The Shepherd Who Missed Christmas
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The Shepherd Who Missed Christmas

A wonderful Christmas story about a shepherd whose luck keeps running against him to get to meet Christ.

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The Shepherd Who Missed Christmas

A wonderful Christmas story about a shepherd whose luck keeps running against him to get to meet Christ.


Author:    Delvyn Case

Synopsis:

       On that special night in Bethlehem long ago, one of the shepherds who tended the flocks at the edge of town is sent to Jerusalem to deliver the sacrificial lambs to the Temple. Unlike his friends, Jacob is a believer in God, awaiting the coming of His Messiah. On the road he repels a couple with a very pregnant wife heading to Bethlehem for the census.
       When Jacob returns to Bethlehem, he learns that his friends have seen the Messiah in a stable. He is mad. His scoffer friends do not deserve this.
       While others see changes in the other shepherds’ lives, Jacob remains angry and bitter. His faith wavers.
       Finally, Jacob is sent to Jerusalem again. On the way, he meets three foreign Magi who are following a star announcing the birth of a new King. Jacob shares his disappointment that he has not seen the Messiah and that he does not believe the Messiah has come. These wisemen make Jacob realize that many will not ever see the Messiah, even while He is on earth. Faith has to be grounded on more.
       Jacob leads the Magi to the house where Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus are residing. There in the house he recognizes the couple he gruffly rebuked on the road. If he had helped them, he would have been there at Jesus’ birth. Graciously God allows Jacob to see the Messiah in the house. He did not miss Christmas after all.

The Shepherd Who Missed Christmas


THE SHEPHERD WHO MISSED CHRISTMAS
A Play In Two Acts

by
Delvyn C. Case, Jr.

Copyright 1996:  Delvyn C. Case, Jr.        
Copyright Revisions 2001:  Delvyn C. Case, Jr.
Copyright CBTB 2001 Revisions:  Delvyn C. Case, Jr.
        
The Shepherd Who Missed Christmas

Copyright ©1996 by Delvyn C. Case jr.
All Rights Reserved
CAUTION: Professionals and amateurs are hereby warned that The Shepherd Who Missed Christmas is subject to a royalty.  It is fully protected under the copyright laws of the United States of America, the British Commonwealth, including Canada, and all other countries of the Copyright Union.  All rights, including professional, amateur, motion picture, recitation, lecturing, public reading, radio broadcasting, television, and the rights of translation into foreign language are strictly reserved.
    The amateur live stage performance rights to The Shepherd Who Missed Christmas are controlled exclusively by Howard Music and Publishing Company and royalty arrangements and licenses must be secured well in advance of presentation.  PLEASE NOTE that amateur royalty fees are set upon application in accordance with your producing circumstances.  When applying for a royalty quotation and license please give us the number of performances intended, dates of production, your seating capacity and the admission fee.  Royalties are payable one week before the opening performance of the play to Howard Music and Publishing Co., 1588 E. 361 N., St. Anthony, Idaho 83445.      
    Royalty of the required amount must be paid whether the play is presented for charity or gain, and whether or not admission is charged.  For all other rights than those stipulated above, apply to Howard Music and Publishing Company, 1588 E. 361 N. St. Anthony, Idaho 83445.
    Copying from this book in whole or in part is strictly forbidden by law, and the right of performance is not transferable.
    Whenever the play is produced, the following notice must appear on all programs, printing and advertising for the play, “Produced by special arrangement with Howard Music and Publishing Co.”
    Due authorship credit must be given on all programs, printing and advertising for the play.

No one shall commit or authorize any act or omission by which the copyright or the rights to copyright of this play may be impaired.

No one shall make changes in this play for the purpose of production without written permission.

Publication of this play does not imply availability for performance.    Both amateurs and professionals considering a production are strongly advised in their own interests to apply to Howard Music and Publishing Company for written permission before starting rehearsals, advertising, or booking a theatre.

