CRIB SERVICE 2010
It is a delight to welcome you.
Turn to neighbour and say: 'It's lovely to see you. Thank you for coming. It would not have been the same without you'.
Light Christmas candle
O little town of Bethlehem
Narrator: I would like to introduce you to Sat and Urn. They come from Mercury. Sat only speaks Merc-ish, but Urn is clever. He speaks Merc-ish and Earth-ish. They have come to visit us, and they would like to ask us a question,
Urn: who is the most important person who has been born on the Earth?
Narrator: that's very easy. The most important person who has been born on Earth was Jesus. He was born as a baby 2000 years ago, and he came to be God’s ruler not only of Earth, but of the whole universe. And he was God’s ruler then; he is God’s ruler now; and he will be God’s ruler for all time. He defeated sin and he defeated death.
Sat: gobbledygook (long)
Sat: gobbledygook (short)
Urn: So where was he born? He must have had an amazing palace
Narrator: Um, actually he was born in a .. cowshed
Urn: But what did he wear? If he is such an important ruler, he must have worn fantastic clothes.
Narrator: He had nothing. He was wrapped in a bit of linen.
Urn: You humans are strange. In our world, really important people live in amazing palaces, and they wear fantastic clothes.
Narrator: This is complicated. We’ll tell you the story.
There was a King. He was called Herod (Herod goes to throne half way down aisle). Herod was a VIP. He was also a Vicious Individual Person. He was a "nasty man". What was he? "A nasty man?! In fact, he should have been called Horrid, not Herod.
Herod thought he was important. Very important. He did live in an amazing palace, and he wore fantastic clothes. In fact he thought he was the most important person in the world.
Herod: I am the most important person in the world.
But Herod was very scared that other people would want to become the most important person in the world. And so Herod had some henchmen and their job was to make sure that nobody else became more important than Herod. (Bring out henchmen who surround Herod).
(sign up saying:
But I would like to introduce you to another person. Her name was Mary. Can we have Mary. (Mary on stage) She was not important. In fact she was very ordinary.
But an angel, called Gabriel (Gabriel on stage) appeared to Mary, and told her "Mary you are going to become the mother of the most important person ever. He will be God's Son. You will call his name Jesus, because he will save people from their sins; he will defeat death and he will reign for ever."
Song: I have come with special news
Mary believed God even though what he said was impossible for her and, just as the angel said, Mary became pregnant.
Now because Mary was nobody special she had to do what other people told her to do. There was an order that everyone had to go to the town where they came from, to be counted. Now Mary was married to Joseph and Joseph came from
Bethlehem - so Mary and Joseph had to travel from Nazareth to . And since, in those days, they did not have cars or buses or trains or aeroplanes or spaceships, they had to go by donkey. Bethlehem
Song: Little donkey (during which Mary and Joseph and donkey walk to back of church and back to stage)
(sign up saying:
When Mary and Joseph reach
, the town was so full of people that there was no room for them. Bethlehem
Eventually an innkeeper saw that Mary was very pregnant, took pity on them and said, "You can stay in my cowshed". And because baby Jesus was born that night, he was born in the cowshed; and because Joseph and Mary had nothing, they had to wrap baby Jesus in strips of cloth.
Song: Mary, had a little baby or The virgin Mary had a baby boy (during carol ask angels, shepherds, sheep, wisemen, kings, stars etc to go to the back of the church)
Now there were shepherds in the fields watching over their sheep. The angels came to them, and told them (someone needs to hand an angel (possibly Gabriel) the radio mic), "The most important person who will ever live has been born. He has come to be God’s ruler on Earth. He will defeat sin and death, and he will rule for ever. You will find this baby in a stable and wrapped in strips of cloth"
And the shepherds believe the angels. So they say, (radio mic) "Let's go to
to see this special baby". (Shepherds, sheep etc to front of church) Bethlehem
It was on a starry night (during singing of carol shepherds, sheep etc to front of church)
A long way away, some wise man saw a star. They knew the star meant that the most important person had been born. So they followed the star, and the star led them to
. Now they thought that the most important person in the world must be born in a palace and must wear rich clothes. So they go to the person who has the palace and who has the fine clothes: King Herod. Israel
(wise men and star go to Herod)
See him lying
Now Herod was a nasty man (boo!), and when he heard that the most important person had been born he got very upset. No, very upset. He said, "I am the most important person in the world. I don’t want anyone to be more important than me. If I kill this baby, I will still be the most important person in the world". So he said to the wise men, “You go and find where this baby is. Tell me, so that I can come and worship him".
But he didn’t want to worship him; he wanted to kill him (boo!)
So the wise men continue on their journey, they followed the star, and it led them to
and to baby Jesus. And although other people thought that the wise men were important, they knew that this baby was far more important than them. And so they kneel down, and gave him precious gifts. Bethlehem
(wise men follow the star to stable. When all assembled, sing)
Song: Away in a manger
That is not quite the end of the story. God told the wise men in a dream not to go back to Herod, and they didn’t go back to Herod. So Herod didn’t know which baby was God’s baby. That made him even more angry. I am very very angry. He sent his henchmen to kill the baby, but Mary and Joseph were warned by God and they took baby Jesus and they managed to escape.
(sign up saying: Bury St Edmunds)
Urn: But Herod is the one with the fine palace, the fine clothes and the henchmen. Isn’t he more important than Jesus?
Narrator: That’s the point. Herod has everything. The baby Jesus has nothing. But God has spoken and God has said that this baby who has nothing is, in fact, the one who is his Son and who will be ruler of the world. And Mary and Joseph and the shepherds and the wise men believe what God has said.
Urn: Does everyone on Earth accept Jesus as the most important person who ever lived? Do you all accept him as your ruler?
Narrator: No, we don’t. Most of the time we are like Herod. We want to be like Herod with a fantastic house, fine clothes and we want to think, ‘I am the most important person in the world’. To accept Jesus as our ruler, we have to be prepared to be like Mary, the shepherds and wisemen. We need to realise that we are not the most important person in the world, we need to listen to God and believe what he says about Jesus. And then we need to be prepared to kneel before him and worship him.
So let’s pray:
Final song: At the first hour of Christmas