Prayer: End the Madness (Matthew 2:16-18)

man-crying-help-4x3_540x405_thumb32014 Bible Reading Plan for Christmas
Day 30 Reading: Matthew 2:16-18
Herod’s Genocide

He gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity
who were two years old and under
– Matthew 2:16

Prayer: End the Madness
Hear our cry!
Head our plea!
Death is at the door
Evil is taking the day

Fear makes us crazy
Relief supplies rotting on the docks
Vaccines waiting on shelves
Riots in the streets
Abortions of convenience
Human trafficking
Suicide bombers
Genocide
War

End our madness
Deliver us from bloodshed
Deliver us from us

Come quickly
Come in power
Your power, not ours
Rescue your beloved
Lord, where else can we go?

***********
This post is part of the 2014 Bible Reading Plan for Christmas. Click here for more information, including a list of all the readings.

Prayer: End the Madness © 2014 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution.
Please contact Lisa for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

For more information on the art and the use of this post in other settings,
please refer to the copyright information page.

Reader’s Theater: The Magi, The Genocide (Matthew 2)

The Christmas Story readers theaterReader’s Theater: The Magi, the Genocide
Based on Matthew 2 NIV
Parts: Narrator, Congregation, Herod, Angel

NARRATOR
After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod,
Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked,

ALL
Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews?
We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.

NARRATOR
When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born.

ALL MEN
In Bethlehem in Judea, for this is what the prophet has written:
“But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.”

NARRATOR
Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared.
He sent them to Bethlehem and said,

HEROD
Go and make a careful search for the child.
As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.

NARRATOR
After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed.

On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.

When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream.

ANGEL
Get up, take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt.
Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.

NARRATOR
So Joseph got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.”

When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled:

ALL WOMEN
A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning,
Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.

NARRATOR
After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said,

ANGEL
Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child’s life are dead.

NARRATOR
So he got up, took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee, and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets: “He will be called a Nazarene.”

***************
The Christmas passages from Luke 1-2 and Matthew 1-2 are “tidings of great joy for all people.” A great way to embody this truth is through multiple readers of multiple ages voicing the beloved story. I hope these simple scripts will help you to do just that. Merry Christmas and may the promises of this Holy Season strengthen you throughout the year! – Lisa <><

Click the link for a master pdf of all The Christmas Story scripts
Reader’s Theater The Christmas Story

Adapted from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

Reader’s Theater: The Magi, The Genocide (Matthew 2)
© 2013 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution.
Contact the Lisa for posting and publication considerations.

Reader's Theater: The Magi, The Genocide (Matthew 2)

If you know the artist and title of this work please let me know so I can give proper credit.

If you know the artist and title of this work please let me know so I can give proper credit.

NARRATOR
After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod,
Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked,

ALL
Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews?
We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.

NARRATOR
When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born.

ALL MEN
In Bethlehem in Judea, for this is what the prophet has written:
“But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.”

NARRATOR
Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said,

HEROD
Go and make a careful search for the child.
As soon as you find him, report to me,
So that I too may go and worship him.

NARRATOR
After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed.

On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.

When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream.

ANGEL
Get up, take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt.
Stay there until I tell you,
for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.

NARRATOR
So Joseph got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.”

When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled:

ALL WOMEN
A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning,
Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted,
because they are no more.

NARRATOR
After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said,

ANGEL
Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child’s life are dead.

NARRATOR
So he got up, took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee, and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets: “He will be called a Nazarene.”

***************
Adapted from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

Reader’s Theater: The Magi, The Genocide (Matthew 2) © 2013 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution.
Contact the Lisa for posting and publication considerations.

Christmas 14: Herod's Genocide

The Story of Christmas
Day 14 Reading: Matthew 2:16-18

The word “innocent” from its Latin root means “not wounded.” That’s how we all start life. We’re all innocent. It doesn’t have anything to do with moral right or wrong. It has to do with not being wounded yet. We start unwounded. We start innocent, but the killing of our holy innocence by power and abuse (as in the killing of the Holy Innocents by Herod [Matthew 2:1-23]) is an archetypal image of what eventually happens to all of us.
– Richard Rohr

There was another night in Bethlehem. No angel chorus was heard that evening. No Gloria in excelsis. The air that night was rent with shrieks–shrieks and cries; sobs and tears. A hellish horde had done the bidding–the bidding of a paranoid devil. These thugs search –not for life– but to deal out death. And newborn babes lie bundled in grave cloths–laid to rest–cradled in fresh-turned earth. None to save them; so that the streets of Bethlehem echo– Miserere, miserere!
James T. Dennison, Jr. in Kerux: The Online Journal of Biblical Theology

End the Madness
by Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia

Hear our cry! Hear our cry!
Death is at the door
Evil is taking the day

Fear makes us crazy
Relief supplies rotting on the docks
Vaccines waiting on shelves
Abortions of convenience
Suicide bombers
Enslavement
Genocide
Warfare

End the madness
Deliver us from bloodshed
Teach us to value every life

Come quickly. Come in power.
Rescue your beloved.
Lord, where else shall we go?

**************
Click Here for another reflection on this scripture by Steve Garnaas Holmes entitled The Slaughter of the Innocents. Click Here for his reflection entitled Herod.

For information on The Story of Christmas Reading Plan, click here

End the Madness © 2010 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution.
Please contact Lisa for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

For more information on the art and the use of this post in other settings,
please refer to the copyright information page.