JOURNEY TO BETHLEHEM

This was shared by Donna C.
I wrote this script for a Christmas activity we did about 5 years ago. We live in Southern California, so our weather in December allows an outside activity. But you could adapt this to all activities inside your building..
We had so much fun. The night was cool and we had a great time “walking to Bethlehem.” It was wonderful to “meet” Joseph & Mary, a couple from the Young Adult Ward. She was on a donkey we borrowed from a member here. It was interesting to see what the families packed to take. We had lots of water bottles and we were hoping they would pack some. Some people did and some didn’t. When Joseph asked if anyone had something for his sweet Mary to drink, it was wonderful to see little children handing their bottled water to Mary. Those who did not pack water were disappointed they did not have something to offer.
We have a nice grassy area out back of our parking lot, so there was plenty of room for the Shepherds and the Angel. The families really got into the evening and seemed to enjoy the experience. Refreshments were simple, desserts and punch (of course).
In order to keep the reverence, we put Santa in the Primary room and those who wanted to visit with him simply went in there after there after the program was over. We had a lot of fun with this and it really helped us to “feel” something of that sacred event.

Donna


JOURNEY TO BETHLEHEM

Narrator comes to mic to welcome & introduce program.
Welcome Brothers & Sisters!.
We are excited about this sacred time of year and the opportunity to share it with those we love. We would like to (interruption)…………….
Man enters & interrupts the speaker to make his announcement..
Enters from West side of Cultural Hall: (man)
“Hear Ye! Hear Ye! Behold, citizens of the kingdom of Caesar Augustus. A decree to all ye citizens of Nazareth.. By supreme order of the esteemed Caesar Augustus – all are to return to the city of their birth for taxation of the kingdom. As all present are of the house and lineage of David, all are to prepare to return to the city of Bethlehem to be registered.
Preparations are to begin at once for the journey. Citizens will travel in families. Those without families will be taken in and cared for by others.. Care will be taken to see that all are provided for. The company will be divided into 2 Caravans – each with a captain. Caravan #1 will depart immediately while those assigned to caravan #2 will remain behind to secure livestock
and buildings within the city.
Those on this side – (Waves right hand. This will be caravan #1) will be Caravan #1 – will gather their families together, take your warm cloaks and report to your preparation area at once.
Bro. & Sister _______ are the captains of this group and lead them quickly to the Primary Room.
Those on this side – (Waves left hand. This will be caravan #2) will be caravan #2 – will gather their families together, take your warm cloaks and report to your preparation area at once.
Bro. & Sister _______ are the captains of this group and lead them quickly to the Multi-Purpose Room
Preparation Rooms:
Each Family will be given a piece of muslin & two feet of twine and asked to gather necessary items.
Items in the baskets will be: bananas, grapes, blankets, water, rolls and misc. items.
Each group is given 10 minutes to pack, put on their coats and be ready for departure.
Caravan #1: Departs through the front door and heads along the sidewalk going East.
Caravan #2: Departs 15 minutes after caravan #1.
__________
Journey:
Out the front door, to the sidewalk, turn right heading East.
Right turn down the driveway heading South. As they approach the side door to the building they are greeted by travelers heading to their home city.
Station #1: Caravan to Nazareth
(Travelers: you will need about 9 people maybe husband and wives)
Travelers greet the caravan:
Traveler 1: “Greetings friends. For which city are ye bound?
________(response)
We are bound for Nazareth, the city of our birth. We see that you are coming from Nazareth. How long have you been traveling? _____________(response)
What think ye of this taxing? ________________(response)
We have been delayed in our journey and fear the city may be too crowded when we arrive.
In what condition did you leave the city?_________________(response)
Traveler 2: We have been traveling for many days and have exhausted our food supply. Have ye anything that ye might be willing to share?
Traveler 3: Surely our little ones have need of nourishment. They are weary from the journey, have you, anyone, a small morsel to spare? ________________(response)
(Traveler 3 moves through the crowd asking for food and water for her family.)
Thank you. Thank you. Surely you shall be blessed.
Traveler 4: Come, we must continue on lest we arrive too late and are find we are without lodging.

