“Where Hope Is”–A Christmas Skit
I know! I know! It’s too early for Christmas. However, if you happen to have a group that needs to get a skit together for performance in December, you are probably looking now. Last year, my creative writing class was charged with writing our high school Christmas skit to be performed along with the choir and band concerts. They did some research and realized that they liked the idea in Tolstoy’s short story “Where Love Is, There God Is Also,” but they didn’t want to do a period piece. They wanted something traditional, but contemporary. They came up with the skit that follows: “Where Hope Is.”
With Tolstoy’s story in mind, they rewrote the action and characters into a modern-day tale of a kind, retired man who saw people in need and chose to help, even though he was expecting a very important guest.
This skit is appropriate for junior high and up. The cast can be expanded to include carolers or a large crowd on the street. It was very well received by our audience that included people of all ages.
“Where Hope Is”–Introduction
By Chris Figaretti, Josie Figaretti, Millie Lendon, Hannah Shepherd, and Beverly Green
(based on “Where Love Is, There God Is Also” by Leo Tolstoy)
Martin: an old man who lives alone in the city and writes poetry
Child (could be male or female)
Woman with a large purse
Young Person (could be male or female)
Voice of Jesus
People on the street
Setting is in a city, in Martin’s small apartment and on the street. In the apartment there should be a desk with a lamp and a desk chair, a table to act as “kitchen,” a few bowls, spoons, and pots, and a trunk to hold coats and scarves.
[Lights up. Martin, an old man, sits at his desk proofreading]
MARTIN: Through fear and war, He can restore
Through grief and loss, there stands the cross
And though the voice of doubt creeps in
I know I’m pardoned from my sin
And when the dark of night surrounds
With Him I’m sure to stand my ground
Even though by life I’m scarred
With Him nothing is quite so hard
He looks past my blackened soul
[he hesitates, thinking, then resumes writing the last line]
And says I’m loved and makes me whole.
Where Hope Is
A Christmas Gift
NARRATOR: Martin Mongomery was a poet. Earlier in life he was an accountant, brilliant, honest, and respected in his town, and able to make a decent living for himself and his family–his wife Eloise and his two sons, Tony and Timothy. Sadly, many years ago, Eloise died. In 2001, Timothy traveled to New York, and was tragically caught up in the events of 9/11. For years, Tony and Martin lived a modest city life, father and son, content. Then, early in 2020, a dreadful disease attacked them. Martin survived. His son did not. Expenses rose, and Martin was forced to sell his home and rent a small apartment in the upstairs of a second-hand clothing store. There were so many worldly reasons for Martin to abandon his faith, but Christ was the strength of his whole life, and in 2022, as a retired man who spent his days writing poetry and occasionally helping friends with their books and accounting. He read the Word of God every day, and sometimes talked to the Lord for hours.
[music a few bars of Silent Night as Martin reads his Bible at his desk and people pass by huddled in coats]
Where Hope Is–Martin’s Dream
NARRATOR: One cold, snowy Christmas Eve Eve, you know, the night before the night before Christmas, Martin fell asleep at his desk, and drifted off into a dream. In his dream, Jesus Himself called out to Martin:
VOICE OF JESUS: Martin, I have seen your life and have heard your prayers. Tomorrow is Christmas Eve. I am going to come and visit you.
[Martin wakes with a start]
MARTIN: Tomorrow! [getting up and pacing frantically] I have to prepare! [as he begins to sweep the floor] What do I have? What can I give to my Lord? Nothing I have is good enough! [pause] But wait … it was only a dream… still … [he returns to his desk and gets out paper and pen]
NARRATOR: Martin was too excited to sleep that night. He calculated what money he had on hand and decided he would fix a most excellent stew with a pot of imported coffee with real cream. *Maxwell House* and *Coffee Mate* were good enough for him, but he wouldn’t want to serve it to Jesus. And a Cinnabon! Yes, for desert! But a gift? What could he possibly give the Lord that was worthy of Him? With that conundrum on his mind, Martin rushed out to the market. [Martin exits]
[music plays to segue–a few bars of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, as shoppers pass and Martin returns with bags in his hands. He unpacks his food, prepares the pot, cuts the vegetables, cleans up a little, sweeps the floor, etc.]
MARTIN: [looking up] Lord, I can give you food and a nice cup of coffee, but what gift can I give you? What do I have that is worthy of you?
NARRATOR: Then Martin had an idea!
Where Hope Is–An Old Man
[Martin sits down at his desk and begins to write; music plays–a few bars of O Little Town of Bethlehem. Two children pass by, throwing a ball back and forth, two women pass with shopping bags, they wave to Martin and he returns the wave. Another woman with her purse over her shoulder walks by, trailed by a suspicious character in a black hoodie. A woman and child also hurry by. The child becomes distracted by something on the ground and kneels down to pick it up. The mother takes her by the hand and leads her away. An old beggar-looking man walks down the street in front of Martin’s window. He is obviously very cold. Martin looks up, sees him, goes to his door, and calls out:]
MARTIN: Sir! … Sir!
