Female); Wives of the Magi (3 Women); Waitress (Female)
Setting: Bethlehem Bistro Restaurant, set up for three wives having a day out for an intimate lunch after sending their husbands off on an expedition to Jerusalem. There is a table with three chairs on stage. There is a napkin and silverware for each place setting on the table.
Props: 1-table, three chairs, 3 napkins, 3 glasses of water on tray
Scene: The scene opens with the Narrator center stage speaking to the audience.
Narrator: "Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king there came wise men from the East to Jerusalem,
saying, 'Where is he that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the East, and are come to worship
him.'" It is said that behind every successful man there is a (strong silent) woman. In this case, the wives of the three "Magi" from the East who followed the star and came to honor the newborn King. What of them? What part did they play in their husband's preparation for the long journey? Let's listen in and see. (Exits stage left.)
Waitress: (Enters from stage left with water glasses on tray placing them on the table while talking aloud to herself.) Why me? Why me? Every time their husbands go out of town on one of these business trips they come here for lunch and it's always me who has to serve them. Woman are such lousy tippers and are so demanding. I'd much rather do the businessman's lunch. (Sees women approaching from stage right) Here they come now, guess I'd better put on my smile if I want my usual quarter tip. (Greets wives) Good afternoon. Welcome to the Bethlehem Bistro. My name is Gladys and I will be your server. (Motions wives to the table and leaves after they are seated.)
Wife One - Patty: It sure is nice to get out of the house for a change. All Balthasar wants to do is gaze at the stars all evening. He hardly ever talks to me anymore. (Wives nod knowingly.)
Wife Two - Laverne: I know what you're saying, the only thing Casper has had on his mind is going on this "expedition" with the guys. I couldn't even get him to go to the Putt-Putt with me Saturday like we always do and wouldn't you know that's when I get a hole in one!
Wife Three - Maxine: My Melchior is just the same. He keeps walking around the house making notes and mumbling to himself, "The king is coming, the King is coming." His wild stories are driving me nuts!
Wife One: Remember the time they went looking for the Garden of Eden? They were gone a whole month that time. No Garden, but Balthasar did find the poison ivy while searching the shrubbery!
Wife One: I think we all appreciate how important they THINK this trip is, but really, it gives us some time together to do things WE want to do. Right now, that's eat! (All agree and begin to signal for waitress to return and take orders.)
Waitress: (Returns to table with three glasses of water and prepares to take orders.) Our special today is lamb quiche. It comes with a plate of fresh dates, figs, grapes and assorted melons. We also offer a very nice house wine that comes from our own vineyard. We call it "Achmed's Choice."
Wife Two: Sounds good to me girls, what do you say? (All agree.) We'll all have that.
Waitress: Three specials coming up. (Leaves with order.)
Wife Three: Did either of your husbands go shopping for anything special to take on the trip? I thought Melchior should invent a GPS (Global Positioning System) so they wouldn't get lost, since he is such a scientific guy, but he didn't have time for that. He told me they would just follow some star they had been watching. (Makes Face) "DUH!"
Wife Two: I know what you mean. On our vacation trip to Rome last year, we got lost on the Apian Way. I told Casper to stop the chariot at the next oasis and ask directions. Do you think he would do it? NO-O-O-O! (All laugh.)You know how men are!
Wife One: You won't believe this girls, but last night Balthasar got lost coming back to the tent from the bathroom. (All laugh knowingly.)
Wife One: I wanted Balthasar to get some new transportation before making this trip but he insisted that out old two-hump camel was good enough. I wanted one of those new sports model one-humpers. They are really cool! They get better mileage too!
Wife Two: Casper has all of that camping stuff we got at the "Bazaar Sale" last year, so he didn't need any of that. He was worried that they each should being some kind of gift in case they found the "King" they were looking for. They had a sale going on down at the "Myrrh Mart" with 25% off, so we stocked up.
Wife One: Balthasar had the same idea, but of course he was too busy to go shopping so I had to do it. (All nod knowingly.) He suggested a gift certificate to the 'Olive Garden." I thought it might be better to give money. We compromised on gold, so I cashed in a CD and purchased some little gold figurines and boxes.
Wife Three: Melchior has a cousin with a tree orchard that produces the best frankincense. It's the loveliest fragrance! Would you believe he wanted to give a grooming kit and a bottle of Eternity For Men? (Gestures disgustedly) Go figure! I got the frankincense instead.
Wife Two: Well, that's it then. They'll have Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh. I just hope King Herod doesn't get wind of it or he'll want it for himself.
Wife One: I wonder what is taking so long for our lunch to be ready? These people are always SO-O-O Slow! (All Agree.)
Wife Three: You know, my Melchior told me that the real reason for this trip was to determine if the newborn was a prophet as foretold, a healer, an earthly king, or a God and to offer their respects accordingly.
Wife Two: I wish them luck! They'll need it!
Wife One: That's for sure. A new earthly King would have to deal with King Herod and you know what a terror he is when he gets in one of his moods.
Wife Three: You know, I have a feeling that this trip will be different. I believe that this newborn will be someone special, who will bring healing and hope to all people. Call it intuition if you want, but I feel it strongly.
WIVES ONE & TWO: Amen to that. That has been our dream for so long. (All nod agreement.)
Wife One: I think we have waited long enough for our lunch. Let's leave and go somewhere else for a pizza.
Wife Two: Good Idea. I never cared for lamb quiche anyway. (All get up and begin to leave.)
Waitress: (Sees wives leaving, and calls after them) Ladies, Ladies, Is there something wrong? What about you lunch? It will be ready in just a few minutes. (Wives continue to leave and waitress shrugs and sighs, begins to clear table.)
Waitress: (Talking aloud to self) I knew it. No tip! They're always so flighty. I heard what they were talking about. A new born prophet, HA! You'd think they were talking about the "Messiah" or something. Oh well, Maybe someday. (Gives deep sigh and exits.)
Narrator: (Enters to deliver conclusion.)
"What the Magi found beneath the star after their long journey was that it had come to pass as was foretold. The Virgin Mary had brought forth a Son and called his name Jesus. And Jesus brought light, healing, hope and love into a world of sin and darkness, just as the wives of the Magi had hoped. That light is with YOU today and always. Alleluia!"
Copyright 2005 Richard Ruddle
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