Nativity Mystery

December 8, 2010

a short play by j.


Jesus and Siddhartha

January 15, 2009


The Characters:

  • Siddhartha
  • Jesus

The Setting :

There is a large projected image in the background – on one side, a very round

golden Buddha statue.¬† On the other side, an emaciated, bloody, crucified Christ.¬† As the play begins, SIDDHARTHA sits up, meditating.¬† JESUS is curled on the ground asleep.¬† Then he awakens…

JESUS : …Where am I?¬† Ow…¬† My head…¬† I was praying…in a garden…¬† I must have fallen asleep.

SIDDHARTHA : I also fell asleep, beneath a tree.  I saw you here sleeping.  I recognized you.

JESUS : Yeah, I do a lot of

public speaking.  That bit about the sower of seeds, who just scatters them, willy-nilly?  I came up with that.  The crowds love it.

SIDDHARTHA : …Ah, yes.¬† A joke.¬† For in truth there is no sower.¬† There are no seeds.

JESUS : …Well, not literally, no.¬† It”s just a story.

SIDDHARTHA : But your…stand-up comedy is not how I know you.¬† I”ve seen you in visions, worshiped¬† as the Christ, the only son of God, who was with God before all things came into being.

JESUS : (Pause.¬† Then he laughs) Oh!¬† So you”re the comedian.¬† Only son of God!¬† That”s rich!¬† Just wait till I tell the guys I hang out with!¬† I couldn”t use it my routine, though, because it”s…you know…blasphemy.
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By j. Snodgrass

Sadly, war in the East is nothing new ‚Äì some of us may remember Operation Desert-Storm. Some of the older ones among us may remember…the Crusades… There might even be a person or two in the room who remember the Hebrews invading

Israel some thirty-three hundred years ago, and how they were in turn attacked by the Philestines, the Persians, the Babylonians and the Romans… And those who remember all that ‚Äì what are you still doing in the 20′s/30′s group? You know who you are…

With all this history of conflict, the question is…How do we bring peace to a warring world? And to answer the question, I’ve opened the lines for some Biblical figures to give us their unput. Hello?

GOLIATH : Urrrrrr…

NARRATOR : Ur to you too. Who may I ask is calling?

GOLIATH : I am Goliath.

NARRATOR : And where are you calling from?


NARRATOR : And how is Gath this time of year?

GOLIATH : Urrrrrr…

NARRATOR : Same here in New York, I hear ya. So we’re wondering. How would you bring peace to a warring world?

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Meeting the Devil’s Advocate in the Desert

By j. Snodgrass

Presented 3 February, 2008


Narrator (Bible Student)

“Luke” (Author of the Gospel According to Luke)

Jesus (Live Free or Die)

Devil (Advocate of Alternate Strategies)

Moses (Supposed Giver-of-the-Law in Deuteronomy)

NARRATOR : Today, in honor of the Lenten Lectionary, we’re going to take a look at my all-time favorite Biblical passage – The temptation of Jesus in the desert, in the Gospel of Luke, Chapter four, verses one to thirteen. As a matter of fact, I love this passage so much, we’re going to hear it twice!

‚ÄúLUKE‚Äù : Jesus…was led by the Spirit in the desert, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry. The devil said to him,

DEVIL : “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.”

JESUS : “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone.’”

“LUKE” : The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world.

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By j. Snodgrass

NARRATOR : So there’s an election coming up, and all the candidates are falling over themselves to let us know what they believe, what’s their favorite hymn…WWJVF? Who would Jesus vote for?

So I thought we could ask some of the Hebrew Prophets, see what they had to say about political issues of their day…which, believe it or not, are pretty much exactly the same as now. Should we stand by while the rich get richer and the poor get poorer? Should we go to war? Does God want us to have a king at all?

Naturally, all of the prophets are different, and yet just about all of them had some things in common. It was the prophet’s job to stand against the king, and probably die for it. What do you call a prophet who agrees with the king, who is liked by everyone, who says things are fine? A false prophet. What does king Ahab call the prophet Elijah? Troubler of Israel (1 Kings 18:17). Oh my enemy (1 Kings 21:20). And three times in one day, Ahab sent fifty soldiers to kill him (2 Kings 1). That might be why in so many cases, when the Lord calls to say “You shall be my prophet,” the reply is, almost invariably…

PROPHETS : Oh no, I’m not the one you’re looking for.

NARRATOR : In the tenth century before the common era, what‚Äôs now known as Israel was a group of tribes doing the best they could to raise crops and animals. But sea-pirates called the Philestines showed up on the west coast and started working their way inward, sacking villages, setting up cities, and ruling over the populations. So, the Israelites decided what they needed was a military chieftain to raise up an army and fight. The prophet Samuel warned the Israelites that a king might not be in their best interests…

SAMUEL : “This is what the king‚Ķwill do: He will take your sons and make them serve with his chariots and horses, and they will run in front of his chariots. Some he will assign to be commanders of thousands‚Ķand others to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and still others to make weapons of war. He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. He will take the best of your fields and vineyards‚Ķand give them to his attendants‚Ķ.He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his slaves. When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, and the Lord will not answer you.” (1 Samuel 8:10-18, NIV)

NARRATOR : …Sound familiar? This is pretty much the standard contract between population and ruler, to this day. Saul, the first chieftain, was cool – he beat the Philestines, but didn’t interfere much with the populace. David was famously David, but Solomon made all of Samuel’s predictions come true and more – taxation, forced labor, the draft, and a brand of inequality the Israelites hadn’t known since Egypt.

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by j. Snodgrass, December 2007

NARRATOR : Five blind-folded people are put in a room with an animal and asked to identify it, based on their sense of touch. One says it’s a donkey, for it has a donkey’s tail. One says it’s a snake, for what he holds is a long, writhing tube. Another says it’s a bat, not knowing what she holds is actually an ear. Others offer different answers, each is certain they’re right. But when the blindfolds come off, they realize that none were fully correct – they’ve been describing different parts of an elephant.

The elephant in question today is Jesus. More specifically, the birth of Jesus as described, or not described, in the four Canonical Gospels. And we’re very fortunate today to have the Gospel-writers with us. Admittedly, none were actually present at the birth of Jesus, nor did any of them know him personally. But perhaps they can shed some light on the great Nativity Mystery. They’ve asked to be called by their pen-names, since they’ve forgotten who they really were. So please allow me to introduce Mark…

MARK : Shalom.

NARRATOR : Matthew…

MATTHEW : Greetings in the name of Christ the king.


LUKE : Down with the system.

NARRATOR : And John…

JOHN : The Father is known to the Son who is known to the Father.

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In celebration of the alignment of Simchat Torah and the Feast of St Francis we bring you…Moses & Francis in…Whose Day Is it?

(Written 2 October, 2007 for use on 4 October, 2007)

The Cast :

Setting : Today. MOSES is sitting at a table, doing a book-signing, with a stack of identical books beside him. There are animals on the stage, milling. FRANCIS walks on, sees MOSES, freaks out like a nerdy

FRANCIS : (Speaking very fast)
Holy Moses! Oh, man! I can”t believe it! I”m your biggest fan! I LOVED your five books. Actually I skipped the ones in the middle, but I LOVED the rest. Will you sign one for me?

Sure. Who should I make it out to?


MOSES : (While writing)
To…my…good…friend...Francis…Let my…people go…Moses. There you are.

Oh, and put the date.

Right. Um…and what”s today”s date again?

Saint Francis day, of course!

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