Dear readers: This is my Christmas gift of a short play you can use as a church and/or community fundraiser, or just to bring people together to have a laugh and reflect on what Christmas means to them.
A Canadian Peacekeeper’s Christmas Story
Major John Thornton, a Canadian Armed Forces peacekeeper is home on Christmas furlough. He is a member of the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry. He commands a battalion teaching soldiers throughout the Middle East how to defend themselves against terrorist attacks from ISIS and other terrorist groups. His wife, Carol, daughters, Bobby Sue, who is 8, Cathy, who is 5, and sons, Mark, who is 12 and Matthew, who is 17, are gathered around the Christmas tree. Vocal daughter, Cathy, says,
Daddy, please tell us the story about when Jesus was born!
John put down the savory hot chocolate with a sprinkle of peppermint made by Carol. Carol smiled back at John as she saw the smile upon his face. She went over to where John was sitting on the comfy sofa with kitties, William and Catherine, who were named after the royal couple, William and Kate. William was well known in the small town of Matheson, northern Ontario, for escaping outside at every opportunity. Hence, he came to be known as William at Large, who was also known as Sir Lounge a Lot. His partner in crime was Catherine, also known as Princess Catherine of Chaos. She had a reputation for creating disharmony by doing things like swiping at her brother, William, especially on those gray and cloudy days that made her sad.
Catherine looked at John as she took possession of his lap. The expression on her face was that the world was ending. She was a rather neurotic kitty, but such a faithful nurse when any of the family was sick. She would use the power of the paw, pressing her paw gently on their faces. She would fix her I’m the boss stare upon you. By the end of the day she looked so exhausted. John had never seen a kitty with frown lines on their face until Catherine came into his life 14 years ago. She and her brother, William, as little kittoons crawled up John’s right leg when he was sitting down at a barbecue at Carol’s friend’s place just outside of Stouffville, Ontario, Canada. They were so worn after their journey they fought with each other for possession of John’s lap, and fell fast asleep.
John and Carol met at a Bible study through their local church. They fell in love and had been married for 20 years. Whenever they were around people they could see the love between them in every caress, in every embrace.
Darling, you are such a wonderful story teller! I always enjoy listening to your stories. You sweet talked me into marrying you.
Carol, you were the one who chased after me. You told me that a number of women were quite interested in me, but I had no clue they were.
Love of my life next to God, our Lord brought us both together.
Carol gives John a huge hug and a passionate kiss that leaves him blushing and tongue-tied.
Come on, Dad. Enough of that yuchy mushy stuff. I want to hear the Christmas story.
Yeh, Dad. Ewe! You two can kiss when you’re alone.
I’ll kiss your father wherever I want to. But because it’s Christmas I’ll wait to kiss him until we’re all alone.
Hurry up with the story already, Dad. As for the kissing I think that’s really sick!
(Sick is the youth lingo for That’s great!). The children just don’t understand romance.
Okay, everyone, chill out. My goodness, Carol, being a peacekeeper is easier! I’ll tell you all the story of when Jesus was born, and what that means to your father.
The baby Jesus was born in the town of Bethlehem in a manger bare. His mother, Mary, father, Joseph, shepherds and three wise men were there.
The wise men gave their gifts of gold, and the essential oils of frankincense and myrrh to Jesus. Essential oils in the time of Jesus were used as a perfume and in the healing of the sick.
The wise men traveled from country afar as they followed a bright and shining star. It led them to the place where Jesus lay surrounded by animals and hay.
The angels said, “To you is born this day a saviour for all.” That means God’s love is for the homeless man living out on the street, your friends at school, the rich and poor and the stranger you see. From all darkness they can be set free if they would say, “Here I am with all my sin. I want Christ into my life come in.”
Christ grew up to become a man of 33. During His life He made the lame to walk and the blind to see. He taught His followers what it means to love others. He gave a love that was for all hurting humanity. But not all people loved this man from Galilee. Many hated Him because He challenged the learned their spiritual blindness to see. They wanted Him dead for that. They wanted no more talk of people becoming spiritually free. They decided this would be Christ’s end. To a cross of death did they our saviour send.
You would think as Christ was dying for those who wanted Him to die He would be filled with hate, but instead He said, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do (Luke 23:34, KJV).”
Your father is a peacekeeper in a distant land of desert sand. Sadly, there are people over there filled with hate. They are hurting and killing babies, children, men and women, who have done nothing wrong. These murderers are called terrorists because they strike fear into people.
We all need to pray that terrorists and their children, who they teach to hate others, will see the truth that hate does no good thing. We need to be like this man, Jesus, from Galilee, who to this world a new song, a new hope did bring. In a world of sadness and despair He said, “I’m here. I care. I your problems share.”
We need to pray all of us will learn to get along. Hate doesn’t to our lives belong.
At school you can be like Jesus, the man from Galilee by respecting and caring about your teachers. Pray for them. Tell them about any bullying you see at school or online. Tell others about this man, who taught His followers and all those in His life He did see, about a love that is free. You teach others about love when in your life no hate they see.
Children, every day we need to pray peace on earth will come to this world one day. We will get rid of the weapons of war. We will fight with each other no more. Our love for others can demand life’s highest sacrifice – our lives. Many in military service and people have died for the freedoms we enjoy. May we all never forget that’s what love is all about – loving when the dark voice of hate says not to care. We show Jesus’ love when for others we’re there and say, “I care. I’m here. I’ll always be near.”
Okay, everyone. Let’s go have a country breakfast of maple bacon, eggs and ham, as well as your mother’s tasty black currant jam. Then, we’ll unwrap all our gifts under the Christmas tree. Let’s go eat. I’m really hungry!
All actors exit off centerstage right.
Such was John’s Christmas story that day. Let us all pray that peace on earth, good will towards others is in our hearts every day, and all wars will end. We will treat one another as brother and sister, each one as friend.
Kevin and Karen Osborne are Christian pastoral counsellors and psychotherapists. Kevin is studying to become a chaplain and professor of Psychology specializing in Pastoral Theology. We have started You Can Hope Again Counselling. Karen enjoys doing cross-stitch while I like writing and singing songs. Karen makes me laugh when she sings the kitty bed-time song saying, “It’s that time. It’s the bestest kitty time of the day!” Kevin enjoys teasing the kitties and making them do kitty dances with music. Their kitty, Catherine, loves it when kitty daddeh sings All Things Bright and Beautiful. Kevin likes doing impressions. He tells children’s stories and helps others with their problems using his hand puppet, Dr. Teddy, who is a therapy bear. He is a partner with us in our counselling practice.We are available to assist with worship and preaching to give busy pastors and ministers a much-needed break. We offer in-office, and phone counselling to anyone in the world.
Co-author on Mind’s Seat, a Christian inspirational blog