WISEMEN  5'1m1f Three wise men bring gifts to the Christ child

MARY -- (enters carrying woven basket heaped with laundry)

WISE -- (follows, 3 wise men follow carrying gifts. One may
speak all lines or lines may be divided among all three) Dear

MARY -- (turns) Yes?

WISE -- We are looking for the baby who is called "King of the

MARY -- (pause, looks both ways) You're not from around here,
are you?

WISE -- No, we have traveled a long way. We are from the east.
From Mesopotamia, the land you Jews call Babylon. Do you know
the baby we seek?

MARY -- What do you want from him?

WISE -- We brought him gifts.

MARY -- You came 500 miles to bring gifts to a baby?

WISE -- The baby we seek is no ordinary baby. He is the savior,
the messiah we have been awaiting for almost 500 years.

MARY -- You're not Jews. How do you know so much about the
messiah of Israel?

WISE -- We are disciples of the prophet Belteshazzar.

MARY -- I don't know any prophet named Belteshazzar. I must go.

WISE -- A moment, dear lady.

MARY -- (turns)

WISE -- (confers with others briefly) Belteshazzar is our name
for your prophet Daniel. (confers, nods) Daniel.

MARY -- Daniel has been dead for almost 500 years. How could yo 
be his disciple?

WISE -- We Magi have been studying his writings and those of 
your prophet Isaiah since Daniel lived among us.

MARY -- Are you saying that YOU worship OUR God?

WISE -- Indeed, we do, dear lady. He is the one true God. We
have come a long way seeking to worship his son who is called
the King of the Jews. Do you know where we may find him?

MARY -- How do I know you haven't come to harm him?

WISE -- Harm him? Why would anyone want to harm the Son of God?

MARY -- We have heard that King Herod is insanely jealous of his
crown. He has killed people whom he fears might try to take over
his throne. If he hears that the baby is called the King of the
Jews... (turns) I must go now.

WISE -- Please, dear lady. We mean no harm. We have brought no
weapons, only these gifts.

MARY -- (turns) What kind of gifts?

WISE -- (points) In keeping with the teachings of your prophets,
we brought three gifts. (points) The first is the gift of gold
to acknowledge that he is a king. The second is the gift of
incense to acknowledge his priesthood.

MARY -- I'm sorry, you're mistaken. The priests among us are
from the tribe of Levi. Both of us... I mean, both parents of
the baby are from the tribe of Judah.

WISE -- According to the writings of the prophets, this baby
will be a priest forever on the order of Melchizedek.

MARY -- Melchizedek.

WISE -- Yes.

MARY -- You seem to know a lot about him. How did you know where
to find him? Daniel never mentioned Bethlehem in his prophecies.
Neither did Isaiah.

WISE -- We were guided here by a star.

MARY -- A star.

WISE -- Yes.

MARY -- You followed a star from Babylon to Bethlehem?

WISE -- Yes.

MARY -- You can't get here from Babylon by coming straight west.
You have to travel around the mountains.

WISE -- Yes. That's right. The star guided us around the

MARY -- You mean, the star moved in the sky?

WISE -- Yes.

MARY -- Which star?

WISE -- The one directly over your head.

MARY -- (looks up) That's odd! There's a bright star up there
that doesn't belong in that constella....

(if spot lighting is available, bring up light to wash out
Mary's face with baby blue light. If sound cues are available,
play a dramatic chord as the light increases)

MARY -- (backs away) How did you do that?

WISE -- We didn't. It was the Lord who brought us here to
acknowledge the fulfillment of his prophecies.

MARY -- What's in the third gift?

WISE -- I'm not sure you want to know.

MARY -- I want to know.

WISE -- (points) The third gift is the gift of myrrh.

MARY -- (backs away) Just when I was beginning to believe

WISE -- Please, dear lady.

MARY -- I happen to know that myrrh is a burial spice. Why would
you want to give burial spices to a baby... (backs away) Oh, no!

WISE -- Please, dear lady. Hear me.

MARY -- Are you sure that Herod didn't send you?

WISE -- No, dear lady. The burial spices are to acknowledge the
way in which the Son of God will pay for the sins of the world.

MARY -- (sigh, tearful) I don't want to lose my baby!

WISE -- Oh, no! The prophecy will not be fulfilled for another
33 years!

MARY -- Thirty-three years?

WISE -- According to the teachings of the prophets, the
annointed one must live to the age of priesthood before he
sacrifices himself for the sins of the world.

MARY -- So, you're not going to take my baby away from me?

WISE -- No, dear lady, no! We've come to worship him. Are you
the mother of the annointed one?

MARY -- Yes. His name is Jesus.

WISE -- An appropriate name. In your language Jesus means "God
is salvation."

MARY -- Yes.

WISE -- Isaiah called him Immanuel, which means... (confers)

MARY -- Immanuel means "God with us". My baby was conceived by
the Holy Spirit himself.

WISE -- The true son of God.

MARY -- Come. I'll show him to you. (exits)

WISE -- (follows singing the doxology, raising gifts high)

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