As they move through Caravan #1 they greet/talk to/ etc. those in the caravan. The group hurries on up the driveway and turns left at the sidewalk. They walk to the front of the building, wait until Caravan #1 is out of site and take their original place before the arrival of Caravan #2. (they can wait inside the building by the Seminar Rooms until caravan #2 approaches).
Station #2: Mary & Joseph
Caravan #1 continues down the driveway to the grass. As they approach, Mary & Joseph come around the corner and approach the caravan.
Joseph: ” Greetings fellow travelers. We rejoice at the sight of your caravan. Our journey will take us to the City of Bethlehem, as we are of the house & lineage of David. Mary is great with child and weary from the journey. I have traveled slowly and allowed Mary to rest, lest she be overcome with exhaustion, and so we have fallen behind the group with whom we were
traveling. We have given of our portion to feed others whom we have passed and we find that we are without enough sustenance for the remainder of our journey. Is there someone among you who would be willing to share a piece of bread and
perhaps a small cup full of water for my Mary? _______________(response)
For that which ye have done, ye shall be greatly blessed. Joseph leads Mary past the caravan and on toward the front of the building..
Caravan #1 continues on toward the campfire (Shepherds).
When caravan #2 leaves the campfire, Joseph & Mary return to their place for caravan #2.
Station #3: The Shepherds
Caravan #1 approaches the campfire.
Captain: Behold ye in the camp!
Shepherd #1: Enter the camp and be welcome.
Captain: We are traveling to Bethlehem for the taxing and are weary from the journey. May we rest for a season with you?
Shepherd #2: All are welcome. Come and partake.
Shepherd #3 Our flocks are abiding in the fields this night. This is our time of rest and refreshment. Tomorrow we shall move the flocks to another field.
Captain: We have traveled for a season and have found the countryside teaming with weary travelers, all heading for the city of their birth. There is much excitement in the air and much displeasure with the taxing. This is a great inconvenience and there is much sorrow among the people.
Shepherd #1: Yes, we have also heard the unsettling news. There is much to ponder these days.
Angel of the Lord Appears : (we had him stand on a small classroom table that was tied against the block wall out back, and had a small light clamped to the table so that it shown on him. He had a remove control to turn the light
on. It was outside and dark, so the effect was amazing.)
Shepherds act afraid.
Angel: Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.” “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”
Shepherd #2: “Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. Look!! (points to sky) We shall follow the new star to find the Savior!
Shepherd #3: Come, we must go at once. (Shepherds hurry off).
Captain: Let us not tarry any longer. We also must hurry on to Bethlehem..

Caravan #1 continues on up the driveway:
Station #4: The Wise Men (they came around the corner from behind the wall along the west side of the church property)
Wise Man #1: Greetings.
Caravan: “greetings”
Wise Man #2: Where is he that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.
Captain: “We also have seen the star. We are traveling to Bethlehem for the registration and have nearly completed our journey. Perhaps we shall find our answers when we arrive in the city.
Wise Man #3: Let us also follow the star that we might offer our gifts to the new King.
Wise men hurry off.
Caravan turns right on the sidewalk and heads back into the building.
They are stopped at the door by innkeeper who tells them there is no room left.
Captain begs for a small place of rest for his company.
Innkeeper : Perhaps there is room out back in the stable. Take your travelers but do not disturb my other visitors. Make haste and be off!
Captain leads the group into the Primary Room or Multi-Purpose Room. They remove coats, etc.
Captain: Weary travelers. Ye have come seeking a place of refuge and rest, even to the city of Bethlehem. Ye may remove your cloaks and find rest until our quarters are made ready. The innkeeper is preparing a place for us in the stable.
When caravan #2 arrives in Multi-purpose Room Captain gives them the same message.
Cultural Hall:
Curtains are closed and lights are dimmed.
Manger is set up on floor in front of stage on platform.
Piano music is softly playing
Caravans are split and enter cultural hall from all 4 doors at once.
All sit on the floor in front of the manger.
Narrator Reads from the Scriptures.
Book of Mormon: (West side of stage)

And . . I beheld that she was carried away in the Spirit; and after she had been carried away in the Spirit for the space of a time . . I beheld the virgin again, bearing a child in her arms and the angel said unto me: Behold the Lamb of God, yea even the Son of the Eternal Father

(Nephi abt 600 BC, 1 Nephi 11:13-21)

*But. behold, they did watch steadfastly for that day and that night and that day which should be as one day as if there were no night, that they might know that their faith had not been vain.

Now it came to pass that there was a day set apart by the unbelievers, that all those who believed in those traditions should be put to death except the sign should come to pass, which had been given by Samuel the prophet.

Now it came to pass that when Nephi, the son of Nephi, saw this wickedness of his people his heart was exceedingly sorrowful.

And it came to pass that he went out and bowed himself down upon the earth, and cried mightily to his God in behalf of his people, yea, those who were about to be destroyed because of their faith in the tradition of their fathers.

And it came to pass that he cried mightily unto the Lord all that day; and behold, the voice of the Lord came unto him, saying:

Lift up your head and be of good cheer; for behold, the time is at hand, and on this night shall the sign be given, and on the morrow come I unto the world, to show unto the world that I will fulfill all that which I have caused to be spoken by the mouth of my holy prophets.

And it came to pass that the words which came unto Nephi were fulfilled, according as they had been spoken; for behold, at the going down of the sun there was no darkness;

And it came to pass, yea, all things, every whit, according to the words of the prophets.

And it came to pass also that a new star did appear, according to the word.
Bible: (East side of stage)

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem . . .

To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them; and they were sore afraid

And the angel said unto them, *Fear not; for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

And this shall be a sign unto you; ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.*

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

*Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.*

And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

And whey they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.

And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

But, Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
~ Luke 2:1-19
Mary’s Lullaby: (behind curtain on stage)
Chorister: Let us join in singing
Chorister:
Pianist:
All sing:
Away In A Manger – all verses
Silent Night – all verses
person in charge of: Staging of Caravans
person in charge of: Placement at the manger
person in charge of: Manger construction
person in charge of: Sound & Lighting
person in charge of: Costumes
person in charge of: Props