No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form, by any means, now known or yet to be invented, including mechanical, electronic, photocopying, recording, videotaping or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publisher.
IMPORTANT BILLING AND CREDIT REQUIREMENTS

All producers of The Shepherd Who Missed Christmas must give credit to the Authors and Arrangers of the Musical and in all instances in which the title of the Musical appears for purposes of advertising, publicizing or otherwise exploiting the Musical and/or a production.  The names of the Authors must appear on at least one  separate line no other name appears on, and the names of the Arrangers must appear on at least one separate line from the Authors  on which no other name appears.  Both sets of names must be immediately following the title.  The names of the authors must appear in size of type not less than 50 percent the size of the title type.  The name of the main arranger must not be less than 30 percent, and the name of the secondary arrangers not less than 20 percent of the size of the title type.



© 1996 by Delvyn C. Case Jr.

      Drama Source
        1588 E. 361 N.
          St. Anthony, Idaho 83445
Phone: (208) 624-4726            
E-Mail: info@dramasource.com                  

TABLE OF CONTENTS

CHARACTERS………….……………………………..…
SYNOPSIS…………..……………………………………
GENERAL PRODUCTION NOTES……………………
ACT I…………………………………………………….
ACT II……………………………………………………
LIGHTING PLOT……………..……………………………………….

                        
CHARACTERS
(in order of appearance)
JACOB           Shepherd
BENJAMIN    Shepherd
MICHAEL      Shepherd
ASHER            Shepherd
A ROMAN SOLDIER
REBECCA, JACOB’S fiancee
SIMEON, a prophet
PILGRIMS
JOSEPH
MARY
ANGEL OF THE LORD
ANGEL
JESUS (infant)
MIRIAM        Friend of REBECCA
DEBORAH    Friend of REBECCA
LEAH             Friend of REBECCA
ANNA, a prophetess
HANNAH, niece of a sheep-owner (Jonah)
PENINNAH, niece of a sheep-owner (Jonah)
BALTHAZAR        Magi
CASPER                 Magi
MELCHIOR            Magi


Time:  The days of Jesus’ birth
Location:  Bethlehem




SYNOPSISACT 1
Scene 1.  A teenage shepherd, JACOB, is sitting in the Shepherd’s Field gazing at a new star rising in the East.  His friends, ASHER, BENJAMIN, and MICHAEL, enter, kidding JACOB that he must be dreaming about his fiancee.  They joke about the life of a shepherd and the problems of finding a suitable mate for marriage.  They complain about conditions under Roman domination.  JACOB remarks that the star means a new king is coming.

Scene 2.  JACOB visits his fiancee, REBECCA, in her home.  SIMEON, a prophet and grandfather of REBECCA, is the chaperone.  JACOB asks SIMEON the meaning of the new star.  SIMEON announces that it has been revealed to him that he will not die until he has seen the Messiah.  Hearing that the Messiah is to be born in Bethlehem, JACOB is hopeful that he will see the Messiah.  ASHER, BENJAMIN, and MICHAEL inform JACOB that he has to take the sheep to the Temple in Jerusalem for sacrifice.


Scene 3.   On route to Jerusalem, JACOB passes PILGRIMS (including JOSEPH and MARY) traveling to Bethlehem to register for the census.    

Scene 4.  ASHER, BENJAMIN, and MICHAEL are told by an ANGEL OF THE LORD of the birth of JESUS.  

Scene 5.  ASHER, BENJAMIN, and MICHAEL find JESUS, MARY, and JOSEPH in a stable.  


ACT 11
Scene 1.  At the home of REBECCA, REBECCA and her friends discuss the changes in the shepherds, ASHER, BENJAMIN, and MICHAEL, since they have seen the ANGELS and the Messiah.

Scene 2.  JACOB talks with his friends.  He is discouraged that he has missed seeing the Messiah.
 
Scene 3.  At the home of REBECCA, JACOB learns from SIMEON and ANNA, a prophetess, that they have seen JESUS at the Temple.  SIMEON and ANNA consider a number of prophecies about the Messiah.  JACOB is discouraged that he has not seen the Messiah; even his crude friends have seen Christ.  JACOB leaves for Jerusalem.
 

