The children are given a "Mission Impossible"-type assignment to take a trip across America to find things that remind them of the original Christmas story. The young “agents” travel to Texas, Iowa, Alaska, Maine, Hawaii, and Florida to find things in each state that remind them of the nativity. In between stops to the various states, younger children may sing or recite poems. The play concludes with a reminder that Jesus is the Prince of Peace and a prayer that we won’t be at war for any Christmases in the future. Optional corresponding scripture readings throughout and a nativity scene add more beauty and meaning to the play. This short Christmas piece (about 25 minutes) is geared for child actors to perform for other church children. Props and costumes are minimal.
DEBBIE LAYHER TALKS ABOUT HER PLAY
THE CHRISTMAS MISSION ACROSS AMERICA
I was inspired to write “The Christmas Mission across America” because of the diverse group of children who participate in our Children’s Ministry. For the annual Christmas program, our ministry needs a play that is simple to learn and inexpensive to perform, and that can be done with limited rehearsals and minimal scenery. Most of our children attend church via the van ministry, and we don’t always have the same children who attend week to week. We even have some transients. When we were brainstorming ideas, it was clear that the children all love an adventure, and they were excited about the idea of being “special Christmas agents”.
My favorite part of the play is in Scene 7 when one child says “wouldn’t it be nice if this were the last Christmas we ever had to be at war?”, and another child replies, “Maybe there won’t be any more wars by the time we grow up.” This is my favorite part because Jesus is, among many other things, the Prince of Peace. I pray that the world is a more peaceful place by the time the Christmas agents who acted in this play are adults.
The agents’ trip across America is fantasy, but I tried to illustrate, in a few short lines, that children really do know what Christmas is all about. They made the connection between symbols like a lighthouse and a barn, to a warning of danger and a Savior’s birth in a stable. The agents make the decision to let others find Jesus in them. Hopefully, this will be a real thing for the child actors—not just a line in a play.