Introduce a reading of this scripture with this short drama.
One: Hey there, (name), what are you reading?
Two: I’m reading the Christmas story in the Bible.
One: Great story, isn’t it! I love it. I’ve seen like a zillion pageants – I love to see it every year.
Two: (hesitantly) Yeah, but…
One: What do you mean, “but”?
Two: Well, this story in the Bible isn’t quite the story I’m used to from pageants and Christmas cards.
One: What are you talking about? That’s where all the pageants come from!
Two: Yeah, I know. But there are things in the biblical version that aren’t what you might expect in a Christmas-pageant version.
One: Like what?
Two: Well, there’s an element of, um, scandal in the whole thing. You know, unwed mother and all that.
Two: And the whole “inn” thing – it’s not in there!
One: What? Of course it is! There’s an innkeeper and everything. Mary and Joseph went to a bunch of hotels and no one had any room for them. I know that’s in there.
Two: That’s just the thing – it isn’t. They didn’t have inns in those days. And besides, people always stayed with family when they travelled.
One: So there’s no inn?
Two: Nope. No donkey and ox either.
Two: And the angels – apparently they don’t fly.
One: Oh come on!
Two: They don’t. No angel in the Bible has wings. In fact, they look just like you and me.
One: Whoa. You’re totally throwing me off my game here. Next thing I suppose you’ll tell me is that the three kings weren’t real.
Two: You got it! They’re not in this story, and they weren’t kings at all – they were astrologers, who studied the stars.
One: Wait! This is a lot to take in. I need to go off and think about this for a moment. (One begins to leave.)
Two: Wait! Don’t you want to stay and hear the story?
One: I guess I’d better.
Two reads Luke 2:1–20 from any translation except the King James Version, which tends to mistranslate some of the key pieces.