Login / Signup

Free Access

The Annual Nativity Play

Children's Story
Roddy was plunged into gloom. It was that time of year again - the time of the annual nativity play. Roddy hated it. For a start, he had only once been chosen to actually feature in the play. That was the year he had to wear his dressing gown with a stupid tea towel on his head, and say one line: "Look! Let us follow that shining star!" Only he'd pointed to the star and forgotten the words. The audience had started to laugh, and the teacher said afterwards that "the whole feel of the play had been lost." Roddy was never invited to be in the play again.

That left only one option, the choir. He didn't want to be in the choir either, since he hated singing and his voice never came out anywhere near the note. But apart from the ten or so children in the play, all of the rest of the class formed the angelic choir. Last year, Roddy had stood in line and refused to open his mouth. Unfortunately, his mother had had her eyes glued on him throughout the play, and was furious with him afterwards. Phrases like: "letting the whole family down" and "whatever do you suppose Mrs Taylor thought?" kept emerging for days (Mrs Taylor being the mother of one of the shepherds, and a close neighbour of Roddy's family). It very nearly spoilt Christmas for Roddy.

And now it was that time of year again. Roddy's teacher called for volunteers to act in the play. There was no shortage of eager hands, so Roddy sat back and dreamed of the new Game Boy he was hoping for on Christmas Day. When the main characters had been chosen, Roddy's teacher moved smoothly into her pep talk with the rest of the class, assuring them that the choir really was the most important part of the whole production. Roddy yawned and continued to sit back. He wasn't that gullible.

He realised the teacher was talking directly to him when he became aware of a hush in the class.

"... important part of the work," his teacher finished. Roddy assumed she had been talking about the choir.

"I hate singing!" he growled.

"If you'd been listening," his teacher said crisply, "you'd know I was asking you to be responsible for all the scenery."

Roddy stared at her. What did she mean?

As though she'd heard his thoughts, his teacher continued, "You'll need to gather a group to work with you, and you'll need to decide what scenery you're going to use. Then come and tell me, and if I agree, then you'll be responsible for making it. Will you do it?"

Roddy felt a strange excitement seep into him. He loved making things with his hands, and he loved painting. He began to picture the scenes of the play in his mind, and already he began to see exactly what he wanted to do. He nodded enthusiastically.

But his teacher hadn't finished. "One word of warning, Roddy. You are responsible for the largest part of the preparations. You need to make sure everything will run smoothly. If you get it wrong, the whole play will be a disaster."

Roddy didn't care. He ran home and told his family all about his important role. "It's up to me to get everything properly ready," he said proudly.

Three of his friends were keen to help him, although two of them only wanted to get out of anything else. But they all set to work with a will, drawing up plans, deciding on props, working out changes of scene.

They were busy throughout Advent. It was harder than they thought, for as soon as they decided on something, one of them would argue for something entirely different. In the end, Roddy was forced to take the decisions himself, which meant that the whole responsibility rested on him. If the production fell flat, and the audience hated the props, it would all be his fault.

When two of his team pulled out with just two weeks to go, Roddy got quite grumpy. But he went on working hard. Painting and cutting, drawing and polishing.

When the day of the play arrived, Roddy was really nervous. He was so afraid the scenery would fall down, and everybody would laugh, and the play would be ruined again because of him. But it went like a dream, smooth and very moving. He found that this year, he enjoyed the play more than he'd ever thought possible.

Afterwards, everybody clapped the cast and the choir, and Roddy felt a bit left out. His work had been in the background, and nobody really noticed it. But then his teacher called him onto the stage. She said it was the best scenery they'd ever had, and the play had only gone well because the way was prepared so brilliantly by Roddy. She said she hoped he'd do it again next year.

It was the proudest moment of Roddy's life. He smiled and nodded and bowed to the audience, and felt like the herald who prepared the way for Jesus.

