In today's "hurry-up" world, it seems we rarely take the time to think of other people and "walk a mile in the other man's shoes." If we did, what would we see? "They Worshiped Him" revisits the nativity story from the perspective of the people who were actually there. In this dramatic retelling, we glimpse the innermost thoughts and feelings of some of the very common people whose lives were forever changed by a most extraordinary event. What did the shepherds feel? What did others think of them? Were they perceived as "eccentric"? And what about the wise men who followed the star? Did they have an entire entourage, or did people treat them like three dottering old men? And what about Mary and Joseph; how did this unusual pregnancy affect them? "They Worshiped Him" answers many of these questions while reminding us of the biblical characters' humanity.
The singing of favorite seasonal carols is woven into the drama, encouraging audience participation. And it's an adaptable work that can be staged as elaborately or simply as you wish. While there are speaking parts for 12 angels, 5 animals, 6 shepherds, 3 magi, the innkeeper, Mary, Joseph, and a narrator, roles can easily be combined for use with any size congregation. Staging instructions are included.
"Far too many plays being marketed to churches today are not well written, place unreasonable requirements on the space and talent available in the average local church, and contain biblically inaccurate statements and characterizations. Gail Keffer's play They Worshiped Him doesn't present any of those problems. It is written in a flexible manner that makes it easy to adapt to a worship service, dinner theater, or a feature-length play for an annual Christmas production. It also does a magnificent job of presenting a biblically accurate version of the nativity story that can be heard, understood, and remembered by all of God's children.... We used this play two years ago, and people are still talking about it. One comment I heard was that the play "made Mary seem like a real person and not a stained-glass Madonna who's out of touch with the realities people like us face.""
Kari Turner McClellan
Senior Pastor, First Presbyterian Church
Gail K. Keffer is a graduate of Slippery Rock University (B.S. and M.Ed.). An active member of Clen-Moore Presbyterian Church in New Castle, Pennsylvania, Keffer is a former schoolteacher who has run a needlework design business and is currently the proprietor of The Amish Peddler, a business specializing in the sale of fine Amish-made furniture.