BY Andre A. A. Lederer

©1999, 2000, 2001







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Setting:  In Simeon’s kitchen, Sarah is kneading dough at the table when a loud distinct knock is heard at the door. Sarah walks over to the door and opens it. Laban: waltzes into the room and makes himself at home,  sitting down on a chair at the table.


Laban:           Good morning Sarah!


 [Sarah is very leery when talking with Laban as she is aware of his unsavory character]   [Laban takes a bun without asking and eats it impolitely]


Sarah:              Oh, good morning Laban


Laban:           Busy at work again are you?


Sarah:            Well you know, things need to get done. Speaking of which, Shouldn't you be at...


Laban:... Work? [Laban leans back in his chair and puts his bare feet on the table close to where Sarah is kneading her dough. Sarah gives a disgusted look and moves her dough over] Ah… work just wears people out and makes them miserable. Besides, with this recession, [Laban places his hand on his heart]I feel it's my duty as a good citizen to let another less fortunate individual than myself take the job that would have fallen to me... [Pause] Say, Where's Simeon?


Sarah:            He's in the den studying.


Laban:           He's not still worrying about that Messiah stuff is he? All of the thinking and praying he does is going to make him crazy!


Sarah:            He's not worried about the Messiah, Laban. He's waiting for the Messiah to come. He's been waiting and thinking about it all his life.  [Sarah being caught up in the moment forgets who she’s talking to and continues…] Even last year he had received a message from God that said he would not die until he had seen the Messiah.


Laban:           [laughing] Oh now I've heard it all, God is now speaking to him is he? And God promised he'll see the Messiah before he dies? Well, I hope the Messiah comes soon, Simeon isn't getting any younger you know! [laughing, getting up and grabbing another roll]  Well, I've gotta go... [Laban begins to walk toward the door but then stops suddenly in his tracks and turns around and says…] Oh wait, I think here a voice, yes, yes, its Uncle Benjamin, he wants me to come help him sample his wine. [leaves laughing]


Sarah begins to kneed the dough again and gradually gets rougher and begins to smack it on the table while she says...

Sarah:            [Mimicking Laban]  ...working just makes people miserable...[throws the dough hard on the table then mimicking Laban again]  Simeon isn't getting any younger you know... [Smacks the dough more]  Why did I open my mouth... some people ... fools!

Simeon emerges from the back room puts his hand on Sarah's shoulder...

Simeon:         I'm sorry Sarah, I didn't know that God's message to me would cause you trouble...

Sarah:            It's not your fault, I should not have thrown my pearls to that...

Simeon: Foolish young man...Sarah, I don't know why God told me what he did and why he has allowed me of all men to see the Messiah. He is truly a mysterious and gracious God.


Someone knocks on the door with the same distinct knock as Laban. Sarah, thinking it's Laban again, opens the door abruptly and begins to shout...


Sarah: Why don't you find a job (open door) ... Rabbi... Oh, I'm sorry, I thought you were...ah, what I mean is… please, do come in. Would you like to have a bun?


Sarah mistakenly grabs the bowl of dough instead of the tray of buns and offers it to the Rabbi... she quickly puts the bowl back down and grabs the buns.


Rabbi: No thank you, I just finished a ceremonial hand washing and I'd have to do it all over again. Besides, I wasn't planning on staying more than a few minutes. I just came by to speak with Simeon.


Simeon: Oh, what can I do for you Rabbi?


Rabbi: Well Simeon, I've been wondering about your health, are you feeling



Simeon:  Well aside from my bunions and my achy joints I'm doing ok.

Why do you ask?


Rabbi: It's just that I've heard that you have been telling people that you believe the Messiah will come soon, I feel that you are raising their expectations too high. Simeon, you are really not in a position to be a teacher of God's people.


Simeon: But the reading's from God's word that I have heard in the synagogue... I've been thinking about them for years. The book of Daniel tells us that from after the exile until the time the Christ is cut off will be...


