The Mystery at the Nativity
by Daniel & Christine Stanfield
Part One – The Puppet Nativity
Scene: A Puppet stage for the Nativity – there is a manger
on the left and a hill side on the right. At the back is a Narrator dressed as
a press reporter, using a handheld mic. Near front center is a long table with
a large magnifying glass, a paint brush, and a Bible dictionary/encyclopedia.
- Welcome to (Name of Church) for our Christmas play,
“The Mystery at the Nativity”
- There are some clues for our mystery in the audience. If
you have one of the clues please hold on to it until it is needed during
the play. They each have numbered tags and we’ll ask for them by the
- Our play begins with a Christmas puppet show for our
Enter the Cubbies and Sparks (toddlers and K-2nd graders) to watch the puppet show and sing along with the songs.
Silent Night, Christine verse,
piano solo (or piano guitar solo)
Action: Children come in and are
Away in a Manger, 1st
verse (children & angels).
Action: Puppets Mary and Joseph enter,
baby pops up into manger.
The First Noel, 1st
verse (children & angels).
Action: Angelic announcement to
shepherds, shepherds go to manger.
We Three Kings, 1st
verse (puppeteers & angels).
Action: Kings with
camels/mules/elephants come across to manger.
O Come, all Ye Faithful 1st
Joy to the World 1st
Action: All puppets face audience,
puppet curtains fall at end of song.
One Sparkie to Teacher:
Why did they crucify Jesus instead of making Him King?
Teacher (leaving with children):
That’s a very good question, we can talk about that in the
Exit the Sparks and Cubbies
Part Two – The Mystery and the Search for Clues
Narrator: After the curtain falls, and the show is over,
the mystery emerges…
( Exit: Angels, saying bye to everyone.)
Piano: Plays a few seconds of “Twilight Zone” or “Mystery
(Enter Puppeteers from behind stage. Christine has one of
the wise men still “alive”, other puppeteers take their puppets off and lay
them on the stage.)
Emiline: That went pretty good!
Amanda: Yeah, they seemed to really like it. It was fun.
Christine: That was fun but my arm’s exhausted!
Wise Man: I think it was a fine performance, I told
you my colleagues and I were first rate!
Christine: Yes, you did very good – I was happy to be your
Wise Man: Very funny, very funny – well I must admit I
couldn’t have done it without you!
Amanda: Well the kids really got in to it – did you here
that one kid’s question?
Emiline: Yeah, it was stupid – “Why didn’t they make Jesus
Amanda: Well think about it, it’s not really a dumb
question – why didn’t they make Jesus king instead of crucifying Him?
Emiline: Well God didn’t plan it that way – He’s got everything
planned out you know!
Christine: Alright WISE GUY then why didn’t
God make Jesus king instead of letting Him get crucified?
Wise Man: Oh, now he’s the wise guy? I thought I
was the wise guy!
Amanda: No you’re the wise Man. Now, why don’t you tell us
why God didn’t make Jesus king, like he said he would, but let him get
Wise Man: Now That’s a mystery worth solving! Let me tell
you, before I became a Wise Man, I used to work for Scotland Yard as a
detective – in fact, I once played Sherlock Holmes himself in a summer
festival! I’m up for the challenge. Wait! I’m forgetting something, hold on a
Emiline: What is he doing?
(Ducks into puppet stage and pops back up with plaid hat and
Wise Man: Now, what we need is some clues! Let’s look
(Puppeteers begin looking around.)
Narrator: We’re looking for Clue #1 – Who has clue #1?
( Valentine goes and gets Birthday Cake.)
Valentine: A birthday cake! Are you serious? How can a
birthday cake be considered a clue?
Wise Man: On the contrary, my dear Watson. (Pauses for
Valentine: Alright, “Sherlock”, what is it?
Wise Man: The birthday cake reminds us that Christmas is
Valentine: Jesus’ birthday. I LOVE BIRTHDAYS! Let’s sing.
