by Kenneth B. Kemper, President, Grace Bible College
Characters: Dad – Ron Jones, the father of the Christian Family; Mom – Marilyn Jones, the mother and consummate Christian worker; Amanda – the 15-year old daughter committed to performance; Jimmy – the 6-year old little brother doing as told and wanting to serve as well.
Sunday afternoon in the Jones home between the front room, kitchen, and entryway. Football game can be heard on T.V.
Mom: Ron, will you please turn that off and get the car ready.
Dad: Now? What’s the rush, honey?
Mom: Oh, Ron, you haven’t been paying attention, it’s past 4 o’clock. Our final rehearsal for the Christmas Program starts at 4:30. You know it’s been snowing. I’ll call Amanda and get Jimmy bundled up, and… and I’ve got to get all the decorations I picked out into the car too! Amanda! Are you ready to go? Amanda!
Amanda: Okay, Mom. I was on the phone with Jen; she’s upset because she didn’t get one of the solo parts in the Christmas program. She’s thinkin’ Melanie just doesn’t have a nice voice, but I think Melanie sings that part in “Little Town of Bethlehem” just fine…what do you think mom?
Mom: I think we need to get out the door…Jimmy put your gloves on, too. It’s so cold out there!
Dad: Ah, but no one can sing it like you, Princess! You, Amanda, will probably be on American Idol someday!
Jimmy: I would never want to sing in front of those silly T.V. people and act like they do, dad!
Mom: Ron! I need you to…
Dad: I’m out the door and the car will be ready in 60 seconds! Clock’s running! (Dad goes out closing the door behind him)
Mom: (Delivers this line to the door) Take some of these decorations please, there’s too much for just me to carry! (Turns to Amanda as she goes to put her coat on as well) Amanda, you can take some out. (Exhales) Jimmy, I think you might be right about those T.V. people.
Amanda: (As she puts her coat on) Oh, wouldn’t that be something… me on T.V. someday. You’d like that, wouldn’t you little Jim-Jim, your big sis being famous?
Jimmy: I’m not “little” – I’m 6 years old now and go to school. (Turns to Mom). Mom, what’s my part in the Christmas play?
Amanda: “Baaaaaaaa!” You’re one of the woolly sheep – along with the other little boys. Except for Brad, he is too big to be a sheep, so he’s a cow. (laughs)
Mom: Amanda, you be careful how you talk about Brad, you could hurt his feelings!
Jimmy: Yeah, he’s my friend, even if he’s a 3rd grader and big enough to be in Junior High. He’s an awesome football player – he might be on T.V. someday too!
Mom: Let’s get out to the car, kids. Jim-Jim, Jimmy, Jim, carry these decorations; Amanda, do you have your dress for rehearsal and the music you’ve been practicing?
Amanda: Yeah, got ‘em mom. Oh, it’s freezing, let’s run for it! (She dashes out to the car.)
Mom: I’ll lock up, see you in the car kids…Scoot, Jim-Jim-Jimmy-Jim!
They all race out the door through the snow to the car and scramble to get inside with their arms full.
The Jones family seated in the car driving to church to make it for rehearsal.
Mom: I hope Elizabeth brought those red ribbons the Decorations Committee decided on, to put on all the wreaths and trees – all the ladies agreed with me that it would look so nice. Oh, and I hope she got the velvety ones, not those shiny plastic ones. I just hate that cheap, flashy look… but love the soft, subtle look of the velvety ones, don’t you agree Ron?
Dad: Ahhhh…yes dear…as I’ve said a hundred times, you have incredible taste, Marilyn – after all, you chose ME, didn’t you? You know, I was really hoping to see the Bears game this afternoon. I forgot we had this practice. Hey, I could just drop you and the kids off and still see the game. You could…ah…tell ‘em I just wasn’t up to it. After all, you “volunteered” me to sing with Bill and Aaron. I know they can do it alone without me!
Mom: Ron, you’re singing “We Three Kings!” There must be three of you!
Dad: Well, can’t they just change a few words?
Amanda: Our Sunday School teacher taught on the wise men and said we really don’t know how many wise men there were, because the Bible doesn’t say – it just says that there were three gifts, so people imagine there were three wise men! I think maybe there were five…or even six!
Jimmy: Really? That would mean so many Christmas cards and posters are all lying! Mom, is that true? ‘Cuz I drew some cards with a picture of three kings!
Mom: Jimmy, don’t worry – there were three kings and your dad is one of them tonight!
Dad: If I were a king, I could decide where I needed to be and when!
Mom: Oh, so you want to be “crowned,” your highness? That can be arranged!
Amanda: Oooh, zing! Good one mom!
Jimmy: If dad is king, that makes me a prince – does a prince get crowned too? ‘Cuz if dad gets one, I want one too!
Amanda: Jimmy, you’re a woolly sheep, remember? But we could go to Burger King after the Christmas program tomorrow night and get you a crown if you really need one!
Jimmy: Is that where the three kings will be?
Dad: Maybe in one of those “misadventure meals” or something! I guess I’ll get home in time to see the football highlights tonight. Will we get to sample the cookies tonight?
Mom: No Ron, those are for tomorrow night on Christmas Eve! You can wait one more day!