Scene 4.  On the way to Jerusalem, JACOB meets the Magi.  The star which has moved across the stage in each scene, is now directly over Bethlehem.  The streets of Bethlehem are a maze; the Magi ask JACOB to help them find the house of the King.

Scene 5  JACOB and the Magi arrive at the house in which JESUS, MARY, and JOSEPH are staying.  The Magi offer their gifts.  JACOB learns how God has worked in his own life and in the life of his friends.
       


 





GENERAL PRODUCTION NOTES

Costumes:  Clothing of robes, wide belts, head-pieces, and sandals for all characters.  Staffs and pouches for the shepherds.  Gowns and crowns for Wisemen. Outer cloaks for Wisemen.  Gift boxes for Wisemen.  White costumes for Angels.     

Property List:  Rough table with two chairs.  Wooden bowls for the table. Two benches.   Camp fire.   Straw and manger.  Scroll for Wisemen.


THE SHEPHERD WHO MISSED CHRISTMAS
By
Delvyn C. Case, Jr.

ACT 1

[Christmas star position #1 above the stage beginning extreme stage right. In each scene the star moves stage left]

[lights up]

    Scene 1.   Shepherd’s Field, Bethlehem. There is a campfire stage right of center.   The baaing of sheep is heard  from off  stage right.

[spot on JACOB entering from stage right]