Rabbi: I'm sorry Simeon, but I must cut you off now... are you now going to begin to teach me too? Do you not know the years of studying us scholars have put into the scriptures?  We know the Messiah will come and that he will save us from our oppressors. We know that he will come in power and glory! Im sure that if the Messiah were here today, we would have recognized by now.  Do you not think that when he comes he would not first of all come to the rulers and show us signs and wonders to prove who he is.  [Pause] Simeon, give yourself a rest, you look after your house and we will look after God's house!


The Rabbi leaves and just before he exits the room, Ruben comes in. 


Reuben: Uh…Am I interrupting?  I can come back later.


Sarah: No no, it is nice to see a welcome face, please, sit down Reuben.


Reuben: Simeon... [Simeon is sitting at the table with his head in his hands and does not respond to Ruben] Simeon are you okay?


Simeon: I just don't understand sometimes, why is this so difficult for them to see?


Reuben: I don't know, maybe, they just don't want to see...


Simeon:  I'm sorry, Reuben, how rude of me, please tell me what brought you here in the middle of the day.


[Sarah quietly leaves the scene]


Reuben: ah, well, its, …oh friend, I can see your far to troubled for me to bother you now…


Simeon: Well, when you want to tell me feel free, I’m Ok. [Simeon says hesitantly] In the meantime let me tell you what I've been thinking about. You know, it is well understood that the Messiah will defeat our enemies and will reign from Jerusalem .


Ruben: Yes,


Simeon: But the Scriptures also speak of the Messiah as a priest, and a sacrifice, and one who will suffer. In Isaiah we read that he was a man of sorrows acquainted with grief and we hid as it were our faces from him and we esteemed him not. It also says that he bears the sins of many. I wonder sometimes how all this will work itself out.


Reuben: I don't know... but I do know that I have seen enough evidence in creation and in God's word that I can put my trust and faith in Him. I’m sure He will work all these things out according to His perfect will… [Pause] well, I really must be going, I only popped by to tell you, well… it's ah... well ok, I’ll tell you.  It's just a story I heard about some shepherd's out on a field. Apparently a few nights ago, an angel appeared to them and said that the Messiah was born, kinda funny huh… well,  just thought you might want to know.


Simeon: Oh, [Simeon says thoughtfully] thank you,  [Ruben begins to leave] uh…did they say where this happened?


Reuben: I think it was in Bethlehem ...well, I've got to go friend, goodbye.  Ruben exits and closes the door.


Simeon: [deep in thought] Yes, goodbye… [pause] Simeon thinking and pacing a little says… in Bethlehem , Bethlehem , Bethlehem !  [Simeon gradually gets more and more excited when he says]  And thou Bethlehem , in the land of Juda , art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel …Oh Lord, [he says reverently] Can it be? 


Holy Spirit's Voice: Simeon


Simeon: Yes Lord...


Holy Spirit's Voice: Simeon, go to the temple.


Simeon grabs his coat and hurries off stage








Anna is sitting in a chair or kneeling in prayer in a corner with her back to the Audience.  She stays motionless until the young lady comes on the scene later in the play.


A Pharisee enter the scene with two of his companions, one carrying a bunch of gifts (three). The other helper is carrying a trumpet under his garment.


Helper #1: not much of a crowd today...


Helper #2:  I knew we should have brought the smaller gifts!


They walk to the sign that says “gifts and offerings”. The Pharisee picks up the first gift and raises it up high.


Pharisee:      Oh God, thankyou that I am not like other men, sinners, drunkards, tax collectors. And so God, here is a gift from the goodness of my heart.


Helper #1: Takes out trumpet and blows it.


The Pharisee places the gift on the offering table.


Pharisee:      [Taking the next gift from his helper and raising it up] Oh God, you have asked thy people to give of their possessions.  So here, oh God, is a tenth of what I have earned this month.


Helper #1 blows the trumpet again.


Pharisee:      [Takes the last gift and raises it up.]  And here Oh God is another gift...


Helper blows trumpet prematurely


Pharisee:      [shouts] Not yet! ... 