Jimmy: I need to finish decorating my Christmas ornaments. Mom, do we have time later tonight? I need to give them away to people at the program.
Mom: We can finish those up in the morning Jimmy. The glitter and glue will still dry in time.
Dad: So, no food tonight?
Mom: There will be the sub sandwiches for the youth mission trip at church we can buy for $3 each. We’ll each get one of those.
Amanda: Adam, the youth pastor, says we’ve raised over $1000 for the Mexico missions trip over Spring Break. Too bad I can’t go because I’m in the school play and will be rehearsing for my important part in Cinderella – it does sound like a fun trip!
Dad: (Sarcastically) Yeah, going to Mexico, living in tents, fighting off cockroaches, building pit toilets in the hot sun for a school sounds like my idea of a great vacation!
Mom: Ron, it’s ministry – it’s not supposed to be fun! Like our pastor was saying this morning, we please the Lord by working to help people. That’s why I volunteer to do all of these decorations and make this year’s Christmas program a great production…after last year’s debacle!
Jimmy: I liked last year’s, when we went out to sing to the people at the mission and bring food and clothes to them. I was kinda scared at first, but those people were so nice and happy we came.
Mom: But only twenty-five people showed up – our worst Christmas program ever! This year, we have over sixty people just practicing and decorating tonight for our big show tomorrow – it will be quite the production and the church will be packed, probably over 200 people! All the parents and grandparents will have cameras and camcorders!
Dad: I just love the candles when they turn the lights down low – our church is so pretty!
Amanda: Will it be recorded? I mean, when I sing my solo, can I get a copy to put on Facebook and upload to YouTube? That would be so cool!
Jimmy: Baaaaaa! Baaaaa!
Dad: Hey Jimmy, let’s upload that, too!
Jimmy: And get our crowns loaded too at Burger King!
Dad: (Laughs) I love it! Here we are kids…. I’ll just drop you all at the door and go park the car because it’s still snowing and I don’t…
Mom: And then come in for practice, Mr. Valet! I’m making no excuses for a rogue, runaway wise guy!
Dad: Okay, see you in a minute – but I want to check the score first, since I haven’t really seen any football at all today… well, just the Lions.
Mom: See you inside!
The car doors slam; mom and kids make a run for the church door with their arms full. Dad parks the car; and they participate in rehearsal.
Next day (Christmas Eve), back in the car after the finish of the Christmas Program en route home.
Mom: Oh, my… I am exhausted! But what a crowd and what a production!
Amanda: So many people came up to me afterwards during the refreshments and told me that my song was the best part of the whole program! Oh, that was so fun, but I wish the spotlight had been more focused on me when I sang, instead of so broad and dispersed.
Dad: You did wonderful, Princess – I wish I could say the same for our “We Three Stooges” – or ah, I mean “Kings,” number.
Jimmy: I thought that was funny, Dad, how you guys started and stopped and sang different words!
Mom: Oh, it was fine honey; and weren’t the decorations and goodies wonderful? We worked so hard to make it just right – do you think the people noticed how nice it was?
Amanda: I heard someone say, “It must have cost a fortune to do all that, where did the money come from this year?”
Mom: That’s because we didn’t want some low-budget fiasco this year. I think it was just lovely.
Dad: It was beautiful, Marilyn, just beautiful. Where were you after the program, Jimmy? I didn’t see you.
Jimmy: I was finding all the people and giving them my handmade Christmas ornaments!
Mom: Yes, Jimmy, but many people were at the food tables talking with us and you weren’t there!
Jimmy: No, I was only giving them to people who I thought needed some Christmas cheer. Let’s see, I gave ornaments to the Thompsons, the Martins, and one to old Mrs. Galbraith, and Mary Ellen. I see them most weeks and no one ever talks with them.
Mom: (Nervous little laugh) I don’t even know who all those people are, Jimmy. Were they all there tonight?
Jimmy: Of course they were, and every one of them gave me a big hug and told me they will put my present on their tree and treasure it! It’s fun to give a gift to someone who really needs it and appreciates it! I also gave an ornament to Mrs. Wheeler – her husband is in an old people’s home. And to Mr. Riley, because his wife died last spring and he never looks very happy anymore. That lady you call Shirley wasn’t on my list, but she saw me giving a gift to Mr. Riley, so I went over to her and gave her an ornament, too – did you know that she got divorced last month, Mom?
Dramatic pause. Dad, Mom, Amanda have looks of astonishment. Jimmy has put on a Burger King crown as he amuses himself and begins quietly humming, “We Three Kings.”
Dad: (With profound amazement) Jimmy, you are something else. I’m so glad you gave something to those folks!
Mom: (Slightly defensive) You know what? we all did (searching for a word) something tonight… didn’t we? (With new awareness) Jimmy, I’m also glad…showing us all how we can serve.
Amanda: (Confused) We served, didn’t we? Isn’t God pleased with us?
Dad: Well… the Bible says… (after a few attempted starts) God looks at the heart, and He is the one who knows for sure.(Jimmy has been amusing himself this whole time and is still humming, Dad looks at crown) Let’s get home and remember God’s gift to us – the baby Jesus who came and served in the supreme way!
With that, the Jones Family breaks into singing “We Three Kings.”