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Dec 7, 2019

Church to Bethlehem [a Christmas multi-act nativity play]

Performance: Castle Hill Seventh-day Adventist Church Christmas Concert - December 7, 2019

Cast  List

  • Guide/Narrator 1
  • Guide/Narrator 2
  • Guide/Narrator 3
  • Guide/Narrator 4
  • Guide/Narrator 5
Scene 1: Mary and Joseph Find Out
  • Mary
  • Angel
  • Joseph
Scene 2: Herod and the Wise Men
  • Herod 
  • Priest
  • Wiseman 1
  • Wiseman 2
  • Wiseman 3
  • Advisor 
  • optional extra Guards
  • optional extra Palace Girls
Scene 3: The Shepherds Heard
  • Angel
  • Shepherd 1
  • Shepherd 2
  • Shepherd 3 
  • optional extra Shepherds
Scene 4: Bethlehem Inn
  • Innkeeper
  • Partner
Scene 5: The Manger
  • Mary
  • Joseph
  • Baby

Scene 1: Mary and Joseph Find out

{Room 1} 3:50min appx
[Mary, Joseph, Angel] (similar looking actors to final scene’s actors…)


Pro Option: if you have a large clear glass pane (like a shower screen or bigger) create a “Pepper's ghost illusion” to make the angel appear and disappear, in a see through manner, in the room


[Guide leads audience into room one and sits and quiets them down.]

Guide: Shhh everyone, I think that’s Mary!

[ Mary is folding clothes as the group comes in, every now and then looking up and pausing with a smile on her face and sighs contentedly. Begins to speak, as if madly in love, when the group finally settles]

Mary: I can’t wait to marry to Joseph. Then we can build our own house, and have children of our own. Go and live a quiet life, maybe out by the sea. Joseph could build us small boat out of wood, and we could sail out and go on holidays together. Though Joseph does get sea sick…

[She returns to folding and then looking behind the audience, calls out]

Mary: Oh, Joseph, is that you honey? I’ve missed you all day! Joseph?

[As the audience look behind, a friendly angel steps out and stands next to Mary, illuminated by a bright light.]

Angel: Hello, Mary! The Lord is with you.

[ Mary is startled and drops what she is doing and cowers into the corner, looking over to the angel. ]

Angel: [cheerfully] Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favour with God. You will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus and he will reign as King for ever.

Mary: How can this be? I am not even married yet!

Angel: Nothing is impossible with God, Mary. God will provide the baby inside you.

Mary: I am the Lord's servant. May it happen to me just as you have said.

[ Joseph comes in from behind the audience calling out, and when audience turns around to look Angel steps back out of sight.]

Joseph: Hello? Mary, my love!

Mary: Joseph! Look, this angel has just told me….

Joseph: An angel? I don't see any angel. Are you all right?

Mary: Yes, I’m… I’m going to have a baby!

Joseph: A baby? But… We are not even married yet. Where has this baby come from?… Oh… is there’s someone else you love?

Mary: No, Joseph, no! You don’t understand! God sent an angel who told me that I am going to have a baby for God and that we are to call Him ‘Jesus’. You must believe me. Joseph, God wants me to give birth to His Son.

Joseph: Right… like anyone would believe that! I think you’re making this all up.

Mary: But Joseph, it’s… true.

Joseph: Please go. I need to think about what I’m going to do.

Mary: But you will still marry me, won’t you?

Joseph: I don’t know!

[Mary, very upset, leaves behind the audience, crying. As audience watchers her leave the angel steps out and appears again.]

Angel: Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the baby she is carrying is from the Holy Spirit, and she will give birth to a Son, and you shall call Him JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.

Joseph: It IS true! Mary was telling the truth all along! Oh no, Mary. What have I done! She’s not going to want to marry me now after I sent her away.

[Joseph runs out behind audience calling “Mary! Mary! Forgive me, Mary.’, and angel hides again as audience looks around at Joseph.]

Guide: Joseph and Mary were just ordinary people, like you and I, and were called by God to be parents of the Son of God.

Months passed and a census was called by the Roman emperor for people to return to their home town to be counted.

So Mary and Joseph travelled while Mary was heavily pregnant.

Follow my star and let’s see if we can find where they went. How about we go to Herod’s Palace first, he should know where Jesus, the new born, king has been born.


[If a child calls out to go to Bethlehem, respond: “Bethlehem? That’s such a little town, I don’t’ think Jesus would be born there? I think we try the palace first. The palace is a good place for a king to be born! ”]


Scene 2: Herod and the Wise Men

{Room 2} 3:30min appx
[Herod, Adviser, Priest, Wise men 1,2,3, optional Guards and Fanning Girls]



[ Girls with large fans are fanning Advisor who is cheerfully and casually miming chatting to the girls while he’s sitting on the king’s throne, as if he’s king (and will be assumed to be the king to the audience)]

Guide: Sit down here, and keep quiet. Maybe we’ll hear King Herod talking about where Jesus is.

[Herod walks in and sees advisor sitting on his throne]

Herod: WHAT ARE YOU DOING ON MY THRONE??!! Guards, kill this man!

Advisor: [jumping up and bowing] Oh great King, It’s me, your trusty advisor. I was merely warming up your cushions!

Herod: I knew, that. Guards – never mind!

Don’t ever sit on my throne again. I could have had you killed just now.

I can warm up my own cushions!

Advisor: Of course you can. No one can warm cushions like you, your heinie-ess.

Herod: That’s right. I am the cushion warming master of this kingdom.

Advisor: Oh, that you are. Great king.

Herod: Now please leave.

Advisor: Oh course, your greatness. Oh, before I do. Some “visitors” have arrived at the palace to see you.
Herod: Some visitors? What is this zoo where people can come and etch pictures off all the animals? Guards, have them killed immediately!

Advisor: No, these three men appear to be from the Far East judging by their funny clothes.

Herod: Funny clothes? Guards, have them killed immediately!

Advisor: And they say they are carrying gifts to give a king.

Herod: Carrying gifts for a King? Guards, have them come here immediately! [mutters] The gifts must be for me!!

[Wisemen enter, who all bow when entering.]

Wiseman 1: Oh great King

Herod: Yes, I am. Now, I hear you have gift for a certain king….

Wiseman 2: Great King we have travelled many months in search of the one who has been born king of the Jews
Herod: Yes, and here I am….. WHAT?! A new King of the Jews had been born?! What do you mean!!

Wiseman 3: We have studied the ancient Hebrew prophecies and we have read that a child is to be born who will be king of the Jews, the saviour of his people.

Wiseman 1: We saw his star when it rose and have followed it here so that we may worship him and give him our gifts. I have brought Gold from the mines of King Solomon.

Wiseman 2: I have brought frankincense, an incense from a far eastern shor.

Wiseman 3: And I have the oil called myrrh to give him.

Herod: GET OUT!!! ALL OF YOU!!! [now to advisor] What’s going on!

Advisor: I don’t know, let’s hear from the chief priest what these scriptures say!

[Priest enters with a scroll]

Advisor: What do your scriptures say about the one who is to come – the “saviour”? Where will he be born?

Priest: It says in the scroll written by the prophet Micah:
"But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah, for out of you will come a ruler who will be the saviour of my people, Israel."
The town where this king will be born in is Bethlehem

[Advisor dismisses].

Herod: This is ridiculous. Not only are the gifts not for me, but they say there’s another king! Guards, kill those three men!

Advisor: Wait, no, I have a plan.

Herod: Guards – never mind! What is this plan of yours. It had better be good.

Advisor: Of course. We will tell these men to go to Bethlehem to see the child. Then we will tell them to report back here so that the great King Herod too can go and worship him

Herod: Worship the child! Worship the child! Guards, kill this man.

Advisor: Wait! I am merely saving us time and effort. These wisemen can find the exact location of the child so that we don’t have to go looking everywhere for him. They tell us where he is and then we can put an end to this fake king.

Herod: Guards – never mind! I like this plan.

Advisor: Thank you!

[walking out]

Herod: You know I almost had you killed twice there, did you notice that. Ha ha ha ha.

Advisor: Um, I did actually.

Guide: Bethlehem, THAT’s where Jesus is! Do you want to go to Bethlehem to find baby Jesus? Follow my star, I know the way.


Scene 3: The Shepherds Heard

{Room 3} 3:15min appx
[Angel, Shepards 1, 2, 3, optional extra shepherds]


[all shepherds sleep, one is awake on watch, crickets sound on a separate speaker constantly.]

Guide: We’re not far now, let’s rest quietly next to these sleeping shepherds for a moment.

Shepherd 1: [sings quietly to the tune of Disneyland’s Cirates of the Caribbean ride theme song]

Yo-ho yo-ho a shepherds life for me.
We lead all our sheep, to still waters to drink, drink up me sheepys, Yo-ho.
We lie them all down, with green pastures all round, eat up me sheepy’s yo-ho.
Yo-ho yo-ho a shepherds life for me.


[hit play on the sound track (soundtrack and speakers provided))– a bit of a rumble and soft trumpets are heard in a speaker behind the audience, and shepherd 1 stops singing]

Shepherd 1: [ whispers loudly] Hey, guys, wake up.

Shepard 2: [sleepily] What is it?

Shepherd 1: I think I heard something!

Shepard 2: It’s probably just the wind. I told you before, only wake us if there’s a lion or something would you.

[soon after Soundtrack has slightly louder rumble and quiet trumpets behind audience again]

Shepherd 1: Did you hear that?

Shepard 3: Yeah. Maybe it was thunder over the back of the hills. Wake us if it gets closer.

[soon after Soundtrack bursts with louder rumble and trumpets behind audience, all shepards wake up]

Shepherd 1: THAT was closer!!! Only, it doesn’t sound like thunder to me - what did you put in that stew last night??

Shepherd 2: Where’s it even coming from?

Shepherd 3: Hey I think there’s something behind that tree over there [points behind the audience] go and have a look.

Shepherd 1: Me?

Shepherd 2: Yeah - you’re the one on watch. We’re sleeping.