OLD MAN: Me?
MARTIN: Sir, you look very cold. Please, come in and warm yourself up a little.
[The man hesitates, Martin nods his head in encouragement, and the man follows Martin in.]
MARTIN: Would you have some coffee, my friend?
OLD MAN: Thank you so much! It must be under 30 degrees out and it’s starting to snow again. I can’t get into the shelter until 3:00. Some way to spend a Christmas Eve, huh?
[Martin pours the man a cup of coffee, hesitantly adds a little cream and sugar, and hands it to the man. He drains it in one gulp and hands the cup back to Martin for more. Martin gives him more]
OLD MAN: Martin, I have heard of you. You have suffered so much. Life must be very hard for you.
MARTIN: All people suffer, my friend. We must live for God. He is the giver of life, and when you begin to live for Him, grief is much easier, because you know that all this world is temporary.
OLD MAN: Those are wise words indeed, Martin. Won’t you read to me, just a bit about Christmas? It would be such a blessing.
[Martin nods and opens his Bible to Luke 2 and begins to read]
MARTIN: [reading from Luke 2] “And Joseph also went up out of the city of Nazareth into Judea, into the city of David which is called Bethlehem to be taxed with Mary, his wife, who was great with child. And while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered, and she brought forth her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were in the same country shepherds, abiding in the fields keeping watch over their flocks by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them, and they were sore afraid. But the angel said unto them, “Fear not, for behold I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people, for unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you, you shall find the babe, wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger.”
OLD MAN: Ah, what a miracle. Thank you so much! Before I go, may I have just one more cup of your excellent coffee?
[Martin notices that the pot is nearly empty, but fills the old man’s cup one more time. The old man drains his cup]
OLD MAN: Martin, you have warmed my heart and soul as well as my body. Thank you. God will bless you. Merry Christmas.
MARTIN: Any time. I am always glad to share. Merry Christmas!
[The old man walks away, and turns to wave. Martin returns the wave, then picks up his empty coffee pot]
MARTIN: Well, I do have the stew left to serve the Lord when He comes, and it will be warm. Fresh water will wash it down well. And there is still my gift … oh, the gift!
Where Hope Is–A Mother and Child
[Martin returns to his desk and begins writing again. Music segue Coventry Carol to the next scene as the two children with the ball run back the opposite direction and the shoppers walk by with packages. The suspicious character in the hoodie sneaks behind them. A woman and child enter. The child is crying and the woman is trying to comfort her.]
CHILD: Mom! I’m hungry. And it’s so cold.
MOTHER: Come here under this awning. Maybe the snow will stop soon.
CHILD: But mommy, my toes are cold. When will we be home?
MOTHER: We just have a little farther to go. Don’t cry, everything will be alright, I promise.
[Martin notices the two and gets up to listen. He checks his watch and glances upward toward God. Then he goes to the door.]
MARTIN: Lady … Ma’am … Why are you out here in the snow with the child?
MOTHER: Well, I… I just don’t know what to do… [begins to cry]
MARTIN: Come in. Come in for a minute and let the child get warm.
MOTHER: Thank you.
[they follow Martin inside and sit down rubbing hands together]
MOTHER: I don’t mean to intrude. Our car broke down and I don’t have the money for bus fare. We live in Oxford.
MARTIN: In Oxford! That’s four miles from here!
[Child gets up and walks to the stove]
CHILD: Something smells really good.
MARTIN: Are you hungry?
CHILD: Yes! I’m starving!
MARTIN: Then you shall eat. And your mother, too.
[Martin fills two bowls and hands them to his guests. Then he fills glasses from a pitcher of water]
MARTIN: Let the child take off her shoes and put them on the heater to dry. I wish I had a car to drive you home. I sold my car last year. Don’t need it to get around to the places I go these days. Still, days like today, it might be nice to have it.
CHILD: It’s so good! May I have more?
MOTHER: Sir, this is wonderful, but I have no way to repay you.
[Martin hands the child another bowl of stew]
MARTIN: We should not give with the intention of getting back. On this blessed night so long ago, Wise Men visited a stable in Bethlehem where the baby Savior lay with His mother and Father. They brought very expensive gifts, things Mary and Joseph could not repay in money, but those wise men got much, much more in return when Jesus grew up and gave His own life so that they would have a way back to the Father. That was the greatest gift of all.
MOTHER: Thank you so much for your kindness, but we really need to get back on our way. It will be getting dark before long.
MARTIN: You still have a long way to go. Your coat is far from enough. Here. I may have something.
[He pulls an old coat and a large, wool scarf and cap out of a chest as the woman helps her child with putting the shoes back on]
MARTIN: These belonged to my wife. They aren’t very stylish, but they are still warm. Please …
[he hands the coat to the woman, then he wraps the scarf around the child and puts the cap on her head]
MOTHER: [wiping away tears] May God bless you! He must have seen us in our need and sent us by your door. Otherwise, we may have frozen to death.