And he just couldn't wait for next year!
UPCOMING WEEKS
In addition to the lectionary resources there are thousands of non-lectionary, scripture based resources...
Signup for FREE!
(No credit card needed.)
Lent 3
31 – Sermons
140+ – Illustrations / Stories
30 – Children's Sermons / Resources
26 – Worship Resources
27 – Commentary / Exegesis
4 – Pastor's Devotions
and more...
Lent 4
31 – Sermons
140+ – Illustrations / Stories
32 – Children's Sermons / Resources
28 – Worship Resources
29 – Commentary / Exegesis
4 – Pastor's Devotions
and more...
Lent 5
31 – Sermons
140+ – Illustrations / Stories
31 – Children's Sermons / Resources
31 – Worship Resources
28 – Commentary / Exegesis
4 – Pastor's Devotions
and more...
Passion/Palm Sunday
32 – Sermons
160+ – Illustrations / Stories
33 – Children's Sermons / Resources
26 – Worship Resources
29 – Commentary / Exegesis
4 – Pastor's Devotions
and more...
Plus thousands of non-lectionary, scripture based resources...
Signup for FREE!
(No credit card needed.)

New & Featured This Week

CSSPlus

John Jamison
In the temple courts he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!” (vv. 14-16)

The Immediate Word

Katy Stenta
Mary Austin
Christopher Keating
George Reed
Bethany Peerbolte
Dean Feldmeyer
Thomas Willadsen
For March 7, 2021:

StoryShare

David O. Bales
Peter Andrew Smith
Contents
“Forty Years Later” by David O. Bales
“Signs Or Wisdom Still Allow Discussion” by David O. Bales
“The Guidance of the Law” by Peter Andrew Smith

Forty Years Later
by David O. Bales
John 2:13-22

Semphthenus, to my most esteemed elder sister, Alis, many greetings:

Emphasis Preaching Journal

David Kalas
At the beginning of his masterpiece, Paradise Lost, John Milton articulates a part of his task in writing as to “justify the ways of God to men.”1 That may be an ongoing task for us. Fallen humanity is like a perpetual adolescent, always questioning and challenging (and disobeying) the parent. And so there is a continual need for the ways of God to be explained and justified to human beings.
Mark Ellingsen
Bill Thomas
Bonnie Bates
Frank Ramirez
Exodus 20:1-17
None of us are thieves. And so the commandment forbidding stealing does not condemn us! Oh, but it does if you have ever tried to cut a smart business deal, suckered someone to get them to buy your product, or failed to help those in need. Jonathan Edwards explained it this way in his exposition of dishonesty and theft:

The Village Shepherd

Janice B. Scott
There once was a report in "The Sunday Times" about the claims of Francis Crick to have located "the cells of our soul." Fifty years ago, Francis Crick and James Watson won a Nobel prize for their discovery of the DNA double helix, which has been responsible for huge leaps forward in health care and criminal detection.

SermonStudio

Elaine M. Ward
It was a new church for Sam. It was his grandmother's church, and because Sam loved his grandmother, he sat on the edge of the pew and tried hard to listen. "Are you saved?" the preacher asked from the pulpit far away. Sam remembered when he had saved pennies for a new plant for Mother on Mother's Day. "Maybe Mother saved pennies for me," Sam thought. The preacher continued, "Will you give your heart to Jesus?" Sam wondered where his heart was. But if Jesus needed Sam's heart he would be glad to give it.
Elizabeth Achtemeier
In this season of Lent, we are Sunday by Sunday approaching the foot of that executioner's cross on Golgotha. And I think that sometimes we wonder why it is necessary for us to make that journey. After all, it does not have a pleasant destination. To be sure, human beings often have a morbid curiosity about disasters. We flock to the site of an auto wreck, thereby holding up the traffic with our rubber--necking. Winston Churchill told of the time when a woman remarked on the crowd that had gathered to hear him speak.
Nancy Kraft
There are some people who have the gift of persuasion. If you've ever seen the Music Man, it's a gift that Professor Hill had as he sold musical instruments to all the kids in town by convincing everyone that they could make beautiful music by just thinking the notes. He was what you'd call a smooth talker, which is a valuable skill for a salesperson. There are also other professions where it helps to have strong verbal skills that can be used for persuasion. Take politicians, for example. Bill Clinton was known as a smooth talker.
David T. Ball
Jesus in the temple -- oh, didn't he show those money-changers who were desecrating the temple grounds with their money-grubbing business? Not to mention the mess that all the livestock were making! Out! Out! Out! He cleared them all out, those traders in things that didn't belong in God's house. And he had every right to do it, we tend to think. Serves them right, despoiling sacred space with their commerce -- profiting off of the desire of the faithful to do something pleasing to God. Exploitation. Good riddance!

Special Occasion