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The Perfect Gift
Act 7 - Herod And The Wisemen
Mary: All seemed so right with the world. Jesus was such a beautiful baby. I felt so honored and blessed by God.
James: But all was not right with the world. There were those who were plotting to kill Jesus, even then.
Staging: (Lights begin to fade on Mary & James and the grandchildren)
James: King Herod would soon discover that the Messiah was born....
Staging: Herod is washing his hands in a bowl held by a servant. As he is
washing, a messenger enters the room. The servant bows and backs away from Herod.
Herod: (arrogantly) Yes, what do you have to report.
Messenger: Your majesty, there are three men here to see you. I believe they are priests of some kind.
Herod: (somewhat bored) Are they Jewish priests?
Messenger: No, your majesty. They are from a distant land. I believe they call themselves Magi.
Herod: (arrogantly) They're here to pay tribute to the Great King Herod!? Show them in at once you idiot!
Staging: Messenger leaves. The three wisemen enter the room and bow to Herod. The wisemen speak with an accent.
Wiseman 1: Your majesty, we are the Magi and have come from a land far to the east.
Wiseman 2: The entire heavens have proclaimed a great event in your land and we have followed a most awesome star.
Wiseman 3: This star has brought us to you and your country.
Herod: You have followed a star? Journeyed to my country? (eyes narrow) Most interesting... tell me more.
Wiseman 1: We believe that a new "King" has been born here. We are trying to find him.
Wiseman 2: Where is the one who has been born King of the Jews?
Wiseman 3: We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him!
Herod: (sits up at full attention) A new king, you say?
Wiseman 1: Oh, much more than a king! A very special ruler!
Wiseman 2: He's a living prophecy, a messiah.
Wiseman 3: Yes, a powerful King who has dominion over heaven and earth... He is a Savior!!
Herod: (stands up) A powerful King? (almost insulted) And how can the powerful King Herod help you?
Wiseman 1: We are seeking this new king to honor him.
Wiseman 2: To shower him with our praises.
Wiseman 3: To behold his majesty for ourselves.
Herod: (deceitfully) We must know more about this. I, King Herod have decided to help you on your quest. (motioning for them to sit down next to his throne, clapping his hands for the servant) We shall make inquiries with the royal priests about your new living prophecy.
3 Wisemen: (bowing as they sit down) Thank you, thank you!
Herod: (claps his hands, the messenger and the servant appear, Herod's voice gets louder and more angry as he speaks) Get me the royal priests, get me the magicians, get me the astrologers, get me the sages, ... just get me anyone who knows anything about... (catching himself and changing his tone of voice) .... anyone who might know about our new born King. (smiles at the Magi.... turning back to the messenger and servant) NOW!!
Servant: (running off stage) Yes, your majesty .... right away my King!!
Herod: (sitting down on his throne, regaining his composure, he addresses the Magi again in a condescending tone) I'm so distressed that my advisors have not informed me about this newborn King. (patting himself on the face) Who more than King Herod should know of his birth? Who more than King Herod should find this child? Who more than King Herod should pay a visit to this new messiah, savior, ruler and living prophecy?
Priest 1: (enters hurriedly into Herod's presence, still adjusting his cap and gowns)
Herod: Ah! ... my royal Priest! (motioning the priest to bow before him)
Priest 1: (humbles himself before Herod) Your greatness! How can I assist you?
Herod: (again condescending) Oh, your holiness... so nice to have you join us! (getting to the point) What can you tell me about the great star in the heavens?
Priest 1: (nervously) I am not an astrologer, your majesty.... it has been there for at least 2 years. The scriptures tell us, "A star will come out of Jacob; a scepter will rise out of Israel" (Numbers 24: 17cd - scripture references are provided for information only) I have no idea of its meaning.
Priest 2: (enters and joins the other priest) Nor I your majesty, (bowing down) but we are sure that God had set it in the heavens to honor our Great King! (smiling)
Herod: So I have been told! (not smiling) But NOT to honor me, but rather a NEW king! (changing his tone again) My honored guests have informed me that we have a living prophecy among us… a Savior! My new friends here say, he is a King of the Jews... tell me, what do you know of this?
Priest 1: (almost excited) They speak of the Christ, a prophecy as old as our faith! Isaiah said, (Isaiah 7:14) "Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel."
Priest 2: A messiah, foretold by all the prophets of old. The prophet Jeremiah said: (Jeremiah 23:5) "The days are coming when I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness; a King shall reign and prosper, and execute judgment and righteousness in the earth."
Herod: (shouting) Enough! (calming himself again) For the sake of our pilgrim friends, tell me WHERE we can find this child!
Priest 1: The prophet Micah foretold, his birthplace is to be in Bethlehem.
Priest 2: (Micah 5:2) "But you, Bethlehem, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to me the One to be ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting."
Herod: (laughingly) Bethlehem? Surely you don't mean that little village south of us?
Priest 2: Yes, that is the one. It was also the birthplace of King David, long ago.
Herod: (with a wave of his hand to dismiss the Priests) You have been most helpful.
Staging: The Jewish priests depart leaving Herod alone with the Magi.
Herod: Come, my new friends. Please have some food with me, and a little wine. You must be tired after your long journey.
Servant: (Enters with food and wine)
3 wisemen: Thank you. (Herod and the 3 wisemen begin to eat.)
Herod: So, it is written... in a little village just south of us called Bethlehem. This is where we may find the new king. (leans towards them) This whole story is most fascinating. I would really like to see this new king myself. There seems to be a great deal of mystery surrounding his arrival. Here is what I want you to do: find the child, and after you are satisfied that he is the new king...
Staging: The lights fade on Herod and the 3 wisemen and rise on Mary, James and the children.
Herod and James together: ...report back to me so that I may worship him also.
James: (shaking his head) But Herod had no intention of worshipping Jesus... just the opposite. He was determined to kill him at any cost so that his own son could become king.
(end of scene)
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