Act One, Scene 3

Segment 3.2


 

[Music cue: “Scene Change to Shepherd’s Hill” underscore MP3, PDF ]

(A hillside near Bethlehem.)

ELI (calling from offstage): Nathan!

(NATHAN, a shepherd boy, runs onto the hillside.)

NATHAN: Up here, father! I found him. He’s with the others.

(Eli, Nathan’s father, climbs the hill.)

ELI: Where?

(Eli’s father ASA, REUBEN, JESHUA, JACOB and AMON climb up after Eli.)

NATHAN: Down there, see?

ELI: Ah! Good for you, son.

REUBEN: Good for the lamb.

ELI (helping Asa up): Up here, father—

REUBEN: Jeshua—the bread?

(Jeshua breaks pieces from a loaf of bread and distributes them.)

ASA: This seems a good spot.

ELI: Yes. Nathan, do you see all those lights!

REUBEN: Lots of people over there.

ASA: That’s ol’ Herod again.

ELI: As if he were a Hebrew—calling them back to the land of their fathers.

The shepherds outside Bethlehem
NATHAN: It makes our little town seem so important!

ELI: Bethlehem is important, son.

REUBEN: I’d say!

NATHAN: What do you mean?

ASA: The Messiah will be born there—don’t you remember? In the city of David.

REUBEN: Some day . . .

NATHAN: How do you know?

ELI: The prophets.

NATHAN: Prophets?

JESHUA and ELI (answering together): Yes!

ELI: The Lord told Samuel that a king would come from Jesse—

JESHUA: A Beth-lehemite.33

NATHAN: Will that be Him? Will that be the Messiah?

ASA: From the stem of Jesse, the scriptures say; and—

ASA and REUBEN (together): A Branch shall grow out of his roots.34

ASA: Even so.

REUBEN: The root and offspring of—

NATHAN and REUBEN (together): David.35

Nathan sings
ASA: Yes.

[Music cue: “The Lord is My ShepherdMP3, PDF ]

(Nathan begins playing the harp.)

AMON: Uncle Eli, what will He be like?

ELI: Like His fathers, I suppose; like David.

JACOB: David the king?

JESHUA: Or David the shepherd?

ELI: Both.

AMON: A shepherd? How a shepherd?

ASA: He shall feed his flock, and gather the lambs, and carry them close to His heart.

ELI: And He’ll gently lead the mother sheep, those that are with young.36

JACOB: Sheep? What sheep?

ELI: Us.

AMON: Us?

NATHAN: Us!

NATHAN (cont’d)
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
He leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul:
He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.

ALL SHEPHERDS
Yea, though I walk through the valley of death, I will fear no evil:
For thou art with me;
Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:
Thou anointest my head with oil;
My cup runneth over.

(Underscore continues.)

NATHAN: When will He come, father?

ELI: Nathan, when I was your age, I prayed that I would be there. But it’s just as important to wait for Him, son, and to watch.

ASA: And be ready.

ELI
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:

ASA
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

ALL
The Lord is my shepherd
The Lord is my shepherd
The Lord is my shepherd . . .

The shepherds pray
NATHAN
I shall not, I shall not want.37

(The shepherds gather in prayer. Blackout. In the darkness the shepherds lie down to sleep.)

NOTES
33. See 1 Samuel 16:1.
34. See Isaiah 11:1.
35. See Revelation 22:16.
36. See Isaiah 40:11.
37. See Psalm 23.


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