( JACOB enters from stage right.  He crosses to right of center stage and warms his hands at the camp fire. Then he looks up at the star stage right.)
[spots on  ASHER, BENJAMIN, and MICHAEL entering from stage right]
 ( ASHER, BENJAMIN, and MICHAEL enter from stage right, laughing and punching each other.)
(MICHAEL stops.  He looks at JACOB and puts hands on hips.)
MICHAEL:  (Playfully) Friends, we must be done for the night. (Points to JACOB) Jacob’s just gazing up at the stars.  He must have put all the sheep in the pen for us.  
BENJAMIN:  He’s thinking about his fiancée.
ASHER:  That doesn’t help much.  (Points up to star) Her family keeps her as far away as one of those stars.
(They laugh).
MICHAEL:  (With cynical laugh) And she’s likely as cold as one of them.
(They cross to JACOB.)
JACOB:  (Annoyed) I heard that, Michael.  Rebecca’s a warm person.
MICHAEL:  How do you know?  Rebecca was picked by your parents.
ASHER: (With derision) We’re God’s people, remember? We’ve always got to do it the right way.  (Waving right hand up and down in preaching fashion) Arranged marriages are the right way.  (Waves off with right hand)
MICHAEL:  Asher’s right.  You can’t even talk alone …or be alone (He snickers), even when you’re engaged.
JACOB:  It’s not as bad as that.
MICHAEL:  And the engagements are a year long.  That’s too long for me.
BENJAMIN:  (To MICHAEL) You don’t even have a girlfriend!
(MICHAEL pushes BENJAMIN.)
MICHAEL:  I’m working on it, Benjamin!  
(They laugh at MICHAEL.)
ASHER:  Jacob, (Motions with hands running off) why don’t you just run off with some Roman lady?
MICHAEL:  No Roman lady would want to run off with a shepherd!  
ASHER:  Nor does any Jewish woman!…
 (ASHER and MICHAEL laugh.)
(BENJAMIN tries not to laugh.)
ASHER:  …Look what Jacob’s stuck with.
JACOB:  Stuck with?
ASHER: (Holds up hand with fingers extended—points to thumb) His fiancée is the oldest girl in her family. (Counts four fingers) Her four sisters are all married.  If a marriage can’t be arranged and the daughter gets old–you know sixteen…
MICHAEL:  … ancient…
ASHER:  …right, like Rebecca, she gets a shepherd.  It’s her last chance.
JACOB:  Come on, Asher.  I love Rebecca.  I know she’s the oldest but she’s pretty….  
(They whistle.)
JACOB:  …And…and…
(They hoot.)
ASHER: …yes…yes…
JACOB:  …(Proudly) she has a heart for God!
(ASHER and MICHAEL laugh)
(BENJAMIN puts hand to mouth trying not to laugh)
ASHER:  (Mockingly) A heart for God!  That’s got to be some consolation, for a shepherd.  (Waves off) Big deal!  (Snickers) A lady of principles, too (He bows mockingly) ?
JACOB:  (Sheepishly) Yep.
(They laugh).
ASHER:  I’d rather have a Canaanite girl.  They’re hot numbers.  The Rabbis don’t let anyone read about them in the Scriptures; but I’ve peeked at those scrolls.
MICHAEL:  You can’t even read!
ASHER:  I can, … a little.  (Pushes MICHAEL) I thought you were on my side.
BENJAMIN:  I’m afraid the Canaanites were a long time ago, Asher.
ASHER:  Too bad.
MICHAEL:  You can’t trust rabbis anyway.  Who knows what they’re really reading to you.
ASHER:  Right!  (Pushes MICHAEL) See, I’m on your side.
BENJAMIN:  (Sighs) At least Jacob has someone.
