Readers' Theatre: Luke 1: 56-80

Here is a readers’ theatre setting of the story of the birth of John the Baptist.

The Birth of John the Baptist
(Luke 1:56-80)

One:     When the time was right, Elizabeth gave birth to a son.
            News about the Lord’s special kindness to her had spread
            through her whole extended family
            and the entire community.
            Everyone shared her joy,
            for after all these years of infertility,
            she finally had a child!

Two:     As was customary,
            eight days after the baby’s birth
            the time came for his circumcision and naming.
            Everyone assumed he would be named Zacharias, like his father.
            But Elizabeth told them:

Three:   No.  We will name him John.

One:     Her relatives all protested:

Two:     John?  Why John? 
            That name is found nowhere in your family!

One:     So they turned to Zacharias
            and asked him what he wanted the baby’s name to be.

Three:   Since he still was unable to speak,
            Zacharias motioned for a tablet,
            and wrote on it:
            “His name is John.”

One:     Everyone was shocked by this breach of family custom.
            And they were even more surprised when,
            at that very moment,
            Zacharias suddenly found himself able to speak again.
            And he began shouting out praises to God.

Two:     A sense of reverence spread throughout the whole community.
            In fact, this story quickly spread throughout the hilly countryside.
            People were certain that God’s hand was on this child,
            and they wondered what sort of person John would turn out to be
            when he became a man.

One:     And Zacharias, filled with the Holy Spirit,

Three:   May the Lord God of Israel be blessed indeed!
            For God’s intervention has begun,
            and He has moved to rescue us,
            the people of God.
            And the Lord has raised up a powerful sign of liberation for us
            from among the descendants of God’s servant, King David.
            As was prophesied through the mouths of His holy prophets
            in ancient times:
            God will liberate us from our enemies
            and from the hand of our oppressors!
            God will show mercy promised to our ancestors,
            upholding the abiding covenant He made with them,
            remembering the original vow He swore to Abraham,
            from whom we are all descended.
            God will rescue us from the grasp of our enemies
            so that we may serve Him without fear all our days
            in holiness and justice,
            in the presence of the Lord.

            And you, my son, will be called
            the prophet of the Most High.
            For you will be the one to prepare the way for the Lord
            so that the Lord’s people will receive knowledge of their freedom
            through the forgiveness of their sins.

            All this will flow from the kind and compassionate mercy of our God.
            A new day is dawning:
            the sunrise from the heavens will break through in our darkness,
            and those who huddle in the night,
            those who sit in the shadow of death,
            will be able to rise and walk in the light,
            guided in the pathway of peace.

One:     And John grew up and became strong in spirit.
            He lived in the wilderness, outside the cities,
            until the day came for him to step into the public eye in Israel.

~ based heavily on The Voice™ translation of Scripture.  Copyright © 2006, 2007, 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved.