The Rose Came With Thorns - a Christmas Cantata
By Steve Tichenor
A woman who is unexpectedly pregnant and due on Christmas Day resents her
condition. She becomes reconciled as she discovers the Christmas story.
Songs are available for this script. See the foot of the script for details.
3 Wise Men
That Christmas Day (Opening)
(People come by the manger; choir comes in throughout song from everywhere
and takes seat in choir loft. Christmas scenes on projector - could be scenes
like the lighting of the National Christmas Tree, Times Square, busy city
streets, choirs singing at malls, Santa Claus, Christmas decorations, etc….)
Miriam: Yeah, yeah, look around, it's Christmas time!
Peace on Earth, Love, Joy….blah,blah, blah…. How 'bout a big ol' bah humbug
from yours truly. Oh I used to enjoy Christmas when I was a kid, but
that was years ago. And now here I am, 41 years old, kids almost grown,
the time of life when I could do some things just for myself and, voila,
I’m pregnant. Woop de Doo, tis the season to be PREGNANT!!! And the baby
is due December 25th. It’s just not fair. Oh I know everyone’s
excited. You’d think my husband would at least have the sense to be
upset, but he’s as excited as the kids.
(Mom and two little girls come up to the scene)
First Girl: Mommy, mommy look at this!
Mom: Oh yes, honey, that’s called a Nativity scene.
Little Girl: What’s a Nativity scene?
Mom: Nativity means the process of being born. Here we
see a scene portraying the birth of Jesus.
Second Girl: Really? Who are all these people?
Mom: Let’s see, here’s Mary, and Joseph, and three shepherds,
Little Girl: Come on, Mom, that’s enough of this, let’s
go to the pet store.
Second Girl: No, not the Pet Store, I NEED to go to the
Little Girl: The Pet Store!!
Second Girl: The mall!!!
Little Girl: The Pet Store!! The Pet Store!! The Pet Store!!
Mom: I think I’m just gonna go crazy!!
(Mom and girls exit, as Miriam watches and sighs)
Miriam: I know how she feels! I think I’m going there too.
Christmas is just two weeks away, so much to do, so little time. Everybody’s
so excited, why am I dreading it so?
(Spot light fades on Miriam comes up on Vocalist)
O Come, O Come Emanuel
(Bagpipes and Dancers Exit. Angels Rejoicing)
A New Song (Dancers)
(Spot comes up on Miriam)
Miriam: I must have been by this place a hundred times
in the last month. It’s a great location, I’ll give them that.
Maybe I’d appreciate it more if I weren’t so miserably HUGE!! Santa
Claus isn’t the only one with a big fat belly, at least he’s jolly!
(Drawing close to the Shepherd, she gets right up in Hosea’s face.)
Miriam: Wow, this really looks real!
Hosea: Of course it’s real! What do you think this is anyway,
a fairy tale?
(Miriam jumps back in shock)
Joe: Hey Hosea, take it easy on the lady would you!
As I recall, you had a few problems believing the reality of the situation
a little while ago.
Adam: That’s right Hoss, remember
what you said when we saw the angels.
Hoss: Ah shucks Adam, all I was saying was that
I didn’t know if we should go traipsing after angels and a star in the sky
when we should have been taking care of Pa’s sheep. You know how mad
he got last month when one of the lambs went missing?
Joe: I know, I know, but it all worked out ok. We
found that little lamb and brought him back safe and sound.
Hoss: That’s right lady, we found our little lambie, (Hoss,
coos and rocks the lamb)
Miriam: (sarcastically) Oh how sweet, you found your
little lamb! How thrilling! What a bonanza!
Adam: Lady, I don’t think you understand. These sheep are
our whole life and to lose just one is a big hit on our bottom line.
It was a big thing for us to leave the whole flock to find just one. What
if a wolf had come and killed them all, we’d be out of business. That’s
why it was such a big deal, leaving them and coming down here to see the
Joe: Yeah, we wanted to come and worship him, but if something
happened to those sheep Pa would have skinned us alive. They’d be hauling
our carcasses off in a cart….
Hoss: Yeah, you’re right about that little Joe, but then
we realized who we were going to see. The Messiah! That’s something
that don’t come around just every day! That’s when we all decided all at
once. We’d trust Jehovah’s angels to take care of our sheep. We would go,
and we did, so here we are!
Miriam: Oh brother, I must be losing it all together.
It must have been those pickles and ice cream at 3 am. This is so totally
weird; I’m beginning to think I’m time warped in some old TV series.