ASHER:   I’m looking, just like Michael. (Points to himself) But I got time– I’m the youngest!
MICHAEL:  (With mocking) Six months, whoa!
(MICHAEL and BENJAMIN laugh.)
BENJAMIN: Asher…Michael…, Rebecca’s…(Points to JACOB) our friend’s girl.  She should be our friend as well.
ASHER:  (Indignantly) A friend, a girl?  (Still after JACOB) Maybe you’ll be lucky Jacob, and Rebecca will have some Philistine blood, like Delilah.  “ I want to kiss you, Samson”.
(JACOB crosses to center stage.)
(ASHER chases after JACOB making kissing noises and trying to embrace him.)
 (MICHAEL laughs.)
BENJAMIN:  (Trying to get the others to be kind) Guys!  C’mon.
ASHER:  Lighten up, Benjamin.  We’re just joking.  
(ASHER crosses back to MICHAEL at stage right.)
(ASHER and MICHAEL snicker.)
(BENJAMIN crosses to JACOB.)
(JACOB and BENJAMIN cross several steps toward stage left).
JACOB:  Thanks, Benjamin.  It’s hard to take it sometimes, especially from Asher.
(BENJAMIN nods)
BENJAMIN:  (Waves off with his hand) He doesn’t mean any harm.  You know that.   
(JACOB shrugs his shoulders.)
JACOB:  We’d better check the sheep in the lower field (He points).
(JACOB looks away again at the star stage right.)
BENJAMIN:  What’s that?
JACOB:   (Looks away at star and then at BENJAMIN) A new star that’s come out of the East.
(BENJAMIN looks up at star then at JACOB.)
BENJAMIN:  That one low in the sky? (He points)
JACOB:  Yeah… (He points) over there.
ASHER:  (He listens to JACOB and BENJAMIN and looks at star) I haven’t learned much about stars in Shepherd’s Field.  Jacob must have gone to synagogue school.
(MICHAEL shakes his head and crosses to JACOB.)
MICHAEL:  What do you think it means, Jacob?
JACOB:  It’s in the Scriptures…something about a star and the King coming.
(ASHER crosses to JACOB.)
ASHER:  Our scholar (He laughs smugly).
MICHAEL:  (To ASHER) I’ve heard that too, Asher.  Give him a break!
ASHER:  (Annoyed) All right!  All right!
(ROMAN SOLDIER enters from stage right, crosses stage toward stage left exit.)
MICHAEL:  It’d be a good time for a King to come, anyway.   Get Rome off our backs.  Soldiers everywhere.  Every time you go somewhere…it’s oppression.  The Roman boot!
(MICHAEL raises a menacing fist at the ROMAN SOLDIER as he exists stage left.)
BENJAMIN:  We get a lot from Rome.
MICHAEL:  (Hands on hips) Like what?
BENJAMIN:  (Thinking) Agh…
MICHAEL:  …We’ve gotten nothing from Rome.  All they want from us (Points to the others)… is taxes… and more taxes.
JACOB:  Michael, you don’t make enough to pay taxes!
(MICHAEL waves JACOB off.)
ASHER:  Someday we’ll fight the Romans….
 (ASHER swings in the direction of where the ROMAN SOLDIER exited).
ASHER:  …(Raises arm like a sword) with swords.
MICHAEL: (Brings arm down like a club) And clubs.
JACOB:  Rome’s not the cause of all our problems.
ASHER:  What are you talking about? (Scornfully)
MICHAEL: (Fist toward where ROMAN SOLDIER exited) Get that pagan culture out of our land and we’ll be right again.
ASHER:  (Raises a fist toward ROMAN SOLDIER) You said it!
JACOB:  Just because something is allowed doesn’t mean we have to do it.
ASHER:  (Motions toward JACOB) First a scholar, now a riddler.
JACOB:   Divorce’s easy under Roman law, right?
