THE NIGHT HE CAME
A drama proclaiming the soon coming of our Lord.
By: Barbara Westberg
This play emphasizes the longing and searching in the hearts of men for the coming of the Savior. The people of the Old Testament cried out for the coming of the Messiah. We today look forward to His second coming.
Mistakenly, many search in the wrong places for something to satisfy their souls. Others rely on someone else to do their searching. But those who seek Him shall find Him. “Unto those who look for Him shall He appear.”
This play is intended to serve as a warning that as many were not prepared for His first coming, so many will not be ready at His return. It is divided into two acts. The first act tells the Christmas story, and the
second act is the story yet to be fulfilled.
SEARCHERS–four are needed for Scene I of both acts. In Act I they wear biblical costumes. In Act II they wear modern dress.
SHEPHERD–dressed in burlap, carrying a stick. He will be the main character of Act I and needs to memorize several lines. Several other shepherds are needed for Scene II.
READER–should have a pleasant, distinct voice, and be a good reader. It adds variety to the program if there are two readers and they change as the scenes change.
MARY–dressed in a simple robe with a shawl around her shoulders and head.
JOSEPH–dressed in a robe; should have a beard.
ANGEL–dressed in white. Wings and halo may be outlined with glittering tinsel.
ANGEL HOST–dressed as angels. The host may be as large as desired or eliminated completely, in which case, the angel host dialogue is said by persons behind the scene.
WISE MEN–three men or boys dressed in royal apparel, wearing crowns.
SIMEON–dressed in a robe, carrying a cane. Needs a white beard.
ANNA–wears a long robe and shawl. She walks stooped.
* “Searching” by Ike Davis and Ray Heady (New Songs of Inspiration Number Eight)
* “O Little Town of Bethlehem”
* “Joy to the World” (musical)
* “Silent Night” (piano solo)
* “Rejoice with Exceeding Great Joy” by Lanny Wolfe
* “It’s a Wonderful Feeling” by Lanny Wolfe
* “It’ll Be Different the Next Time” by J. Ewing
* “Only Jesus Can Satisfy Your Soul” by Lanny Wolfe
* “The Sounds of His Coming” by Lanny Wolfe
* “Come Lord Jesus” by Nancy Grandquist
* “One Day Too Late” by Lanny Wolfe
Scene I: table, chair, candle, lamps, cot, money bag, bottle in brown bag, scroll.
Scene II: signs–“Bethlehem City Limits” “Bethlehem Inn–No Vacancy.”
Scene III: fire made of sticks with light hidden inside, star attached to ceiling. A lantern is used for lighting.
Scene IV: manger filled with hay, doll in blanket.
Scene V: three gifts for Wise men, stool for Mary, doll in blanket.
Scene VI: doll in blanket.
Scene I: living room furniture, lamps, checkbook, money bag, game, newspaper, Bible, clock, trumpet.
Scriptures from the Shepherd’s script may be printed on the scroll.
The headlines from the newspaper read in Act II Scene I need to be current. From a local newspaper, take headlines similar to the ones in this script. These can be pasted on the pages of a newspaper for the reader.
The verses from the Bible may be hidden inside a Bible. All Scripture references are taken from The New King James Version.
THE NIGHT HE CAME
ACT I — SCENE I
SETTING: room in Bethlehem Inn containing a table, chair, candle, oil lamps and cot. The lighting is provided by the lamps and candle. A money bag, a bottle in a brown bag and a scroll are hidden in the room.
SONG: “Searching” (first verse and chorus)
ENTER FOUR SEARCHERS AND SHEPHERD. During song, they search the room. One finds the money bag and EXITS. Two find each other and EXIT arm in arm. One finds the bottle in the brown bag and EXITS. The Shepherd finds the scroll sits down and speaks when song ends.
SHEPHERD: Ahhh, yes, we are searching. Ever since Adam we have been searching, waiting, longing for the Redeemer who is to come. In my heart, in the heart of all mankind, there is an emptiness. How we long for communion with God like Adam had, but it is not to be found. My friends here in Bethlehem tonight think they have found the answer… in money… in friendship… in the bottle, but they are going to be disappointed. I know. I, too, have tried these things, and they do not satisfy. Perhaps the answer is here in this old scroll I have found… perhaps.
(Reads) “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.”
(Looks up) Oh, Jehovah, I am seeking You. Surely You can fill this emptiness in my soul. Oh, where is the Messiah? When is He coming?
(Reads) “Let us search out and examine our ways and turn back to the LORD.”
(Looks up) Oh, that Israel would turn again unto You, Lord. Let me read some more.
(Reads) “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of
the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.”
Oh, when is He coming? We have waited so long… for so long. O Lord, I have waited for your salvation.
(Reads) “The Redeemer will come to Zion, and to those who turn from transgressions in Jacob, says the LORD.”
That says, “unto them that turn from transgression.” Perhaps that is the answer.
(Kneels at chair) Lord, tonight I am turning from transgressions. Come unto me, O Lord.
SETTING: Bethlehem. Outside curtains on right side place sign, “Bethlehem City Limits.” On the left side place the “Bethlehem Inn–No Vacancy” sign. Mary and Joseph pass slowly in front of the curtain from the right side to the left as Reader reads. Spotlight follows them.
READER: “And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.”
ENTER MARY AND JOSEPH. SPOTLIGHT ON THEM.
READER: “And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child.”
MARY AND JOSEPH EXIT. SPOTLIGHT OFF.
SONG: “O Little Town of Bethlehem” (verse one)
READER: “So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.”