Joe: You thinking of something along the line of “Little
House on the Prairie”?
Adam: Nah, Joe, I think it’s more like
“Touched by an Angel”
(Miriam throws up her hands and walks off stage.)
Listen to the Angels
Glory to God
One Bright Star
(Miriam comes up to the manger and speaks to Joseph.)
Miriam: Would you look at this old fellow. Wonder what
his story is?
Joseph: Actually, dear one, you and I are a lot alike.
I was on up in years when some big changes took place in my life too.
When my sweet Mary came into my life, I had just about given up on marriage.
Then the matchmaker brought her to me. Such a lovely, sweet and pure
little flower! You can imagine how I felt when I found out that she was with
child. It was devastating. This was my last chance at a happy home
and I did love Mary very much. And then the angel visited me with the most
wondrous story. At first I thought that I must have imagined the whole
thing because I didn’t want to put my Mary away….
Miriam: Wait, what do you mean, put her away?
Joseph: Well, you see dear one, in our culture, being an
unwed mother was a very serious thing. Why the Law of Moses actually demanded
that such a one be stoned to death. My only option was to secretly divorce
Miriam: And when you saw an angel, you thought your
mind was playing tricks on you, right?
Joseph: Yes, at first I did, but deep down inside, as fantastic
as it seemed, I knew it was from the Lord. Oh, it was much more than
just my desire for Mary and my wish for a happy home. It became clear that
this was all part of Jehovah’s plan. This child would change the course
of history, no doubt about that. I felt a peace in all of that turmoil
and it only took a second for me to decide that yes, I would be the step
father of the child. I would obey and I would provide to the best of
my ability. Yes, Lord, as always, I say again, I Will!
(Wise men come dancing in at end of song.)
Miriam: Who are you guys. Where did you come from
and why are you here?
Wise One: We are three wise men, we’ve come from
Wise Two: We’ve come to see the child.
Wise Three: We’ve learned to follow God’s star, to obey
Wise One: We bring gold!
Wise Two: Frankincense!
Wise Three: And Myrrh! Yo! Break it down!
(Band reprises "I Will Jam" and the wise men dance off, placing their gifts
before the manger. House lights fade to black, spot comes back up on Mary
and house become quiet.)
Follow the Star
(After the song, Miriam tenderly looks towards Mary.)
Mary: Yes Miriam, we share many things, even
our names. I know this season of your life is difficult, but all of us who
have seen the star understand what is required of us. Following God’s
will is like following the star. When we see it, it provides the light
we need to follow the path that He lays before us.
Miriam: Oh, I just don’t know. At times, I’m just
so confused. You know I really am having a hard time with all of this.
Mary: Yes, I can see that you are. Like you, I’ve known
a few difficult times myself. When it comes to accepting this beautiful
bouquet from God’s hand, even though the roses have thorns, the sweet fragrance
of His love makes it all worth while.
Miriam: Yes, I guess you of all people have faced some
pretty frightening moments. How did you do it, how were you able to
accept it all? Did you every feel like just giving up?
Mary: Yes, I faced many sorrow and heartaches, and more,
but there was always a way through it. There was always the star, and
the rose, you just need to take one step at a time and always trust, always
Mary tenderly embraces Miriam as she quietly weeps
The Rose Came with Thorns
(Solo dance, during Dancer picks up rose. Replaces roses at the end of dance)
(Miriam rises from Mary’s embrace and looks down at the manger.)
Miriam: Something’s wrong here, I just can’t seem to understand what
(Miriam picks up the roses and holds them at arms length .)
Miriam: These roses sure are fragrant, and they are beautiful,
but these thorns! I just don’t know.
(She sets the roses back down into the manger.)
Have You Seen This Child?
(Miriam picks up the roses again and holds them to her breast.)
Miriam: Now I understand! The reason I have been
in such a bad mood and have hated this season so much is that my heart is
as empty as that manger. I need to say "I Will" too. I’ll embrace these
roses, even with the thorns. I know I need the baby, I
need the Savior…..Lord, please come into my heart.
Ten Little Fingers
Altar Song : How Deep the Father’ Love
Walking Off Segment
That Christmas Day
© 2003 Steve Tichenor, First Step Publishing, All Rights Reserved.
This script may be used free of charge, provided no charge is made for entrance
to the performance. In return, the author would like to be told of any performance.
He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Songs are available at http://www.stichenor.com/stichenor/Christmas/christmas.htm