Summary: This piece could be used in worship on a Sunday or midweek, or as a discussion piece for an Advent-Christmas evening.
Style: Dramatic.    Duration: 7min
Scripture: Matthew 2: 13-23
Actors:  1M, 1F


Characters: Joseph and Mary


Joseph: Wake up, Mary. Wake up.

Mary: What is it? What's happening? Is the boy alright?

Joseph: He is sleeping. But is he alright? Honestly, I don't know.

Mary: What are you talking about, Joseph? Stop playing games with my head. Please. It's too early for riddles.

Joseph: It's not a riddle, Mary. I'm not sure what it is really. It's just that I had a dream. A very strange dream.

Mary: O, Joseph. You and your dreams.

Joseph: O, Mary. You and your dreams. You should be the one to talk.

Mary: You're right, my dear. I do have some real dillies, don't I! We both do. Voices and visions and dreams. Sometimes I wonder what our life would be like if we just stopped paying attention to them at all.

Joseph: So do I, love. Especially that first one you had. You remember the first one?

Mary: How could I ever forget it? It was the Holy Spirit. Up close and very personal. What a piece of news that was! Do you remember when I told you about it? That I was with child, and before we were even living together? Before we were married?

Joseph: Like it was yesterday. (laughs) Boy did we ever give them something to talk about. And did I ever wonder what to do! I was afraid to take you as my wife, no matter who was the father of the child.

Mary: You still wonder about that don't you?

Joseph: You too?

Mary: Sometimes. (giggles)

Joseph: But it was a dream that saved our marriage, Mary. Remember? That angel came to me, telling me it was alright. "Swallow your pride, Joseph," she said. "Marry Mary, as you planned. The child she is bearing is chosen of God. You are to call him Jesus. And he will save his people. Just do it, Joe. You have a big job on your hands."

Mary: And you do, darling. You have a big job.

Joseph: So do you, Mary.

Mary: And so does Jesus, if the voices are right. It a bit scary when you think about it. I mean, that little child there. So small and fragile. "He will save his people." What does that mean?

Joseph: God only knows.

Mary: I suppose so. I wish we knew. How do we raise a child like that, Joseph? There is nothing in the Torah, I don't suppose, with rules for raising a Messiah.

Joseph: I wish there were. Sometimes I think we're crazy. But we're not the only ones who think something is going on here. Remember last night? The visitors?

Mary: Remember? Joseph, I slept - what little sleep I got - with the gold and frankincense under my dress. It's not safe out there. Yes, I remember the visitors. With their dark skin and their elaborate clothes. Their camels and servants. Their strange voices. I could barely understand them.

Joseph: But we understood enough. We understood that they had been following a star. In their charts they sensed that this star would lead them to the birthplace of a king. The king of the Jews.

Mary: And there he is, sleeping. He doesn't look like a king to me. Or maybe he does. Maybe every mother thinks their first born looks like royalty.

Joseph: But Mary, remember the other things they talked about? Remember the things they said about King Herod?

Mary: Barely. I never did understand politics very well.

Joseph: Neither do I. But I know there is trouble coming. You know the reputation Herod has. He is crazy, Mary. He is so power hungry he scares me. And I've never even met the man. The thing is, he knows the baby was born. He knows where we are. You can bet that as soon as the visitors left his palace he would call the guard. I just know he is going to be after us. I feel it in my bones.

Mary: But why, Joseph? Why would he want us?

Joseph: Think about it, Mary. A king cannot tolerate another king in his territory. I'm telling you, I know what kings are like.

Mary: Up close and personal? And how many kings has the great carpenter ever met? Joseph, even if Herod is jealous, one look at that little guy and he would just melt. Honestly, he would turn red in the face. He'd apologize for goodness sake.

Joseph: Mary, don't be so naive. Remember what the Pharaoh did to all the first-born Hebrew children? He killed them all. Or at least tried to. If it wasn't for the fact that his mother was smarter than the Pharaoh, little Moses would have been killed. Cute and all.

Mary: So what do we do, Joseph? Tell me about your dream.

Joseph: The dream was very simple, really. Just a voice. God's voice. I've come to recognize it by now.

Mary: Yes, it's quite a nice voice, isn't it? I sort of like it.

Joseph: Mary, don't be so romantic. This is serious. This is just what we've been talking about. It was in the dream. God said to take you and Jesus and flee to Egypt. We are to stay there until we get another dream. God said, and I mean this. I heard this... that Herod wants to kill our son.

Mary: God, no, Joseph. That can't be. But Egypt. Is that a safe place? After what you just said about the Pharaoh and the Hebrew children! No, we can't go there. We'll go to my mother's house. We can hide there.

Joseph: Egypt is safe, Mary. Believe me. Believe God. And we can't hide here.

Mary: Maybe we could go with the visitors. Back to wherever they came from. They could give us sanctuary.

Joseph: They've gone, Mary. They left in the night. We have to find sanctuary in Egypt.

Mary: Sanctuary. We've both said the word. You only use that word for the holy temple, or if you are a...

Joseph: You can say it, Mary.

Mary: A refugee.

Joseph: Yes. We are now refugees. With the death squads on our trail. With no maps. With no more food than we can carry.

Mary: And a little baby. (silence) Joseph. I want to say something to you. We are all in this together. The three of us. I believe your dream. I believe God spoke to you in that way. I believe God has something in mind for Jesus to do with his life, and that we need to allow him to do it. I don't know what will happen to us. And in a way I am afraid. But I trust you as much as I trust God. And I love you.

Joseph: Thank you, Mary. Believe me, I wish it were easier than this. I wish I could just set up shop and get on with our life. But that isn't going to happen. Not yet. We have to listen to God. To that dream. Dreams are real, Mary. Dreams tell the truth.

Mary: Sometimes it all seems like a dream to me. The whole thing. But enough of that. We've talked enough.

Joseph: For God's sake, Mary. Let's go.

Mary: Alright, Joseph. For God's sake.


© Copyright Jim Hatherley, 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: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.