SONG: “O Little Town of Bethlehem: (verse two)
SETTING: hillside. Shepherds are gathering around a fire made of sticks covering a flickering light. The lighting for this scene is provided by the shepherds’ lantern and the fire. At the angel’s appearing the stage is flooded with light from a spotlight.
READER: “Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid.”
ENTER ANGEL. TURN ON SPOTLIGHT.
ANGEL: “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to
you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”
ENTER ANGEL HOST quickly.
READER: “And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying.”
ANGEL HOST: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men!”
EXIT ANGELS. TURN OFF SPOTLIGHT.
SHEPHERD: (standing) “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.”
EXIT SHEPHERDS. CLOSE CURTAIN.
SONG: “Joy to the World” (musical)
SETTING: stable. The baby is in a manger with Mary seated beside it. Joseph stands behind her and an angel stands behind the manger.
READER: “And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger.”
ENTER SHEPHERDS. They kneel before the manger.
SONG: “Silent Night”
READER: “Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child.”
SETTING: house scene. Mary is seated holding the Baby.
READER: “Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the King, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, ‘Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.’ When Herod the king heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. So they said to him, ‘In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet: but, you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are not the least among the rulers of Judah: for out of you shall come a Ruler who will shepherd My people Israel.’
“Then Herod, when he had secretly called the wise men determined from them what time the star appeared, and he sent them to Bethlehem and said, ‘Go and search diligently for the young Child, and when you have found Him, bring back word to me, that I may come and worship Him also.'”
READER: “When they heard the king, they departed: and, behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy.’
ENTER WISE MEN, present gifts and kneel.
READER: “And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshipped. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.”
SONG: “Rejoice with Exceeding Great Joy”
EXIT WISE MEN
READER: “Then, being divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed for their own country another way.”
CLOSE CURTAINS. TURN OFF STAR.
ENTER SHEPHERD, SPOTLIGHTED in front of the curtain.
SHEPHERD: So I sought Him and I found Him. Herod depended on others to do his searching and he did not find Him. Many in Bethlehem that night did not know of the Child who was born in their midst. The answer to their searching was before their very eyes, but they did not see because they were searching for the wrong answer in the wrong places. But a few others in my day were looking for the Messiah, and those who sought Him found him.
SETTING: Temple scene.
OPEN CURTAIN . ENTER SIMEON.
READER: “And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. So he came by the Spirit into the temple.”
ENTER MARY, JOSEPH AND BABY.
READER: “And when the parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law, he took Him up in his arms and blessed God.”
SIMEON: “Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, according to Your word: for my eyes have seen Your salvation which You have prepared before the face of all peoples, a light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel.”
READER: “Now there was one, Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the trible of Asher. She was of a great age, and… did not depart from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. And coming in that instant she gave thanks to the Lord, and spoke of Him to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem.”
SONG: “It’s a Wonderful Feeling”
ENTER SHEPHERD, spotlighted in front of curtain.
SHEPHERD: Unto those who looked for Him He appeared the first time… to Joseph who looked for the Son of God… to the shepherds who sought a Savior… to the wise men who came from afar seeking the new King… to Simeon and Anna who waited patiently for the redemption of Israel. And “to those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.”
SONG: “It’ll Be Different the Next Time”
ACT II—SCENE I
SETTING: modern living room furnished with table, chair, couch, magazine rack, bookcase, etc. A checkbook, money bag, game newspaper and Bible are scattered around the room. Lighting is provided by table or floor lamps.
SONG: “Searching” (first verse and chorus)
ENTER FOUR SEARCHERS. One finds the checkbooks and money bag and EXITS. One finds the game and EXITS. One finds the newspaper and sits down to read.
Another finds the Bible and sits down to read.
SONG: “Only Jesus Can Satisfy Your Soul”
SEARCHER A: (one who found the Bible, reads) “Knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, ‘Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation… But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat: both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?”
SONG: “Shout it! Jesus is Coming”
SEARCHER A: “Now as (Jesus) sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, ‘Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?’ And Jesus answered and said to them: ‘Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am Christ,’ and will deceive many.”
SEARCHER B: (one who found the newspaper, reads) Self-Proclaimed Messiah Speaks to Followers. Large Rally Held in Madison Square Garden. Man Claims to be the Christ.
SEARCHER A: “And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars.”
SEARCHER B: Arab-Israeli Conflicts Feared in Near Future.
SEARCHER A: “See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.”
SEARCHER B: The slaying of a fifteen-year-old girl brings the toll in Northern Ireland’s sectarian warfare to over five thousand.
SEARCHER A: “And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places.”
SEARCHER B: Earthquakes shake the Philippines, Greece and Japan.
SEARCHER A: “And these are the beginning of sorrows. Then they will deliver you up to tribulation, and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake.”
SEARCHER B: Escapee Tells of Mass Persecution of Christians in Chinese Prisons
SEARCHER A: “But of that day and hour no one knows, no, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating…”
SEARCHER B: Fast Food Business Hits New All-Time Peak
SEARCHER A: “And drinking…”
SEARCHER B: Alcohol Blamed for Most Accidents
SEARCHER A: “Marrying and giving in marriage…”
SEARCHER B: Divorces Outnumber Marriages in November
SEARCHER A: “Until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be… Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming.”
SONG: “The Sounds of His Coming”
SEARCHER A: “For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with
EXIT SEARCHER A
SONG: “The Year When Jesus Comes”
TRUMPET BLAST breaks into the song near the end. Song stops. There is a period of COMPLETE SILENCE. Then place a ticking clock near a microphone. For several seconds the only sound heard is the clock. SEARCHER B falls to his knees.
SONG: “One Day Too Late”
CLOSE CURTAINS during the song.
(The original source of the above material is unknown.)
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