(Piano starts playing “Happy Birthday”. Puppeteers sing to
Wise Man: (Turns to audience.) Well I’m not sure that helps
our mystery, but it’s a good place to start.
Emiline: Let’s keep looking for clues.
Narrator: We’re looking for Clue #2 – Who has clue #2?
( Shirae goes and gets Myrrh)
Shirae: Here’s a clue, Myrrh, but I don’t know what it’s
Wise Man: Let’s look it up – someone look in the Bible
Dictionary under “Myrrh”.
( Amanda goes to table and looks up Myrrh in the dictionary)
Amanda: It says that in the ancient time myrrh was used to
anoint kings and for embalming the dead.
Shirae: What does embalming mean?
Amanda: Embalming means to put chemicals on a dead body to
keep it from rotting really fast, like they usually do. The Egyptians embalmed
their dead. They’d put chemicals on it to make it shrink and then they’d wrap
it up to help keep it like that.
Shirae: Oh. That’s gross.
Christine: Can we Please continue? I want to see where he’s
going with this.
Amanda: I think I know. Christ was supposed to be king
and be crucified.
Wise Man: That’s right and when He was crucified they
embalmed Him with Myrrh.
Emiline : Well we should look for more clues.
Narrator: We’re looking for Clue #3 – Who has clue #3?
( Marcellas goes to get clue – walks back looking down and
Christine: That was quick we’re finding clues left and
Valentine: Yeah, I had got some a Birthday cake.
Shirae: I got Myrrh.
Marcellas (disappointed): I got a rock!
Amanda: Great, Charlie Brown.
Valentine: Let’s look with the magnifying glass.
(All go to table and examine stone)
Wise Man: Actually, this is a very good clue.
Marcellas: My rock’s a good clue?
Wise Man: But of course. You see Jordan, back in the ancient
days, they would use rocks like this one to build alters to sacrifice animals
Marcellas: Oh, yeah, they had to kill sheep whenever they
got in trouble.
Amanda: No, Where does it say that?
Narrator: Hebrews: 9:22 For without the shedding of blood
there will be no remission of sins.
Emiline: But what’s that got to do with the other clues?
Wise Man: Well, what have we got? Cake, Myrrh, and a Rock –
I think we’re making good progress on this case.
Amanda: But that still doesn’t answer our Question why was
Emiline: Let’s get some more clues!
Narrator: We’re looking for Clue #4 – Who has clue #4?
( Ashford goes to get clue)
Ashford: Ok Wise Man, what can you do with a piece of wood?
Valentine: I’ve got this one. Jesus died on a cross made of
wood. So the wood represents Jesus’ crucifixion.
Shirae: Remember what John the Baptist said about Jesus?
Narrator: John 1:29 “…Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away
the sin of the world!”
Ashford: So Christ died for our sins so we don’t have to
sacrifice anything anymore. That’s cool. Now we can all go to heaven without
killing all those animals.
Emiline: I LOVE animals! Poor things.
Amanda: Oh, I know I would never be able to kill any of
those cute little lambs. It’s a good thing we don’t have to anymore.
Valentine: So if that’s why God let Jesus be crucified, how
can he be king? Do you think God meant he would be a king in heaven?
Wise Man: Well, back to the clue hunt…
Narrator: We’re looking for Clue #5 – Who has clue #5?
( Daniel goes after clue)
Daniel: Hey guys!, The clue is Fish & Chips, but they
were eating them!
Wise Man: They ate the clue?
Daniel: They ate part of the clue – I still have the
rest, and a napkin and some ketchup.
Amanda: Alright so why do we have fish and chips?
Wise Man: Because young one, something happened after
Christ’s death, remember?
Daniel: Oh, Yeah. Christ met the disciples on the shore
after they went fishing, and He was cooking fish for them.
Wise Man: That’s right. Jesus cooked for Peter and everyone
AFTER His resurrection. So obviously Christ HAD risen from the dead.