[Shepherd 1 walks cautiously to the back of the crowd to distract them, whipering and a bit scared. Then angel steps out just before trumpets blare and thunder rumbles in a speaker at the angel and bright light shines on Angel, who sweetly sings 3rd verse of Angels we have heard on high, which a backing track plays.]

Angel sings:
Come to Bethlehem and see

Him whose birth us angels sing,

Come, adore on bended knee,

Christ the Lord, the newborn King.
Gloria, in excelsis Deo

Gloria, in excelsis Deo

[ Angel disappears, Shepheard one returns]

Shepherd 2: I think that... was an angel.

Shepherd 1: I have never seen anything like that!

Shepherd 2: Yeah! Singing to us, and said ...the Saviour has been born, where was it?

Shepherd 3: Bethlehem I think?

Shepherd 1: Well, let’s go into Bethlehem and check things out!

Shepherd 2: Yeah. Let’s lock up the sheep and all go, it’s not far from here.

[shepherds begin to pack, but don’t actually leave]

Guide: It sounds like we’re close to Bethlehem now, come on everyone, and follow my star and let’s see if we can find Jesus too.

Scene 4: Bethlehem Inn

{Room 4} 2:15min appx
[Inkeeper, Partner]


Guide: Oh look, this hotel is full. Perhaps that is because Mary and Joseph are staying here. Let’s ask…

[Guide goes up and knocks. Innkeeper and partner comes out]

Innkeeper: Yes? How can we help you?

Guide: We’re sorry to disturb you, but we’re wondering if you can help us?

Innkeeper: We’re terribly sorry, we have no rooms for you to stay in. Especially not this many people. We have never been so full - because of this census.

Guide: That’s OK - we’re not actually here for a room.

Innkeeper: Oh. Why are you here then?

Guide: Well, we’ve come to see a baby.

Partner: You know about the baby?

Innkeeper: Oh I feel terrible about that. I knew she was pregnant when she arrived but had no idea she was going to give birth so soon. Honest! Not that I had any rooms to offer them.

Partner: I felt so sorry for them. She was riding on a donkey. I think Mary and John was their names.

Innkeeper: John, I don’t’ think it was John. It did start with J.

Partner: Joseph, that’s his name. Anyway, we just didn’t have anywhere to put them.

Innkeeper: The whole town is full, because of this census. All we could offer was where we keep the animals.

Partner: They were so tired and had nowhere else to go. And soon after the baby came and do you know what happened next?

Innkeeper: Angels appeared in the sky, singing the most beautiful sound you ever heard.

Partner: And this bright star appeared right over our stable. It felt like God himself was smiling down on the child.

Innkeeper: I guess you don’t believe any of this. You probably had to be here to believe it. Sounds like a made up story I know. But that’s what we saw!

Partner: Do you want to see this child?

Guide: Oh yes, please. Where must we go?

Innkeeper: Go out that way, and travel up the hill and around to our stable and you’ll find them. But knock before you enter. They’re such a lovely family I tell you.

Guide: Let’s go everyone. We’ve found were baby Jesus is!

Scene 5: The Manger

{Room 5} 3:00min appx
[Mary, Joseph, Baby]



Guide: Ok, let’s all wait here, I’ll knock and see if they are still here…

[knocks quietly on door. Joseph comes out]

Joseph: Hello, how can I help you? Are you looking for a place to keep all these animals over night?

Guide: Oh, no, we’ve all come to see Jesus!

Joseph: Wow word does get around fast. Of course you can come and see Jesus. He’s the greatest. It’s all been an amazing story really. We’ve been told he’s the son of God who’s come to save us from our sins and from the pain and suffering of this world.
Come in, Come in. I need you all to be very quiet as we go in in case baby Jesus is sleeping.

[ all go in and guide gets everyone to sit quietly around Mary and Jesus.]

Joseph: Mary, these people have come to see Jesus!

Mary: Hello everyone. It’s wonderful to have you all visit. Have you heard this is the son of God who has come to save us? We are so blessed to be part of God’s plan.

Would you like to sing a little song with us, called Away in a Manger? Jesus loves it!?

[have words that can be read for audience, live guitar played backing ]

Away in a manger

No crib for His bed

The little Lord Jesus

Lay down His sweet head


The stars in the sky

Look down where He lay

The little Lord Jesus

Asleep on the hay


Mary: That was beautiful. Thank you for singing for Jesus. I think he needs some rest time now. Thank you everyone for visiting. Be sure to read about what happens in his life, won’t you!

Pastor: Boys and girls only 2000 years ago Jesus Christ did come into the world as a baby. Born to a young girl in a place where animals were kept, in a little town named Bethlehem. And from this poor beginning grew the Man who had the greatest impact of anyone in history, the Saviour of the world.

Sure enough, the wise men did come and bring presents for the baby Jesus. And Christmas has become a time of giving presents in remembrance of that. But let us not lose sight of the fact that the greatest Christmas gift of all was God’s gift to the world: Jesus Christ

Thanks you for visiting. Happy Christmas to you all.


{guide leads group back to beginning when finished}

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