Stumbling Stone

 By Christin Kuck


The paradoxical birth of Christ has been a stumbling stone to people for centuries. The Ruler of the universe coming to earth in the form of a helpless baby has to be explained away in order to make room for our own human comprehension. But at what cost?


1 Corinthians 1:20-25



Props: Basket of oranges, basket of linens, clay jar



(It is the Town Square in Bethlehem a few days after the birth of Christ.)

Tamar: (waving orange toward stage right) You boys try stealing my fruit again and I'll have you whipped in the center of the town square! Rabble rousers! Uhhh!

(Miriam enters stage left carrying a basket of white linens.)

Miriam: Thomas' sons causing problems again.

Tamar: With a drunken father like that what's to be expected.

Miriam: So I see you've heard the latest news, too.

Tamar: The incident down at the well? Who hasn't. I see you finished your wash early today.

Miriam: (preens) But of course. My wash is always done early.

Tamar: You didn't happened to hear anything else about the stable incident have you.

Miriam: (Looks left, looks right.) Well, as a matter of fact.....

Tamar: Well? Don't just stand there. Spill it!

Miriam: (Move's closer) We had visitors last night. My husband's cousin three times removed. It seems he knows someone, who knows someone from Nazareth.

Tamar: Isn't that where the couple in the stable are from?

Miriam: Uh, huh! I hear tell those two have a dubious past. In particular, the wife.

Tamar: Tell me more!

Miriam: Well, it seems they were only just recently married. And you know what that means.

Tamar: No!

Miriam: Yes!

Tamar: I'm no scholar but even I can figure out that math!

Miriam: When the husband discovered she was with child he was going to put her away privately, but for some reason he married her instead. He'll be sorry. Women like that never change.

Tamar: You can be sure of that. But listen, I heard some interesting news as well. But you mustn't repeat this to anyone.

Miriam: (crossing fingers behind back) No! Of course not!

Tamar: You know John, Saul's son?

Miriam: The shepherd?

Tamar: That's the one. Well, seems he and his brothers were up in the fields the night that hussy delivered her baby. They said they saw a multitude of angels who told them to go to town and see the baby.

Miriam: Angels! Ohhh. Come on. They must have eaten some rotten meat

Tamar: Either that or they had one too many sips from the wine skins. But anyway, these angels told them this baby was the Messiah! Can you believe that?

Miriam: Ridiculous!

Tamar: That's what I said. Our Messiah, born of a trollop in a stable. Ha!

Miriam: I don't know how Elizabeth can stand to keep them under her roof! She must have heard the gossip.

Tamar: Oh you know mightier-than-thou Elizabeth. Even if she did hear the gossip, she would have to pretend she didn't just to save face.

Elizabeth enters with a jar of water and begins crossing stage.

Tamar: And speaking of Elizabeth, there she goes. Acting as if she didn't see us.

Miriam: Yes. The nerve of her! (Calls out) Ohhhh Eliiiizabeeeeeth. Yoohoo. Over here.

Elizabeth: (looks over and sighs, but walks back to women.) Shalom Tamar, Miriam.

Tamar: We were just talking about your visitors.

Elizabeth: Perez and I are over run with relatives right now. What with Ceasar's stupid census. Which visitors are you speaking about.

Miriam: We were talking about the visitors in your stable. Imagine living among the cattle like common animals.

Elizabeth: Actually, Joseph and Mary are very nice. I was glad we could help them out, even if it was just offering the stable. Joseph has been helping Perez fix the roof. He's a carpenter you know.

Tamar and Miriam: Yes, we know.

Tamar: Actually we've heard some news about this Mary and once you hear it you might want to send that couple on their way.

Elizabeth: I've already hear the vicious gossip circulating about Mary and frankly I don't need to hear it from you, too.

Tamar: It's not gossip. It came straight from Miriam's husband's third cousin three times removed, who happens to know a fellow from Nazareth.

Elizabeth: And is he related to Mary or Joseph?

Miriam: Weeeeellll, no. Not that I know of.

Elizabeth: Then how can he possibly know anything for sure about them. Just like I said, it's gossip. Mary is very nice. And there's something special about that baby.

Tamar: Special. What do you mean?

Elizabeth: Haven't you notice that bright star that has been hanging up in the sky ever since the babe was born?

Miriam: Don't tell us you're buying that story from those crazy shepherds. This child couldn't possibly be the Messiah. Born to a peasant carpenter and a woman of obvious questionable background.

Elizabeth: I know what I know. I was there when he was born. This is no ordinary child.

Tamar: Oh, I get it. This is an obvious attempt to raise yourself in stature. (mimicking Elizabeth) The Messiah was born in my stable. Really, Elizabeth. You should try to be more inventive. Who would believe a cockamamie story like that!

Elizabeth: I don't care if either of you believe it or not. I know what I've seen. Now, I need to get back to my chores. (Begins to walk off, then turns back) Oh yes. And be careful of the stones when you leave the courtyard, lest you stumble.

Miriam: Now that was an odd thing to say. What do you think she meant by that?

Tamar: Shrugs.


© Christin J. Kuck - 1999. All rights reserved. This script may not be altered without permission from the copyright holder. This script may be freely copied and distributed, providing it is done so in its entirety. This copyright notice and the performance license information must be reproduced on all copies of the script.


No performance is permitted unless a copy of the script is licensed to at least one member of the cast OR licensed to the drama group, theatre company or organization performing the sketch. Lincense can be obtained by forwarding a check made out to Christin Kuck in the amount of $5.00 US to 13341 86th Avenue, Seminole, FL 33776. An original licensed hard copy will be mailed upon receipt of check. Christin Kuck can be reached by email at