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In the gospel of Matthew, the nativity (birth ) story of Jesus is rather abbreviated. Much of what we consider to be part of Jesus’ birth comes from Luke: the shepherds, the sky full of angels, the census, the traveling to Bethlehem, no room at the inn, the birth in the manger. The emphasis in the gospel of Matthew is Jesus as the fulfillment of Jewish hopes of a Messiah. The overall structure of Matthew is that a “Pentateuch” (five books) which Jewish readers would connect with the first five books of the Bible attributed to Moses. Moses was the one whom God sent to deliver the Hebrews from the hand of the Egyptians. So also, the gospel writer of Matthew believed that Jesus was the one sent by God to save God’s people as the lived in a land occupied by the Romans. This drama is written to highlight the parallels of Moses’ and Jesus’ birth stories and to lay the foundation of reading Matthew’s gospel of Jesus in the coming year.

 The dominant backdrops are two large cardboard pyramid/mountain type structures (Egypt-> a pyramid; Bethlehem-> Herodium-King Herod the Great’s palace and future burial place just east of Bethlehem). In the center is the set of a house that is divided in half—the left side (lector side) will be the house of Amram & Jochebed (Moses’ parents); the right side will be the home of Joseph (and later, Mary) the “parents” of Jesus., are some very simple house structures.

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