Open Hearts in Bethlehem
The traditional story of Jesus' birth is well known and beloved. A long journey from home. A pregnant mother. The crisis of birth. Remarkable visitors.
But there is more. For the first time, here is a drama that accurately presents what the Bible actually says rather than what tradition and mistranslations of Scripture have portrayed. This fresh Christmas drama from world-renowned Middle Eastern and biblical expert Kenneth Bailey is full of wonder and hope.
Pastors, Christian educators, musicians and others will welcome the opportunity to present to their congregations this drama of hospitality, grace and joy. Five original contemporary folk songs for guitar and a (SATB) choral anthem are also available to give the production delightful musical accents. InterVarsity Press also provides a PDF download musical score as well as a music CD or MP3 download in which all these songs are performed twice, once with vocals and once with accompaniment only. Without music, the drama can be performed in 25-30 minutes. With music, the performance time is 45-50 minutes.
Here is a drama that is biblically accurate, heartwarming and perfectly suited for church performance.
"With profound biblical understanding expressed in simple beauty, Ken Bailey combines his gifts with those of son/songwriter David, D. T. Niles and others to help us 'drink from the spring of Scripture as close to the source as possible.' In a world awash in stereotypical Christmas celebrations, don't miss this opportunity to offer Jesus our best."
"Your Christmas program will never be the same once you 'drink from the spring of Scripture' and hear the story of Christ's birth anew through the Middle Eastern insights of Ken Bailey--a master teacher for all ages!"
"Ken Bailey's scholarship gave "the West" a real treasure in Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes. His scholarship and imagination have now given western eyes a new way of looking at the birth of Jesus. Christmas in church has been offered a new and authentic setting--what a gift, what a legacy!"
"Ken Bailey retells the Christmas story not only with biblical integrity but with great warmth, wit and wisdom. When this drama was presented, we watched the incarnation become transformed from 'no room at the inn' into an experience of radical hospitality. This imaginative, dramatic script can revitalize the Christmas season in any size congregation."
"Having seen a production of Ken Bailey's Open Hearts in Bethlehem I can say that it is the new and important Christmas play many of us have been longing and waiting for. It reflects Dr. Bailey's lifelong immersion in Middle Eastern culture and his brilliant grasp of theological scholarship. Add to that the beautiful original musical score and the result is a fresh and original approach to the Christmas story. As an actor-director and former professor of theatre I highly recommend this production."
"This fresh Christmas drama from world renowned Middle Eastern and biblical expert Kenneth Bailey is full of wonder and hope. Pastors, Christian educators, musicians and others will welcome the opportunity to present to their congregations this drama of hospitality, grace and joy."
Obtaining Permission to Perform
Music for Open Hearts in Bethlehem
Where Was the Manger and What Was the Inn?
The Cast in Order of Appearance
Other InterVarsity Press Resources from Kenneth E. Bailey