(It is Sunday morning service. The Pastor stands center stage to make an announcement. He talks towards the audience.)
Pastor: Praise the Lord. That was a wonderful time of worship. Before we get into the rest of the service I have a few announcements to make about our annual church Christmas party. First, we’re going to need some volunteers to help decorate the fellowship hall and…
Wow! Look at all the hands! This is Wonderful! I appreciate all the enthusiasm. Mrs. Smith, why don’t you and Ms. Thompson get together and head that up, okay?
Now, next on the list we need some strong men to help set up the tables and chairs… Great all these hands! Bill, how about you and Dave get a crew together to set up, okay? It’s great to see all the willing help we have here.
Well, in the spirit of giving, I’d like to share something with you that the Lord has placed on my heart. At this time of year, the nursing homes in the area are full of elderly people who won’t be able to spend Christmas with their families. They’re hurting, lonely, and really need someone to love them. I was wondering if there is anyone here who would like to volunteer their time with me to visit the local nursing homes. (Looks out. No response) Anyone? Anyone at all? Just raise your hand if you want to come with me to the nursing home. This is a wonderful opportunity to show these people someone cares.
(The Pastor freezes. On stage left, an elderly woman in a nursing home prays to Jesus)
Old Lady: Sweet Jesus, this year will be my 93rd Christmas. I don’t know why I’ve lived so long. I’ve outlived both of my children and I’m all alone. I sure do miss them. The people here are nice to me and they treat me pretty good, but I just don’t have anybody to talk to. They just pat me on my shoulder and go about their business. And Lord, I’m real lonely. For Christmas this year, All I want is to go home and be with you. That’s all I want, Lord. Just to go home.
(The lady freezes in prayer posture)
Pastor: (unfreezes) Anyone? (pause) well, if the Lord lays it on your heart, please see me after service. Back to our Christmas party, is there anyone that would like to bake some cookies?
Wow! Look at all the hands. Carol, you and Jane can be in charge of that. Folks, I also feel a real leading of the Lord to take our Christmas cheer to those who could really use some ministry. There are some inmates in prison who really need someone to encourage them and just make them feel loved. They’ve made some mistakes, but that doesn’t mean we should turn our back on them –not at this time of the year. Is there anyone who would like to go with me to the local prison? Anyone at all? Anyone? (pause) We really need to take advantage of this time and minister to these people.
(The pastor freezes. Stage right, a prison inmate prays to Jesus)
Prisoner: Jesus, I’ve been in here for so long. I know I deserve to be here and I knew it was going to be rough, but I had no idea how hard it would be. It’s so lonely God. After I was arrested, my wife left me. My kids, they don’t even come and see me. I don’t blame them, but I just wish there were others I could talk to. There’s not too many Christians in here. Jesus, for Christmas this year I’m asking for a friend. Please, send me someone who will help me understand the bible a little better; someone that can pray with me. I just need to know that someone cares. Please, Jesus, send me a friend.
(The Prisoner freezes in prayer position)
Pastor: (unfreezes) Anybody? (pauses) well, if you’d like to go, please see me after service. Anyway, for our Christmas party, we’re going to need someone to help send out invitations. If there’s anyone who… Would you look at all the hands!! Mrs. Brown, I’ll just leave you in charge of the invitations. There is one final thing that I feel the Lord leading us to do as a church this year. Christmas is so important to children. There are a lot of kids who are not going to have a good Christmas unless we step in and help. These kids have no families and no one to love them. Is there anyone here who would like to go with me to the orphanage? (pauses) Come on people. These kids really need someone to love them.
(Pastor freezes and a little orphan girl prays to Jesus)
Girl: Dear Jesus. Tomorrow is Christmas and there’s only one thing I want this year and that’s a Mommy and a Daddy. I know that’s a lot to ask, but it’s all I want. I really liked Mr. and Mrs. Jones. They came over a few weeks ago and we spent the whole day together! I had so much fun going to the zoo and having Ice cream. Mrs. Jones even has the same kind of hair that I do. I could look like I was her real daughter… But… They chose a baby instead. (Emotional) Jesus, why? Is there something wrong with me? Did I do something wrong? If I did, I’ll never do it again. I promise. All I want for Christmas is a family. Please…
(The girl freezes in prayer position)
Pastor: (unfreezes) Anyone at all? Please, just raise your hand. Someone… Anyone… Please. (pause) Okay, one more time. Will anyone volunteer for the nursing home?
(Old lady unfreezes slowly extending her arms towards the audience)
Pastor: What about the Prison?
(Prisoner unfreezes slowly extending his arms towards the audience)
Pastor: The orphanage? Anyone?
(Orphan girl unfreezes slowly extending her arms towards the audience)
Pastor: Won’t anyone help? Anyone? (Pause) Well, I hope everyone enjoys the Christmas party…