Mon, April 23, 2018

Christmas Jesus v Easter Jesus

Two readers stand side by side on the stage. They should have folders that contain the official reading. When they are talking to each other the scripts should be at their sides.

One: The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned. (Isaiah 9: 2)

Two: He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. (Isaiah 53:3)

One: Wait a minute, what are you doing?

Two: Um reading (stage whisper to one) we are supposed to just stand up here at read, there are a bunch of people watching.

One : But we are supposed to be reading the Christmas story

Two: I am reading a prophecy about Jesus’ coming isn’t that what you wanted

One: No I don’t want that. You are reading about Easter Jesus, we are supposed to be reading about Christmas Jesus.

Two: Christmas Jesus?

One: Yeah, you know the baby in the manger and the whole thing. It is Christmas time people are worried about finishing their shopping and how they are going to pay off their credit card in January. They don’t want to hear sad stuff.

Two: But this stuff isn’t sad

One: O really, let me see (Takes Two’s script) “He was pierced for our transgressions he was crushed for our iniquities” (sort of sarcastic) O yeah, that’s not sad at all.

Two : It isn’t pleasant, but it is part of the Christmas story.

One : No, the Christmas story is about the manger and the taxes and the whole there was no room for them in the inn part.

Two : But that is only part of the story

One : I know but it’s the holidays no one wants to be challenged much. Baby Jesus is safe, he doesn’t ask much for people and he looks good on a Christmas card.

Two : Wait, the Incarnate Deity is safe? Are you telling me that God becoming flesh and walking with sinful man is safe? It is radical, wonderful, and wild. It is far from safe.

One : Yeah, but most people forget the whole God in flesh part. They just like the stable and the donkey and stuff.

Two : I think you are selling people short. I think these guys (gestures to audience)understand the significance of what was going on in Bethlehem that night.

One: I think you are crazy. There is a room full of frazzled people here who have stepped outside of the hustle and bustle of their frantic shopping to come to church and they just want a little hope. So we are going to read them this story and they can smile and feel good and go home and get on with all the stuff that they have to do.

Two: But where is the hope without the cross?

One: What?

Two: Our hope isn’t that Jesus came. It was amazing and wonderful and beautiful that he came, but our hope comes from the cross and the empty tomb.

One: But this is Christmas do we really need to talk about that now?

Two: If not now then when? In our world saturated with watered down versions of Christmas what we (point to the whole church) must do is to remember how wonderful of a gift Jesus really is.

One: What do you mean?

Two : He didn’t come just to be a baby. He didn’t come just to heal a few people and start a religion. Jesus came to die. He came to die for your sins and for mine and for the sins of all of these people, and after he died he rose again and now because of that we can have eternal life. If that doesn’t bring hope and peace this Christmas then I don’t know what will.

One: (resigned) so what do you want to do.

Two : You read your part and I will read mine

One: Are you sure? We have never done it this way before.

Two: I am sure.

(One and Two go back to reading from their scripts)

One : The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned. (Isaiah 9: 2)

Two: He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. (Isaiah 53:3)

One: For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. (Isaiah 9:6)

Two: Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, (Isaiah 53:4)

One: And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)

Two : yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. (Isaiah 53:4)

One: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. (John 1:1-2, 14)

Two : But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5)

One : In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. And everyone went to his own town to register. (Luke 2:1,3)

Two: We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; (Isaiah 53:6)
One: So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. (Luke 2:4-5)

Two : the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53:6)

One : While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. (Luke 2:6-7)

Two : he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. (Isaiah 53:12)

One (Smiles at TWO, he has warmed up to this new style of Christmas reading.) For unto us a child is born, (Isaiah 9:6)

Two : But he was pierced for our transgressions, (Isaiah 53:5)

One : unto us a son is given, (Isaiah 9:6)

Two : he was crushed for our iniquities; (Isaiah 53:5)

One : The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; (Isaiah 9:2)

Two : the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,

One : on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned. (Isaiah 9:2)

Two : and by his wounds we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5)

One : The word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. (John 1:14)

Two : He was crushed, he was pierced,

BOTH : and he rose again.

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About Me

I don't have all of the answers and some weeks it feels like I don't have any of the answers. I forget students names sometimes and say stupid things that hurt their feelings. I often find a good word picture or object lesson and build the lesson off of that instead of the other way around. I have put the finishing touches on a Wednesday night Bible study on Wednesday more times than I can count. I don't always pray as much as I should and I never study as much as I should. I try every new youth ministry model that comes from the "experts" and I have had at least 3 mission statements over the past 5 years.

But I love students ministry. I love watching teenagers as they serve God. I love to see them worship and forget about themselves for a while. I love seeing someone wake up to the love of God if only for a little while. I love to see them out serving their community and sharing the love of Christ with others. I love to be a part of their lives and I love seeing the world through their eyes. Like I said, I'm an average youth pastor.

About Nailscars.com

For over 10 years now I have been trying to add creative ideas for use in the local church. In the early days Nailscars.com was just a place to publish some scripts, but it has become a collection of creative ministry resources for youth ministry and worship.

I began writing a blog more to process my own thoughts more than anything else. As I started writing the comments that I got back from people amazed me. As I was honest with my struggles most of them would write and say “Thank you.” “It is just nice to know someone else struggles with these same things,” was a common response.

So this has become a place where I share the struggles and successes of being in youth ministry. I hope that you find something that God can use in your life and ministry.