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Summary: A short skit featuring the Christmas hymn, O Holy Night. One stormy Christmas Eve, a burned-out Pastor begins work on his sermon for Christmas Day. Inspiration is lacking and even God doesn't seem to hear his cry for help. Will he overcome his painful past or will this Christmas continue to be haunted by memories of what could have been?
Style: Dramatic.   Duration
Actors: 1M/1 F.

Charactors:
Pastor Brad
Amy (Brad's sister)

Setting: The Pastor's study.

Script

    O Holy Night the stars are brightly shining
    it is the night of our dear saviors birth
    long lay the world in sin and error pining
    till he appeared and the soul felt its worth
    a thrill of hope the weary world rejoices
    for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn
    fall on your knees
    O hear the angel voices
    O night divine
    O night when Christ was born
    O night divine
    O night
    O night divine

    (First verse and chorus plays then stops. Brad enters, paces the stage for a moment.)

    Brad: You'd think it wouldn't be so hard to write a sermon for Christmas Day. (Looks up at ceiling. Talking to God. Spreads his hands in an expression of helplessness.) What do you want me to preach on? I've got nothing here.  

    (After a moment of silence. Brad sits at the table.)

    Brad: I don't know...Christmas seems to get harder every year. Memories...there are so many memories. Memories of people...special people who aren't around anymore...where did they go? (Softer. Looking at picture on the desk.) Where did you go?

    Amy: (Offstage voice.) I ran away from home. I suppose that was a nasty thing to do on Christmas Eve, but I had to do it. I had no choice, I was a proud young woman.

    Brad: Every Christmas Eve I look at her picture and I wonder where she ended up. If knowing the truth is hard...not knowing the truth is harder. Where did she go?

    Amy: (Offstage voice.) Have you ever tried to start a new life, somewhere totally new? Somewhere you have never been before? Its hard, really hard.

    Brad: I don't know. Maybe it was my fault. I didn't mean to chase her away. I was only trying to do the right thing. Maybe I said a little too much. I still miss the times we used to have together...

    Amy: (Offstage voice.) I remember how the family would gather around the tree...Mom would bring out the cider and cookies and then we'd be open our presents together...yeah, those were good days...

    Brad: We were always close, my sister and I. That is why it hurt so much when I found out she had been living a lie. What would my congregation think? I was a proud young Pastor...I wanted to look good...

    Amy: (Offstage voice.) Maybe I shouldn't have made that announcement on Christmas Eve. I suppose it was a bit of a shock. We had just settled in for the evening when I had to open my big mouth. Nobody remembered the gifts after that.

    Brad: I didn't even know that she had a boyfriend. And the fact that they were expecting a baby blew my mind...she was never like that. What went wrong? I couldn't figure it out, I still can't, but then, my wife says I have a thinking problem sometimes.   

    Amy: (Offstage voice.) I really don't know what I was thinking back then. I just ran off! I was fed up with being told what to do. I wanted to get away from everything and everyone...including my boyfriend.
     
    Brad: (Standing and beginning to pace.) I don't even know who the Father of the baby was...I never got the chance to ask, she just stormed out of the house that day and left us. What happened after that? God only knows.  

    Amy: (Offstage voice.) I'll never forget how Jamie was born. (Thoughtful.) Where were we...I can't even remember the name of the small town. Anyway, the only motel around  didn't have any room, so the staff fixed up their garden shed, put a heater in there and offered me rest. I had no choice but to accept...but I'll hafta say, giving birth beside a lawnmower was...a bit strange.

    Brad: Sometimes I wish I could talk to her again, just so we could go back to the way things used to be. Then I think, what would I say to her now? After all this time? Is there anything that could be said?  

    Amy: (Offstage voice.) I've often wished that I could talk to them again. That we could settle things and be a family again like we used to be. I'd really like Jamie to meet his relatives. Is that too much to ask?

    Brad: After five years of silence it seems pretty clear that she doesn't care about us. That's what everybody says, and let's be honest, some days, maybe most days; I'm inclined to agree with them.  

    Amy: (Offstage voice.) Maybe it is just wishful thinking...five years is a long time. Maybe they've forgotten about me by now. Maybe they just don't care. I wouldn't blame them.

    (Stops pacing.)
    Brad: This is ridiculous. I should be working on my sermon instead of rehashing this again.

    Amy: (Offstage voice.) I know he's home, I can see him through the window...It looks like he's angry about something. I hope this isn't a bad time.  

    Brad: (Sitting at table.) Christmas is about new beginnings, new life...but still, if she were here now, I don't know if I could actually forgive her. Not after all these years, not after all that has happened. I guess that doesn't make me a good Pastor, does it?

    Amy: (Offstage voice.) He was always a good Pastor, he should be proud of me. Having Jamie forced me to examine my faith, or, the lack of it. That is what Christmas is all about isn't it? A baby born in a manger, on a mission to save...sinners...people like me...like us.

    Brad: It doesn't make much difference anyway, does it? It isn't like she's gonna suddenly be standing there, knocking at my door. (Laughs bitterly.) Now that would be a miracle.

    (Amy knocks at the door. Brad pauses for a long moment. Knocking stops and then begins again, more urgently this time.)

    Brad: I guess I should get that. (Walks to the door. Opens it. Amy is standing there, very nervous.)

    Amy: Hello Brad.

    Brad: Hello.  

    (Awkward pause.)

    Amy: I didn't come at a bad time, did I? I can come back.

    Brad: No...no...come in, come in. I was just trying to get a sermon together.

    Amy: (About to leave.) It's, okay really. I can come back later if you're busy.

    Brad: No, no, I'm not busy. I'm good. I mean, I think God just gave me a sermon. (To himself.) In more ways than one.

    Amy: Are you sure?

    Brad: (Firmly.) I'm sure. Now come on in where it's warm. I want to talk to you. (Amy steps in and embraces Brad.)

    Amy: You know, it sure is good to see you again.

    Brad: You can say that again.

    Amy: It sure is good to see you again.

    Brad: (Laughing as he breaks away from the embrace.) Well, it's nice to see your sense of humor hasn't changed anyway.

    Amy: What can I say? God has given me a lot of reasons to be happy lately.

    Brad: I look forward to hearing all about it. Now don't just stand there. Sit down. Make yourself at home. Can I get you anything? Coffee? Tea?

    Freeze. Blackout. O Holy Night, 2nd verse and Chorus.

    Truly, he taught us to love one another
    his law is love and his gospel is peace
    chains shall he break for the slave is our brother
    and in his name all oppression shall cease
    sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we
    all within us praise his holy name
    Christ is the Lord
    O praise his name forever
    His power and glory ever more proclaim
    Fall on your knees
    O hear the angel voices
    O night divine
    O night when Christ was born
    O night divine
    O night
    O night divine

....................................................................................

© Copyright Kelvin Bueckert, all rights reserved. The script may not be reproduced, translated or copied in any medium, including books, CDs and on the Internet, without written permission of the author.
This play may be performed free of charge, on the condition that copies are not sold for profit in any medium, nor any entrance fee charged. In exchange for free performance, the author would appreciate being notified of when and for what purpose the play is performed. He may be contacted at:

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