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The Perfect Gift

Previous Scene Act 5 - Angels Visit The Shepherds In The Fields Next Scene

Esther: My favorite part of Jesus’ birth is about the Shepherds in the fields. (sighs)

James: One of my favorite parts too! (hugging Caleb) They were young men like you will grow up to be someday, Caleb! (tickles Caleb) Out in the fields, watching over their sheep.

Mary: Yes, it was a cold night. No clouds in the sky to hide God's glorious heavens and stars proclaiming the birth of a King -- the very Son of God!

Staging: (as Mary's dialogue continues, the stars begin to appear on the ceiling as the mirror globe is slowly brought up in the background)

Mary: (thoughtfully reflecting) Yes, the Christ child ... the very Son of God. All the heavens were proclaiming his birth... (her voice begins to soften and trail off) ... all the heavenly Angels and Gabriel were out proclaiming his birth....

Staging: (Benjamin and Simeon are sitting under the stars tending their sheep. Their brother, Isaac, is supposed to be helping them, but he is fast asleep. Occasionally he snores and becomes restless. The mirrored ball is reflecting 2 highly focused spotlights and is very slowly turning. This creates an illusion of starlight on the stage and in the entire auditorium. Benjamin stands up, holding a shepherd's staff, while Simeon, is poking around a fire pit, putting on logs and arranging them, his staff is leaning against a nearby rock)

Benjamin: (waving his arms upward) You know, Simeon, the stars have got to be the most beautiful thing in God's creation. They are so beautiful tonight. It is like they are dancing in the heavens!

Simeon: (poking around in the fire pit) Benjamin, they just look like dots up in the sky to me. (disgusted) I think these chips are too damp, they just won't burn.

Benjamin: Oh, Simeon! They are more than just dots in the sky. They change. Have you noticed that they are different in Winter than they are in the Summer. Some of the stars go away and others appear. Where do they go? Where do they come from?

Simeon: I don't know, Benjamin -- and I don't care! (exasperated). If you don't stop your star gazing and help me, we're all going to be very cold tonight. (pointing to Isaac) Of course, Isaac won't notice!

Benjamin: Simeon, God knows! -- and God cares too! He created everything! (stands and waves his arms around excitedly) Stop and look at how beautiful the stars are tonight -- to me, they are a new wonder every night!!

Simeon: Yeah, Benjamin, like that new star shining over Bethlehem? That thing scares me. It wasn't there last week.

Benjamin: Remember when God told Abraham that he would make his children as numerous as the stars in the Heavens? (laughing & waving his arms broadly) Well, perhaps there is a new descendant of Abraham being born tonight! (shouting upwards) Simeon, count the children of Israel!!

Simeon: Benjamin! All I see are dots in the sky -- and be quiet or you will scare the sheep!

Benjamin: (turning around, and crouching next to Simeon at the fire pit) We've seen lots of strange things in the skies before. Stars that shoot across the sky, bolts of lightning that dance from cloud to cloud. Surely you remember those! (off-handedly) Where did you get these chips, Simeon? Hand me that one.

Simeon: (handing Benjamin a chip) I remember Benjamin. You make it sound like something special is happening.

Benjamin: It is special! Don't you understand... God is trying to tell us something. Maybe this new star is a sign that something important is about to happen.

Simeon: Yeah, like a catastrophe! (imitating God) Simeon -- build a boat -- get two of every creature -- a lot of water is coming!! (laughingly pushes Benjamin off balance)

Benjamin: (regaining his balance, jokingly pushing his brother back) Not a catastrophe! I think this is going to be a special night. (slightly perplexed) Simeon, how can you see creation all around you, yet not see God at work?

Isaac: (has a sudden loud outburst of snoring)

Simeon: Every night is special for Isaac. (looks at his sleeping brother) He gets to sleep while we do all the work.

Staging: (The 2 brothers sit in silence for a few moments. Benjamin continues looking at the stars. Simeon stares at the fire. The black lights are turned on illuminating only Gabriel. The mirrored ball's rotation continues. Gabriel is the spokesman for the angels.)

Gabriel: (in a loud voice) Benjamin! Greetings on this holy night! (Benjamin just stares and rubs his eyes. Simeon sees Gabriel and tries to hide.)

Gabriel: Do not be afraid. I bring you wonderful news.

Benjamin: (stutters) N...n...n... news?

Gabriel: Wonderful news! For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. Go with your brothers into town. You will find the baby wrapped in a cloth, lying in a manger.

Staging: (all the blacklights are turned on, as the entire Angel Choir is fully illuminated)

Angels: (All the angels raise their arms to heaven) Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!

Song: (Angel choir sings "Behold a Miracle". When the song is complete, the black lights are turned off and only the mirrored ball is left illuminating the scene)

* * * * * * Bells * * * * * *

Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy!
All of heaven came to sing!
Behold a miracle,
in the town of Bethlehem,
with a star shining overhead,
and God smiling down on us.
Behold a miracle,
spread the news across the land.
Come and worship the newborn child
as all creation sings...
Behold a miracle,
for unto you is born a King.

* * * * * * Bells * * * * * *

Oh, you shepherds in the fields,
Listen as the angels sing,
Joyful news about the Christ child:
Behold your new born King.
Follow close the brightest star
On this glorious Christmas night
And you will find the Savior
Beneath its shining light.

Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy!
All of heaven came to sing!
Behold a miracle,
in the town of Bethlehem,
with a star shining overhead,
and God smiling down on us.
Behold a miracle,
spread the news across the land.
Come and worship the newborn child
as all creation sings...
Behold a miracle,
for unto you is born a King.

* * * * * * Bells * * * * * *

Benjamin: (turns to his brother) Simeon, stop cowering on the ground and get up. Didn't you hear the angel? The Savior, the Christ, our new King is born! (goes over to Isaac and shakes him) Wake up Isaac!

Isaac: (wakes up and stands, but is very groggy) Wha... what's happening? Did we lose any of the sheep?

Benjamin: No, the sheep are all here. We're going to find the new King! (grabs Isaac by the arm and starts to lead him away)

Isaac: Wait! We can't just leave all these sheep here. I'll stay behind and watch after them.

Benjamin: You'll just sleep if you stay here. (grabs Isaac's arm again) Come on! The new King is born. Let's go find him! (all 3 walk off the stage together)

Isaac: I don't understand .... where are we going .... what are we doing? Benjamin, tell me... (trails off as they leave the stage)

Staging: (the stars begin to fade out and the lights on James, Mary and the children come up as James begins to speak)

James: Children, it would have been a glorious site to see! The heavens filled with Angels singing about the Christ-child. The shepherds left the fields to go in search of Him. To see the new King!

Mary: They were awe-struck by the glorious news from the angels & Gabriel. I don't know if they fully understood who this King was -- yet they came to worship and honor Him. (patting Esther's head)

Esther: (looking up at Mary) What was it like, Grandma -- giving birth to a baby, surrounded by animals! You must have been very frightened! No family -- except Grandpa -- no midwife to help you -- no one to hold your hand and soothe your pain.

Mary: Oh, it wasn't frightening at all child!! God was with us that night! In more ways, than just one! The place of birth was surrounded by a host of Angels... legions upon legions of angels!

Caleb: There were animals there? Was your Donkey there too, Grandma? I like donkeys, Grandma!

Mary: (a slight laugh as she kisses Caleb) Yes, Caleb, Grandma's donkey was there too! And goats and all sorts of other animals. Caleb, it was like all of creation descended to watch "God" be born!

(end of scene)

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