Amanda: But Jesus still didn’t become King did he?
Daniel: No, ‘cause it was only the disciples left after
His resurrection – He was only around for a little while, right?
Wise Man: We need another clue.
Emiline: Let’s go get one!
Narrator: We’re looking for Clue #6 – Who has clue #6?
(Allen goes after clue)
Emiline: Is this a clue? – It’s kinda, you-know, kinda
Allen: I know what that is – It’s Puppet Guts!
Wise Man: It is NOT! Puppet Guts – my word! Let’s examine
the clue scientifically…
(Christine, Allen, Amanda to table, use magnifying glass)
Wise Man: This is no normal cotton, if you examine closely
you’ll discover it’s a petrified cloud fragment.
Allen – find Cloud fragment in the Bible Dictionary!
Amanda – Hey listen to this, after Jesus was resurrected, he
went up in a cloud – listen to this part:
Narrator: Acts 1:11 (read verse)
Christine – so remember, He’s coming back in a cloud – that
means he can be King when he returns.
Allen: Like – Return of the King?
Emiline: Are there any more clues?
Narrator: We’re looking for Clue #7 – Who has clue #7?
(Payton retrieves last clue, a fragment of ancient tablet)
Payton: It’s a busted tile or something – it’s all dirty,
but it’s got a lot of stuff written on it.
Shirae: Back to the Lab!
(Players dust off tile, and examine it in turn, looking up a
few different references in the dictionary)
Payton: Do I need to get my radio-spectrometer? I can run
home for it…
Allen: Yeah, and your electron-microscope! And a knife!
Wise Man: Wait, wait – that won’t be necessary. This is an
ancient Babylonian calendar with some writings from the prophet Daniel. It
also has some stuff from Isaiah. It shows that after a certain time of great
trouble, Jesus will set up his kingdom.
Amanda: We know all this from our Bibles.
Christine: Ok let’s put it together – what are the clues?
Valentine: I got birthday cake.
Shirae: And I got myrrh.
Marcellas: I got a rock…
Ashford: Some wood
Daniel: Fish, that somebody ate…
Allen: Puppet guts – I mean, clouds
Payton: And I got an ancient Babylonian calendar.
Wise Man: So..
Valentine: Christmas is Jesus’ Birthday
Shirae: He’s going to be King, but had to die first.
Marcellas: People used to sacrifice animals for their sins,
but God sacrificed Jesus for the sin of the world.
Daniel: But after His death on the cross, Jesus raised from
the dead – and cooked some fish.
Allen: Then Jesus went up in the clouds, and later he’ll
return in the clouds.
Payton: And when He returns is when He’ll be King.
Wise Man: For a thousand year reign!
Amanda: Mystery Solved!
(Everyone high-fives and exits)
Narrator: Thank you all for coming, that concludes our
#Christine Birthday Cake
Christmas celebrates the birthday of Jesus.
Chorus & Piano: Christine verse of Happy Birthday to
Doesn’t help mystery, but it’s a good starting point.
Used for both anointing kings, and for embalming the dead…
Dual role of Christ, to be king, but also to die for our
#Emiline Large round stone
For building alters
Narrator: Quote Hebrews… without the shedding of blood –
no remission of sin…
#Valentine Piece of Wood
Splinter of the cross
The Lamb of God, quote John the Baptist.
Conclusion Christine: This is WHY God let Jesus be
Question Amanda: If Jesus died on the cross, how could he
be King – does that mean he’s King in Heaven? – Need more clues…
#Shirae Long John Silver’s Fish & Chips
From Jesus cooking for Peter and others after his
Jesus raised from the dead.
#Marcellas Piece of Cloud
From the Ascension
Jesus in heaven waiting to return – to be King!
#Ashford Broken bit of ceramic calendar.
Part of an ancient Babylonian calendar from Daniel in
Conclusion Amanda: Summary of prophecies promising the
coming return of Christ and the Millennial Kingdom.