ASHER:  (Motions toward JACOB) And a lawyer. (Toward others) (Change of tone of voice) Everybody knows that.  So what?
JACOB:  Why are our own Hebrew men walking away from their marriages?  They don’t have to.
ASHER:  (Shrugs shoulders) Who knows?
JACOB:  And the violence in the hippodrome.  We don’t have to go.
MICHAEL:  (Hands up to protest) Wait a minute.  I like sports.  What else is there to do around here?
JACOB:  What’s happened to our religion?  That’s not Rome’s doing, either.
BENJAMIN:  What do you mean, Jacob?
JACOB:  Our people have thumbed their noses at God since Malachi’s days.  No one goes to the temple. (Points to MICHAEL)
MICHAEL:  (Points toward to JACOB) We go.
JACOB:  When?
 MICHAEL:  (Shrugs shoulders) On holidays….
JACOB:  …Exactly!…
MICHAEL:  …most years.
ASHER:  We need our own king.
JACOB:  He’s coming.
MICHAEL:  (Hands on hips defiantly) We’re ready.
JACOB: The King who’s coming isn’t what you’re expecting.  He’s the Messiah….
(ASHER turns away.)
ASHER:  …(With disdain) Messiah!
JACOB:  That’s God’s message throughout Scripture.  The Messiah will come and…(Points to his heart) change our hearts.
(ASHER turns back.)
ASHER:  (With scorn) There’s no God!
MICHAEL:  If there is a God, he’s abandoned us.  Four hundred years, not even one prophecy (Points up one finger) since Malachi.
JACOB:  (Pointing to star) (Pleadingly) But we have the star now….
(ASHER, BENJAMIN, and MICHAEL look at star.)
 JACOB: …He’s coming,…
(ASHER, BENJAMIN, and MICHAEL look back at JACOB.)
JACOB:  …He must be!
MICHAEL:  So?
JACOB:  (Pats chest) I’m gonna see Him.
MICHAEL:  Not us?
JACOB:  Why should you?  You don’t even believe!
ASHER:  (He waves his arm in disgust) Prophets!  (Points to the star) A star! (Looks up) The Messiah!  Who cares?
(ASHER shakes his head in disbelief and turns away.)
JACOB:  You should care.  Whoever sees the Messiah will be changed.  
MICHAEL:  I want change all right: change from Roman domination.  Change here (Points to his heart) — some other time.  What do you think, Benjamin?
(BENJAMIN looks at ASHER and MICHAEL.)
(ASHER and MICHAEL look glaringly at BENJAMIN.)
BENJAMIN:  (Confused) ( To ASHER and MICHAEL) I understand what you mean….
(ASHER and MICHAEL smile.)
BENJAMIN:  …but I see what Jacob…
(ASHER and MICHAEL turn away in disgust.)
JACOB:  …(To BENJAMIN) Let’s get the sheep.  They must be tired enough to be rounded up by now.  
BENJAMIN:  That’s something we can agree about.
(ASHER and MICHAEL turn back to JACOB and BENJAMIN.)
(All gather their belongings.)
(ASHER and MICHAEL cross to stage left and exit stage left.)
[spots off ASHER and MICHAEL exiting stage left]
(JACOB and BENJAMIN cross to stage left with Jacob upstage.)
JACOB:  What’s gotten into Asher?
BENJAMIN:  (Shrugs shoulders) He’s like the rest of us. Times are hard.   He doesn’t know what to believe.  You hear it from everyone:  “Where is God?” …
(JACOB nods in agreement.)
(JACOB and BENJAMIN cross to stage left exit.)
BENJAMIN:  …Do you think we really have to see Him to be changed?
JACOB:  Sure.  Like during the days of  Moses.   
(JACOB and BENJAMIN exit stage left.)
[spots off JACOB and BENJAMIN exiting stage left]
[lights out]
 