MARTIN: “With God, all things are possible. Be careful, my friends. Come visit me again sometime. Merry Christmas.”
[They turn to go, but Martin calls them back.]
MARTIN: Just a moment
[He hands them the wrapped Cinnabon.]
MARTIN: Merry Christmas.
[They hug Martin and he watches them walk away, then walks over and scrapes the bottom of the pot with a spoon. He looks up to heaven and prays]
MARTIN: Lord, when you come, you may want to stop at Sheetz first. I’m afraid I have no more food to give you. Now, I really must finish the gift.
A Young Person and Some Trouble
[Martin sits down at the desk and begins once again to write; music begins: Mary Did You Know; he reaches up to turn on his desk lamp, then continues writing. A woman with a large purse walks by “stalked” by the suspicious character in the black hoodie. The suspicious character lunges forward and wrestles the woman’s purse away from her. The woman screams and runs away. The young person opens the purse, discovers there is no money, throws it away, kicks the snow, then sits down with hands over *her* face. Martin rushes out, his paper still in his hand.]
MARTIN: What is this? What are you doing?
YOUNG *Suspicious* PERSON: [mumbles something]
MARTIN: I couldn’t hear you. You’re in some kind of trouble [not accusing. He’s trying to open up a conversation).
YOUNG PERSON: Yeah, that’s right! I’m always in trouble. What gave it away?
MARTIN: Well now, there’s a way out of every kind of trouble … if you really want out.
YOUNG PERSON: Yeah, sure.
MARTIN: Yes, for sure.
YOUNG PERSON: What are you even talking about?
MARTIN: [with some difficulty, sits down next to the young person ] Jesus made a way out for everyone, but you have to do it His way.
[Suspicious young person draws back to hit him twice but thinks better of it both times and puts hands down. There is silence for a moment]
MARTIN: You know it’s Christmas Eve, right? And do you know what Christmas Eve is all about? It’s about giving.
YOUNG PERSON: Here it comes! What do you want? I don’t have anything. The purse was empty.
MARTIN: Not what you can give. What God already gave. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
YOUNG PERSON: Why would I want that? I just want to die.
MARTIN: Life is God’s greatest gift, and He wants it to be your Christmas gift.
YOUNG PERSON: Why would God want to give anything to me? IF He even exists.
Where Hope Is–The Gift
MARTIN: Because He loves you! He loves you so much that He left heaven and came into this world to teach and heal, and to die, so you could be with Him forever. [Martin remembers the paper in his hand] See, [he holds it so Young Person can read with him:]
Out of Your glory You stepped into time
You brought a new tune, You brought a new rhyme
You knew what would happen If I sang along
We’d create a new life–a new song
But there are no words to express Your love
You’re too wonderful, and too high above
But You came to me with the perfect plan
Jesus, You took hold of my sinful hand
Full of compassion You suffered the cross
[Young Person begins reading along]
Because You saw me, frightened and lost
You gave up Your life, You gave everything
To express all your love; my graceful King
[Martin realizes Young Person is reading with him and allows her to continue alone]
So I kneel here in awe, I whisper Your name
And I pour out my heart–it’s Yours to claim
I believe I can hear the angels sing
Holy, holy, holy high heaven rings
[Young Person is crying] … My Lord
MARTIN: Yes, He is your Lord. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
YOUNG PERSON: I think it’s true! Lord, I am a sinner. Please forgive me. [Takes the paper from Martin’s hand and reads through the words silently].
MARTIN: What’s your name?
YOUNG PERSON: Sydney
Martin: Merry Christmas, Sydney.
YOUNG PERSON:: [remembers the purse. Gets up and runs about collecting what has fallen out of it. YOUNG PERSON opens the wallet and reads the name and address on the driver’s license]. I need to give this back.
YOUNG PERSON: What’s your name?
MARTIN: It’s Martin.
YOUNG PERSON: Thanks, Martin! [Runs off to return the purse]
MARTIN: Wait! You have my … [shrugs his shoulders and checks his watch] Midnight.
[Returns sadly to his desk] Lord, You said you would come, but You did not come. I guess it was just the dream of a foolish old man. And now, I have nothing to offer you anyway. [Puts his head down on the desk]
An Important Visitor
VOICE OF JESUS: Martin, I did come to see you. Did you not recognize me? I was the old man who shared your coffee, I was the mother and the child. And I was Sydney. You gave me the perfect gift. Remember what I spoke to you in My word: “Whatever you have done for the least of My brothers and sisters, you have done it for Me.” Merry Christmas, Martin, and thank you for your hospitality. [Joy to the World plays, Martin lifts his head and looks heavenward with wonder. Blackout].
Joy to the World continues as all actors join Martin onstage during the brief curtain call.
Thanks for reading “Where Hope Is. If you have questions, please feel free to contact me at email@example.com. “God bless you, and may the Spirit of Christmas dwell in your heart all year.