La Posada: A Christmas Skit

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Use this traditional Mexican drama with your kids to tell the
Christmas Bible story

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La Posada is an honored and traditional Mexican drama at
Christmas time. In Mexican cities and towns, children dressed as
Mary and Joseph go from house to house only to be refused shelter.
This interactive La Posada skit invites children to experience the
plight of Mary and Joseph and the care of their God.

INTRODUCTION

Before the drama, read aloud Luke 2:7, part of the well-known Christmas
Bible story. Then say: How terrible it must’ve been for Mary and
Joseph to be in Bethlehem that first Christmas night. There was no
room for them anywhere. They were homeless. They’d come from
Nazareth-from their cozy, comfortable little home to a very crowded
city where there was no room for them.

Ask: Have any of you ever been in a place where there
was no room for you?

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Say: Let’s imagine ourselves in this Bible story and
put ourselves in Mary and Joseph’s place that first Christmas
night. Who would like to be Mary in our drama? Who would like to be
Joseph? (Choose two children) Let’s pretend our room is the town of
Bethlehem.

SETTING Form pairs for each inn. Arrange the
innkeepers around the room. There could be as few as one inn, or as
many as 10 to 12. Extra children can serve as cows, sheep, camels,
trees or beggars. Encourage these kids to ham up their roles in the
drama when Mary and Joseph come near.

Have the innkeepers each choose a name for their inn and prepare
a sign to hold up. Possible inn names could be “Bethlehem Holiday
Inn,” “Eli’s Bed and Breakfast” or “Abraham’s Trailer Park.”

Have the last innkeepers Mary and Joseph come to in the drama
make a sign that reads “(Your church)…Visitors Welcome” and a
sign that reads “No Room in the Inn.”

When all the children are ready, have them take their positions
around the room. Then have them turn with their backs to Mary and
Joseph.

Tell Mary and Joseph to go from inn to inn, just like in the
Bible story, and to ask the other children to take them in for the
night. Mary and Joseph can bribe, plead, grovel-anything but use
physical coercion. (We suspect that Mary and Joseph were basically
nonviolent people.)

Give children a photocopy of the Christmas Bible Story drama
dialogue below. Encourage children to ad-lib as they go.

When Mary and Joseph come to an inn, the innkeepers should turn
around and hold up their sign. Encourage the innkeepers to be
creative in refusing the couple. Possible reasons to turn Mary and
Joseph away could be: “Your stomach’s too big,” “We haven’t cleaned
house” or “You couldn’t afford us.”

Christmas Bible Story Drama DIALOGUE

Mary: Hello, my name is Mary and this is my husband, Joseph.

Joseph: We’ve come from Nazareth and Mary’s going to have a
baby.

Mary: We’re going to name him Jesus. He’ll be a very special
son.

Joseph: But we need a place to stay. Do you have a room for
us?

Innkeeper(s): No! No way! Absolutely not! We’re all full! We
don’t take in people from Nazareth.

Mary: Please don’t turn us away. We’re cold.

Joseph: We’re hungry.

Mary: And I’m going to have my baby, Jesus, very soon!

Innkeeper: You can’t have a baby in my inn. Go to the hospital.
Don’t bother us. I wish the city would do something about these
homeless people.

(At the last stop in the Bible story:)

Mary: Please let us stay at your inn. We’ve been all over
Bethlehem and there’s no place for us. We’re cold.

Joseph: We’re hungry.

Mary: And I’m going to have my baby, Jesus, very soon!

Innkeeper 1: I’m very sorry. We love to take visitors, but as
you can see (points to sign) there’s no room in the inn.

Joseph: Don’t you have a place somewhere?

Innkeeper 1: I’ve got an idea! You can stay in our stable.

Innkeeper 2: Yeah, it’s warm and clean.

Innkeeper 1: And the animals will keep you company.

Innkeeper 2: It isn’t much, but it’s the best we can do.

Joseph: Oh, thank you! Thank you very much! It’s so good to know
that we won’t be out on the streets.

Mary: Especially when our little Jesus is born!

THINKING ABOUT IT

Lead kids in applause for one another after the drama. Then
gather them together to think about their experience as they’ve
acted out this Bible story.

Ask Mary and Joseph: How did it feel to be Mary and Joseph? How
did it feel to be turned away? When did you feel angry, sad,
discouraged, frustrated?

Ask the innkeepers: How did it feel to turn Mary and Joseph
away? Did you wish you could do something to take them in? What
would you have done? If Mary and Joseph came to your home tonight
and wanted to come in to stay with you, what would you do?

Ask the group: Think of a time you’ve been turned away from a
place. Can you describe the situation to us? How did it feel to
you? Let’s think of people like Mary and Joseph who are turned
away. Can you name people who get turned away? (The homeless;
refugees; people who are sick or who we fear.) What are some ways
our church helps these needy people?

Say: God provided an innkeeper who opened up a stable to Mary
and Joseph in this Christmas Bible story. Even though it didn’t
seem like much, it gave them shelter and safety for the night of
Jesus’ birth. God sends us people to care for us and take us in.
Who are some people who care for and welcome you? (Parents;
teachers; pastors; doctors.)

Close in prayer: Gracious God, you sent Mary and Joseph a kind
and helpful innkeeper to care for them when they were without a
home. We thank you for all those who care for us, and we ask that
you’d let us help others when they turn to us for help. You sent
your only Son into this world to teach us to love and care for one
another. We thank you for the Christmas Bible story and the gift of
Jesus. Amen.

Donald Hinchey is a pastor in Colorado and author of
5-Minute Messages for Children (Group Books)

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