Helper # 1:  Sorry…


Pharisee: [Regaining composure and clearing his throat]  So, here God is another Gift in advance so that my debt may be paid, and then some [helper forgets to blow trumpet] ok, blow it...


Helper #1 blows trumpet again.


All three exit the stage




 Enters a young business man.


Business Man: Ah, the temple, well while I'm here I might as well send up a prayer.


He climbs the steps to the temple and notices, much to his disappointment, the “gifts and offerings” sign.  Reluctantly he pulls out a large wad of bills.  After sifting through the bills,  He pulls out the smallest denomination and almost puts it in the collection box but changes his mind and digs in his other pocket for some loose change. He pulls out his change ands sifts through to find the smallest coin. He happily plunks it into the tin. Then the man moves over to the center and begins to pray...


Business Man: God, business is down a little can you make it better. I

promise that if you make sales increase in the next quarter that I'll come to the temple more often…really! Uh, amen. [Shuffles off]


A mother and her children walk onto the scene (walking by the temple).


Kid #1:  [lagging a little behind her Mama and other sibling is startled and stops dead in her tracks when she sees the temple] Mama, Look at the big stones! It seems like they've been here forever.


Kid #2: Ya, Mama, how old is the temple anyway?


Kid #3: I don't think its as old as that lady over there.

Mother: Now children, show some respect!  My mother told me of this lady.

Her name is Anna. She's a prophetess. When she was a young lady she married, but after only seven years of marriage her husband died. Since that time she's been praying in the temple night and day. She's now over eighty years old. People say that she's never left the temple. She is truly a godly woman.


Kids:  As they walk away they murmur wow, she never leaves the temple… that's amazing...


(Family moves on).


A young woman, [prostitute] her head covered with a veil, enters the temple. She looks at the “gifts and offering sign” and then look at the gifts on the table. Realizing that she has nothing to give she breaks down in tears.  She walks a few more paces and falls to her knees, and continues to weep bitterly.


At this point, Anna, who hears her weeping, gets up and walks towards the young woman.


               Anna: My child, what is troubling you?


Young Woman:  (haltingly): I, ... I can't go on living like this... I'm so ashamed. I don't know what to do.  I have no offering… How can God ever forgive me?  I'm so sorry...


Anna: But my child, you have come to a merciful God. He understands. And you've brought what He wants to see the most: a broken and contrite heart.


Young Woman:   Can that be offering be enough for the sins that I have committed? How can God forgive someone like me? I don't even have money to buy a sacrifice.. .I have no sacrifice...


Anna: God will provide for you. Put your trust in Him.  Come, lets talk [the two walk off to a corner and face away from the audience]. 


Mary and Joseph arrive at the temple. They walk up the center aisle of the audience with Jesus.


Mary: Joseph, sometimes I am afraid of these things that have been happening. First, an angel appears to me and says that this child will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And that God will give Him the throne of his father David and that his kingdom will have no end. And do you remember when I went to see Elizabeth , the baby in her womb leaped for joy.  Then she said to me, Blessed are you among women and blessed is the child you are to bare.


Joseph: Yes, and when Jesus was born, the shepherds confirmed to us again that this child, God's child, is the Christ.


Mary:  Oh Joseph, what will happen next?


Joseph: I don't know, Mary, but no matter what happens, we must continue to trust God. He will provide. He will look after us. Come, Mary. We're here at the temple. Let's consecrate our child, according to the Law.  [Mary and Joseph walk to center stage]


Simeon, shuffling quickly through the crowd (audience)


Simeon:  Excuse me, please. I need to get to the temple...


Simeon enters the stage and looks around...Simeon sees the Christ child in Mary's arms. He takes the baby from her and lifts him towards heaven...


Simeon:  Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and glory to your people.


Anna: [exclaiming in a loud voice] Blessed be the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, who has brought salvation to his people! [turning to the young woman and leading her to the child] Do you see my child, do you see? God has provided for you and for all those who draw near to Him.


Lights go dim.


The end.