The Journey Continues:

The Christmas Nativity Play

Editor’s note: This is the first part in a two-part series that gives the script and history of the Christmas Nativity Play. Next Sunday will have the remainder of the script.

My journey for Christmas always takes me to the following Christmas Nativity play. It was first performed in 1992 at the San Marcos Baptist Academy by the middle school bible class. It has been adapted for multiple audiences – mission trips in Mexico, Austin Soup Kitchen, Southside Shelter, San Antonio Baptist Children and Family Services and mission churches. This play gives the complete story of the Nativity as written by Matthew and Luke, accompanied by songs and made to be performed by a cast of whomever is available to play the Biblical roles. No rehearsal is necessary, better to have the Holy Spirit as the guide. Creativity can produce the costumes which can be made from discarded bedsheets, towels, scarves, old clothes. The shepherds carry broom sticks or wood dowels. This user-friendly play can be used by anyone.

Christmas Nativity Play

Narrator: “Luke 2:1-20.

1. And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. 2. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) 3. And all went to be taxed, everyone into his own city. 4. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem (because he was of the house and lineage of David.) 5. To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.”

* Enter Joseph and Mary Song: “O’ Little Town of Bethlehem” *

“O little town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie! Above thy deep and dreamless sleep, the silent stars go by; yet in thy dark streets shineth, the everlasting light; the hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight. How silently, how silently, the wondrous gift is given! So God imparts to human hearts the blessing of his heaven. No ear may hear his coming, but in this world of sin, where meek souls will receive him, still the dear Christ enters in!”

Narrator: “6. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. 7. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

"Song: “Away in a Manger”

“Away in a manger, no crib for his bed, the little Lord Jesus laid down his sweet head; The stars in the bright sky looked. Down where he lay, The little Lord Jesus, asleep on the Hay. The cattle are lowing the baby awakes but little Lord Jesus no crying He makes. I love you Lord Jesus; look down from the sky and stay by my cradle til morning is nigh.”

* Enter shepherds *

Narrator: “8. And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. 10. And the angel said unto them, ‘Fear Not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 11. For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.

12. And this shall be a sign into you: Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.’

13. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying 14. ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.’”

Song: “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”

“Hark! The herald angels sing, Glory to the newborn King. Peace on earth and mercy mild God and sinners reconciled! Joyful all ye nations rise Join the triumph of the skies, With the angelic host proclaim Christ is born in Bethlehem. Hark! The herald angels sing, Glory to the newborn King!”

Narrator: “15. And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, ‘Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.’16. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. 17. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. 18. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which had told them by the shepherds.

Song: “The First Noel”

“The first Noel the angel did say, was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay; in fields where they lay, keeping their sheep, on a cold winter’s night that was so deep. (chorus) Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel, born is the King of Israel. They looked up and saw a star shining in the east, and to the earth it gave a great light, and so it continued both day and night. (chorus) Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel; Born is the King of Israel.”

Narrator: “19. But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.

20. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen as it was told unto them.”

See next week’s column for the completion of the Nativity Play

San Marcos Daily Record

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P.O. Box 1109, San Marcos, TX 78666