Narrator: During the 4 weeks of Advent we have had some interesting people from modern and Biblical times help us light the 4 candles on our Advent Wreath. I’m sorry to say that the guest we hoped to have tonight will not be able to be here. We wanted to have one of the Wise Men light the Christ Candle for us, but as you may recall from Matthew’s Gospel, the Wise Men didn’t actually arrive to give their gifts to Baby Jesus until he was almost two years old. So I guess we will have to get by without their wisdom tonight.
Shepherd: [enters from off stage with an attitude] Wait just a minute, please. You don’t think the Magi were the only wise people in the Christmas story, do you? I get pretty tired of those three kings getting all the publicity with their fancy robes and big camels, and expensive gifts. If it hadn’t been for a lot of other smart people the whole Christmas story would never have happened.
Narrator: Excuse me, who might you be and what are you talking about?
Shepherd: Oh, I had a small part in the Christmas story, too; I’m Eli, one of the shepherds who came to the manger.
Narrator: Oh my, I didn’t recognize you, Eli, I mean without your sheep and away from the Nativity scene and all. I’m so sorry. But what were you saying about the other wise people in the Christmas story?
Shepherd: Well, think about it. The story begins with Elizabeth and her husband Zechariah. They had to be wise enough to believe God when they were told they would have a child in their old age. And their son, John the Baptist, prepared the way for Jesus and even baptized him. And what about Mary’s fiancé, Joseph? He was wise enough to believe the angel who told him Mary’s baby was really God’s son. Believe me; most guys would not have believed that story.
Narrator: I see your point. These were common ordinary people who were smart enough to trust God with some incredible ideas.
Shepherd: And that’s not all. Think about us shepherds—we didn’t have college degrees, but once we got over the shock of seeing all those angels, we were wise enough to pay attention to the biggest birth announcement in all of history. Everybody else in Bethlehem was too busy to even notice. But we heard God’s message and came running; so we got to be the very first people ever to worship the Christ child.
Narrator: You’re right, that was very wise. And now that I think about it, we’ve left out a very important wise person in this story. There was a certain young peasant girl who got some very shocking news about becoming the mother of God’s son. Mary must have been scared to death!
Shepherd: Yes, I’m sure she was. She told us she didn’t think Joseph or anyone else would believe such a wild story about her baby’s father. But she was smart enough to go to Elizabeth for advice. Mary was wise beyond her years to have the faith to say “yes” to what God was asking her to do. And because of all the wisdom from all those people the history of the world was changed forever. [Pause]
Narrator: Eli, thank you for sharing your wisdom with us. Would you do us the honor of lighting the Christ Candle tonight, as we celebrate again the birth of Jesus Christ, the light of the world? [Eli lights the Christ candle and both exit.]