God’s great gift to us all – an Online Rhyming Nativity Play

This is a rhyming nativity that I’ve written for our Christmas Eve all age service, when usually the church building would be full of people from our community. Instead, this year I’m hoping to invite people to contribute by recording themselves reading a line or two, hopefully dressed to look the part – it’ll be put together with carols and played on our YouTube channel at 4pm on Christmas Eve and hopefully people will join in from their homes.

You’re welcome to use in your own setting, but please let me know if you choose to do this and how it goes!

Scene 1

I want to tell you the wonderful story
About how God left heaven’s glory
To come to earth and become a man – 
It was all part of his great rescue plan
He came to save a world in pain
He came to bring us hope again
To show people both near and far 
Just how deeply loved we are
Want to know more? Come with me
To sleepy Nazareth in Galilee 
Where Mary, though she doesn’t know it
Is about to receive a special visit
Here comes Angel Gabriel
God’s messenger – can’t you tell.
He’s all in white with great big wings
Poor Mary jumps out of her skin!

Mary, favoured one, God’s with you!
Don’t be scared, I have some news!
You’re going to have a baby boy
who’ll save the world and bring great joy!
You’ll call him Jesus – the saving one,
He’ll be King of Kings, God’s own Son.

Mary gasped,

Are you sure it’s me?
I’m just a girl, how can this be?

It’ll happen through the Holy Spirit
For God’s power knows no limit.

Mary replied, 

Oh wow, ok! 
I am God’s servant, I’ll obey.

Off Gabriel went, job well done –
he’d found the mother for God’s son.
Mary, meanwhile had to go
off to see her fiancé Joe.
What would he say, what would he do
When she told him her shocking news?

Something’s happened, Joe, sweetie 
that will change our lives utterly
I’m having a child, God’s own son – 
his precious gift for everyone,

I don’t believe it, how’s this true?
Mary, How can I trust in you?
What you’ve said is impossible 
I don’t see a future for us at all.

So Joseph left, quite upset
But do not fear, it’s not over yet.
For Gabriel came to him that night 
To help him get the story right.

Joseph, what Mary’s said to you is true
And more than ever she needs you.
Take her home to be your wife
To love and cherish all your life.
For the baby that she’s carrying
Means hope for all who are suffering
Give this child the name Jesus
He’ll be Immanuel, God with us.
It means you’ll never be alone
That you’ll never face life on your own.
For God’s love will always be
By your side for eternity.

Joseph nodded

God’s will be done
I’ll bring this boy up as my son.
With God’s strength I’ll play my part.
I’ll love this boy with all my heart.

With that the angel went away
while Joseph vowed that he’d stay
no matter what by Mary’s side
and they became groom and bride.

And here we’ll leave the happy pair
just for a moment so we can share
in a favourite Christmas song
and we’ll be back before too long.

Scene 2

Nine months on Emperor Augustus
Decides he wants to take a census
across the empire every man
must go to the town of his clan 
He does it to raise some money
but Joseph doesn’t find this funny

for us this means going far away
To Bethlehem, around four days 
On foot or on a donkey’s back
by Roman road or narrow track

And all the while the day draws near
When our baby will appear.

Will mum and baby be ok?
And will they find somewhere to stay?
A place fit for this baby king
Whose birth will such great joy bring?
Let’s go now and go with them
to the little town of Bethlehem.
The town is busy, the inns are full
There doesn’t seem to be any room at all
But they keep searching until they are able
To find some lodgings in a stable.

There he was born and wrapped in cloths
And placed in an animal trough.

It’s not ideal, but at least it’s worm
I’ll make sure he comes to no harm.

Mary and Joseph looked on with love 
At the child so precious, sent from above.
This child whose birth meant hope would dawn
For all in darkness, a brand new morn.
Stay with us now to find out who
Were first to hear this incredible news.
Before that we will sing again 
of peace on earth, goodwill to men.

Scene 3

Shepherds watching their flocks by night
Are about to get an awful fright
Out the darkness shines a light 
Caused by an angel dazzling bright
The shepherds cry out, 

Whoa, what’s that?

Terrified, they throw themselves flat.
The angel says,

Don’t be afraid
I bring good news for you today
news of great joy for all people
In Bethlehem a King’s been born
A Saviour who is Christ the Lord
In whom all hope can be restored
This child has been born for you.
This is how you’ll know it’s true –
Go to Bethlehem where you’ll find
This child who in a manger lies
wrapped in cloths and humility
He’s there for you – go and you’ll see!

A choir of angels filled the sky

Glory be to God on high
Peace on earth goodwill to all men

The shepherds got up there and then

Let’s go to Bethlehem right now
And see what we’ve been told about 
Can what they’ve said be really true
That a king has been born for me and you?

So they leave their flock and off they go
To see Jesus, Mary and Joe

It’s all as the angel has said –
Our King lies there in the straw bed.
We’re filled with such wonder and joy
God’s love lives in this baby boy.

Shepherds return shouting with glee
spreading news of this nativity.
Meanwhile wise men come from afar

Wise men:
All this way we followed the star
that heralds the birth of a King
We’ve come to worship, gifts to bring
Gold, frankincense and precious myrrh –
Gifts fit for this, our rescuer.

Jesus’ first guests may seem quite odd
But everyone matters to God 
Whether you’re rich or very poor
Whether you’re near or very far
Whether you’re big or very small.
Jesus is God’s great gift for all.
This story’s end is just the start
for this child can live in your heart.
Accept this gift at Christmas time
he’ll stay with you for all your life.
So may you know wonder and joy
The great love of this baby boy.
And may you know deep in your heart
just how completely loved you are.

© 2020 Andy March

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