[star position #2]
    Scene 2.  The next day.  A home in Bethlehem.  REBECCA enters from stage right and crosses to a bench at center stage. She sits down.  She sews.

[lights up]
[spot on REBECCA on bench]
[spot on JACOB entering from stage right]
(JACOB enters from stage right.)
JACOB:  (Happily) Shalom, Rebecca.
REBECCA:  (Happily) Shalom, Jacob.
(He runs to her.  She gets up.  They hold hands).
JACOB:  (Eagerly) Is our chaperone here yet?
REBECCA:  No.
JACOB:  Good. Maybe we’ll have a few minutes alone (They sit down close together with JACOB stage right. They hold hands and look into each other’s eyes.)
[spot on SIMEON entering from stage right]
(SIMEON enters from right).
SIMEON: (Clears throat) Sorry I’m late.
(REBECCA and JACOB drop hands and stand up quickly, a little embarrassed.)
(REBECCA moves away from JACOB.  She smoothes her hair.)  
REBECCA:   Shalom, grandfather.
JACOB:  Shalom, sir.
SIMEON:  (Sternly) This is Jacob, I presume.  An introduction is in order, Rebecca.
REBECCA:  (Takes SIMEON’S arm) Grandfather, (Motioning toward JACOB) this is Jacob.  Jacob, (Motioning toward SIMEON) this is my Grandfather, Simeon.
(REBECCA releases SIMEON’S arm.)
SIMEON:  Glad you meet you, Jacob. (They shake hands) I’ve not had the opportunity of meeting you until today.  Your name is notable in the history of our people.  Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob– one of the great patriarchs.           
JACOB:  Thank you, Sir. Yes, Sir.
REBECCA: (To JACOB) Grandfather’s a rabbi.  He spends most of the time at the Temple.  (To SIMEON) (Teasingly) I’m surprised you could be our chaperone today, Grandpa.
SIMEON:  Your mother says I spend too much time in the Temple. (Points to REBECCA) This is a grandfather’s job as well, I’ve been told.  (Smiles broadly)  For my favorite granddaughter I’m glad to be here.
REBECCA:  Thank you (She hugs his arm).
JACOB:  (Clears throat) Sir, because you’re a rabbi I’d like to ask your help.
SIMEON:  Please.
(SIMEON motions JACOB to speak.)
(JACOB crosses to stage right stairs and points above to star.)
(SIMEON crosses to JACOB.)
(REBECCA crosses to JACOB.)
JACOB:  At night in the fields I’ve seen a new star. It’s been in the East, and it seems to be moving toward us.  Does the star mean anything?
SIMEON:  (Strokes beard) I’ve been watching it too, Jacob.  It’s a star predicted long ago.  It means something’s going to happen soon, something wonderful.
REBECCA:  What, Grandfather?
SIMEON:  It means the Messiah’s coming.
JACOB:  The Messiah?  That’s what I told my friends was happening.
SIMEON:  And you are right.  The prophets Isaiah and Zechariah have said that during dark days the Messiah will come.  (Waves arms over audience)  Consider the terrible condition of our people today.  
REBECCA: There’s always been talk in Jerusalem about the coming of the Messiah.  
SIMEON:  For good reason, Rebecca.  The scrolls tell us that God will send His people a deliverer.
REBECCA:   But it’s always some day in the future.
SIMEON:  Now it is different.
REBECCA:  How can you be so sure?
SIMEON:  Please….
(SIMEON rubs his back and motions toward the bench.)
(SIMEON sits on bench.)
(REBECCA sits on floor in front of bench at center stage.)
(JACOB sits on floor in front of bench stage right of REBECCA.)
SIMEON:  …Several years ago I had a vision.
REBECCA:  A vision?
 SIMEON:  Yes, my child.  The Spirit of God revealed to me that I would not die until I would see the Messiah–the Christ.
REBECCA: (With astonishment) Grandpa!
JACOB:  It will happen soon?
SIMEON:  Look at me….
(JACOB and REBECCA look at SIMEON.)
SIMEON:  …(Sweeps his arm over himself) I’m getting old.  It can’t be much longer because I can’t live much longer.
REBECCA:  Grandpa!
SIMEON:  It’s true, Rebecca.  
(SIMEON stands up and crosses to the edge of the stage.  He looks over the audience and then back at JACOB and REBECCA.)
SIMEON:  …Have you noticed the crowds here in Bethlehem?
(JACOB and REBECCA cross to Simeon.)  
JACOB:  Because of the census?
SIMEON:   Caesar has decreed this census, obviously with new taxes in mind for his military objectives.  But God is working through Caesar to bring the prophecies to fulfillment.  It is my opinion that Caesar’s a pawn in God’s plan!
JACOB:  A pawn?
REBECCA:  In God’s plan?
(SIMEON nods up and down.)
SIMEON: (Turns and surveys the audience) There’s a vast movement of our people with this census.  Thousands are coming to Bethlehem, all of them of the family of David.
REBECCA:  That’s where they’re supposed to come, aren’t they?
SIMEON:  Precisely, Rebecca.  But think.  Where is the Messiah to be born?
REBECCA:  You’ve taught me the prophet Micah says right here.
SIMEON:  Why?
REBECCA:  Because that’s where David was born and the Messiah will come from his line.
SIMEON:  I’m proud of you, Rebecca. You’ve learned well….
(SIMEON smiles at REBECCA.)
(REBECCA smiles at SIMEON.)
SIMEON:  …The Messiah could be born of one living here.  Or He could be born of one of the travelers.  This vast movement’s not for nothing.  He’s to be born of one of the travelers.     
JACOB:  You say that the Messiah will come from David’s line.  There’s something I don’t understand.  
SIMEON:  What, Jacob?    
JACOB:  The prophet Isaiah has said, “A virgin will be with child and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel”.  What does that mean?
SIMEON:  (Waves off) (Looks off stage) Some kind of special birth, I suppose.  The rabbis at the synagogue are always arguing about that verse….  
(SIMEON turns toward JACOB and REBECCA.)
SIMEON:  …It’s (Scratches head)…obviously something unique.
JACOB:  (Excitedly) So, we’re here.  In the right place.  At the right time.  We’ll get to see Him.  (Hands up) The Messiah’s coming! (Excitedly)  The Messiah’s coming!
SIMEON:   (Smiles) Yes, yes.  (To REBECCA)(Laughs) Youthful exuberance! What would we do without it?
[spots on BENJAMIN, MICHAEL, and ASHER entering from stage left]
(BENJAMIN, MICHAEL, and ASHER enter hurriedly from stage left.)
ASHER:  (Harshly) Jacob…
(JACOB, REBECCA, and SIMEON turn toward ASHER.)
ASHER: …Jonah’s looking for you.
JACOB:  Jonah?
ASHER:  Our boss?  The one who pays us?  He wants you to take the sheep to the Temple in Jerusalem.  I did it last week.
(JACOB looks at MICHAEL.)
MICHAEL: 

The Shepherd Who Missed Christmas

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