The Presentation of Christ in the Temple: A Play
The Presentation of Christ in the Temple Luke 2:29-38
Cast of Characters:
Jesus (as infant – a life size doll)
Anna the Prophetess
Narrator: And the prophet Isaiah said, “The glory of the Lord shall be revealed
And all flesh shall see it together, For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
And the prophet Malachi said, And who can endure the day of His
Coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a
refiner’s fire and like launderers’ soap. “ (3:2)
Eight days after the baby was born He was taken to the synagogue
In Bethlehem to be circumcised and was called Jesus, the name
given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb.
Mary: It was our duty and our joy to follow the law of Moses.
We were indeed a family now and happy to have
the difficult journey to Bethlehem and the birth behind us.
Every day we talked about the visit of the shepherds and
the story they told s about the Song of the angels.
Narrator: But more lay ahead for the Holy Family.
Mary: Joseph and I now began to prepare for the next step. I was very
excited. We were going to the Temple in Jerusalem to present the
baby to the Lord. We would make an offering of two turtle doves.
Narrator: Would anyone guess the real identity of this special baby?
Mary: There were throngs of people all about the temple. Children
were playing and laughing. There were money changers everywhere.
And doves and pigeons in cages.
Joseph: I guided us through the crowds. We waited our turn to be
received by the priest. He held out his hands for the baby.
The priest received our offering of turtle doves, our redemption. He
recited a benediction and the ceremony was over, fulfilling the law of
Narrator: Only there was more to come. A very old man named Simeon
who had led a holy life was waiting in the temple. God had told
Simeon he would not die before seeing the Holy One of God, the
Messiah prophesied as the saviour of Israel.
Mary: Joseph and I stood before the priest. I knew the baby in my arms
was no ordinary baby. As Joseph handed Jesus to the priest I
wondered if the priest would suddenly realize Who he was holding.
Narrator: This was not to be. But Mary was getting used to surprises.
As she had brought the baby into the temple others had, indeed,
recognized who He was.
Mary: When there was no sign that the priest recognized Jesus, I decided
God must want His Son’s identity to be hidden even in His temple. But it
turned out that I was in for another surprise.
Narrator: A man who was not a priest or a levite but just a devout, believing old
man came up to Mary and took the baby gently in his arms, knowing
immediately that he had been led by the Holy Spirit to recognize the
baby as the Saviour promised by God.
Simeon: (Holding the infant Christ Child and marveling at Him he prays to God):
“Now, Lord, let your servant depart in peace, for with my own eyes I have
seen your Salvation, the salvation you have prepared for all people, to
be a light to the gentiles, and the glory of Your people, Israel.”
Mary: I was very moved when I heard those words spoken so reverently by a
man of such age and wisdom but his next words weighed heavily on my
Simeon: “Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel,
and for a sign which will be spoken against. And thy own soul a sword
shall pierce, that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”
Mary: So it was as if a great shadow came over the temple and over my
soul. I would never be a carefree girl again . I was also the mother of
the “man of sorrows.” I would follow Him to the cross.
Narrator: Anna the prophetess of the tribe of Asher was also in the Temple that
day. She had spent most of her life there as she had been widowed
after seven years of marriage. Page 3.
Anna: I have fasted and prayed daily, hoping at all times to see the Messiah
before I died. When I saw Simeon giving the baby back to his parents,
the young mother in all her simplicity and radiant with the love of God, I
knew without a doubt I was in the presence of the mother of the Son of
God, and of the Light of the World Himself . I praised God, thanking
Him for allowing me to recognize the Light of the World. I spoke of Him
to all those who were waiting for redemption in Jerusalem.
Narrator: And so it is that the song of Simeon has been treasured by millions
of people over the centuries and is known by its Latin title, the Nunc
Dimittis . “Lord, now letttest thou thy servant depart in peace….
All stand and read the Nunc Dimittis on page 28 of the Book of Common