Online Session 04 - Jesus' Birth
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Jesus' Family in Egypt and Herod's Rage
Readers: Narrator, God, Joseph, Mary, Jesus, Herod, Herod's Lackeys
Narrator: Mary and Joseph loved their new baby Jesus (and, in fact, he had just gotten his name only recently). With the gifts they just had gotten from the Wise Dudes, they also knew that Jesus was destined for something amazing . . . but they didn't exactly know what. But God decided first to speak to Joseph—God needed to warn him of an impending doom, and that he had to protect his family. God didn't speak to Joseph in a burning bush, with a choir of angels, or with prophetic inspirations. No. God spoke to Joseph in his dreams.
[Joseph is zonked out, sleeping.]
Joseph: [Barely stirs.]
Joseph: Huh. Wha ... [still stirring]
God: [Approaches Joseph and holds hands up to shout.] JOSEPH!!
Joseph: [Springs to life] What?! Here I am. I'm awake!
God: No... actually you're still asleep. You're dreaming.
God: Yup. This is how I speak with you. So, listen...
Joseph: Wait. What? You speak to me in dreams?
God: Yeah. But enough about how I communicate with you– Well, just think of it as a great excuse any time you want to take a nap. You can blame it on me. Tell people you're communing with your Creator.
Joseph: Yeah. Good idea! Mary can't complain any more when I–
God: Hey! Listen... just shush for a bit! I've got a message for you.
Joseph: Oh. Okay.
God: You need to get up, take the child and his mother Mary, and head down to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you; that jerk King Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him! Capiche?!
Joseph: Yeah. Okay. I'll do as you say. But Egypt is awfully hot this time of year.
Narrator: After God had given his message, Joseph woke and told Mary about the dream.
[Mary holds the baby Jesus. Joseph and Mary are having a conversation.]
Joseph: So, um ... Mary. I had this dream. In it God told me we need to head down to Egypt to protect the little J-man.
Jesus: [Babbling] Goo ga ga ... God said.
[Both parents look at their baby, astounded.]
Mary: God speaks to people in lots of ways. If you say so. I think we should probably listen and obey!
Joseph: Um. Yeah! So we should probably start to pack!
Narrator: Joseph and Mary packed quickly and immediately high-tailed it down Egypt-way ... and evidently brought plenty of sunscreen too. Meanwhile, Herod continued to be his crabby, mean-old self. You see, he had been tricked by the Wise Dudes—he told them to return to him after they'd given their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. He wanted them to inform him exactly where to find this new King so he would [all characters on screen make quote marks with two fingers on each hand] "worship him." Of course, Herod didn't really want to worship Jesus. Nope. He wanted to KILL HIM! But ... the Wise Dudes were, well ... WISE, and took a different route home without telling Herod anything. Herod was furious.
Herod: I'm furious! I'm really, really furious!
Herod's Lackeys: Yes. Sire. You are mad! Rightfully so! Those Wise Dudes tricked you!
Herod: Yeah! They tricked me. I'm ... I'm ... FURIOUS!
Herod's Lackeys: Yeah. We get that.
Herod: I'm just ... what's the word?
Herod's Lackeys: Furious?
Herod: YES! That's it! I'm furious!
Herod's Lackeys: Well, whatcha gonna do about it? I suppose you could impose a new tax on the people. We sure could use new gutters for the palace here in Judea. Or ... wait. Maybe we could enslave a new lot of young dudes for warriors; we could use a new army.
Herod: No, no, NO. My fury needs to show how mad I really am! If we can't find out which baby is the new King in Bethlehem, well ... NONE of the babies must survive!! Kill them. Kill them all!
Herod's Lackeys: Well, ah. That's a bit harsh, don't you think?
Herod: Follow my orders or I'll kill YOU!
[The lackeys run out, agreeing to carry out his orders.]
Narrator: It was a sad day when Herod followed through with his promise. But it was exactly as the prophecy had been given: "Then was fulfilled what had been spoken through the prophet Jeremiah: 'A voice was heard in Ramah, wailing and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be consoled, because they are no more.' " The irony is Jesus was safe with his family in Egypt, anyway. Soon after, Herod bit the big one. It was once again safe to return home. So God spoke again to Joseph ... of course, in a dream.
[Joseph sleeping. Snoring loudly.]
God: [Not messing around this time, God approaches Joseph and claps in his face and speaks.] JOSEPH!
Joseph: What?! What?! What's going on?! I'm awake!!
God: No you're not. You're still sleeping. You're dreaming.
Joseph: Oh ... you again. Hi God.
God: Hi Joseph.
Joseph: I suppose you want us to move again to Carthage, or Rome, or Hackensack, New Jersey.
God: Nope. Time to go home. Herod's dead—that big jerk finally bit the dust. You're safe now. I want you to move back to your home.
God: No, you dork! Nazareth! That's where you've got your work. Raise your son. Love your wife. Work hard. You will be safe. Besides, there's another meanie ruler in Judea—it'd be safer in Galilee, in the north country.
Joseph: Yup. Well ... sounds good! Thanks, God. I really enjoy these chats we have in my dreams.
God: Don't mention it. But, don't be TOO lazy and sleep your life away. You can sleep lots when you're dead. K?
Joseph: Sounds good. [Joseph wakes and runs to Mary.] Mary! Mary! It's time to move again.
Mary: Lemme guess ... another dream?
* Kid Story: Share a time when you had an especially vivid dream. Does God speak to you somehow in your dreams? What was the scariest dream you ever had? The funniest?
Check-In Questions and Mentor Meeting Options
THIS MONTH'S MENTOR MEETING OPTIONS
Choose one of these activities for your next mentor meeting.
Activity #1: Movie
Watch the movie The Prince of Egypt. What was your favorite part of the story? What did God do throughout the movie? What did you learn about the story of the Exodus?
Activity #2: Government
Go to your local government office. Talk to the mayor or other elected official. Ask about their job. What do they do in their role? Why do they do what they do? How do they make a difference in your community?
Activity #3: Create Your Own
Discuss with your teacher what kinds of things you enjoy doing. Decide on an activity for you and your mentor.
Instagram/Phone Check-in: Simeon and Anna, Flight into Egypt (Click Here for Bible Reading)
- How many days had passed before Mary & Joseph’s baby was named?
- Who blessed Jesus and what did this person say?
- Someone else gave their blessing to Jesus—who? If you were to give a blessing to Jesus, what do you think you would say?
Instagram/Phone Check-in: Jesus' Family in Egypt and Herod's Rage (Click here for Check-In Storytimes!)
- Herod gets really mad – what horrible thing does he do?
- Also, how does God choose to communicate with Joseph in this account?
- In Matthew’s account after Jesus’ birth, his family needs to head to Egypt. Why? How long do they stay?