Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Nativity Reading

In 1982 I directed a Christmas program at church which we called "A Christmas Collage." In was a collection of poetry, music, scripture reading, monolouges and skits we put together. There was not a lot of Christian drama pieces available at that, although we did use some poetry and adapted a dramatic reading from Marjorie Holmes novel "Two From Galilee." I also wrote and co-wrote a couple of pieces and compiled the Scripture readings.

Below is something I put together as a Choral Reading, but it can also be used as a responsive reading in a church service. I have changed it a little over the years as I have used it at various churches. Feel free to use it if you like it.

If you do it as a reading of course you can divide up the readers parts for more than two people. To adapt it as a responsive reading, the LEADER would take the parts of both readers and the CONGREGATION the part of the chorus.

A Choral Reading from Scripture
compiled by Tammy Hensel

READER 1 (Luke 2:1-3):
Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth. This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria.And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city.

CHORUS (Numbers 23:10a):
Who can count the dust of Jacob,
Or number the fourth part of Israel?

READER 2 (Luke 2:4):
Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David,

CHORUS (Micah 5:2):
But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
Too little to be among the clans of Judah,
From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel
His goings forth are from long ago,
From the days of eternity.

READER 2 (Luke 2: 5):
in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child.

CHORUS (Isaiah 9:6):
For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
And the government will rest on His shoulders;
And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.

READER 1(Luke 2:6 ):
While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth.

CHORUS (Isaiah 7:14):
Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.

READER 1 (Luke 2:7a):
And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths,

CHORUS (Colossians 1:15):
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.

READER 1 (Luke 2:7b):
and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

CHORUS (Revelation 3:20):
'Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.

READER 2 (Luke 2: 8):
In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night.

CHORUS (Isaiah 40:11):
Like a shepherd He will tend His flock,
In His arm He will gather the lambs
And carry them in His bosom;
He will gently lead the nursing ewes.

READER 1(Luke 2:9):
And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened.

CHORUS (Psalm 33:18):
Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him,
On those who hope for His lovingkindness,

READER 2(Luke 2:10-11):
But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people, for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

CHORUS (Psalm 32:11):
Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, you righteous ones;
And shout for joy, all you who are upright in heart.

READER 2 (Luke 2:12):
"This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."

CHORUS (Philippians 2:6-7):
who,although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.

READER 1(Luke 2:13-14):
And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased."

CHORUS (John 3:16 ):
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

READER 2(Luke 2:15-16):
When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, "Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us." So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger.

CHORUS (John 3:12):
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name,

READER 2(Luke 2:17):
When they had seen this, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child.

CHORUS (Philippians 2:10-11):
so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

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