Light: A Christmas Eve Reader’s Theatre

We are people of the light…

we say, “Let there be light!” And behold!

Lamplight, headlight, spotlight,

flashlight, floodlight, footlight,

searchlight, stoplight, streetlight,

windows cascading light,

skyscraper towers of light,

satellites that compete with starlight,

screens of all kinds lit with light,

light sabres, lighthouses and light bulbs;

halogen, incandescent, fluorescent!

We dodge deep darkness with twinkly lights.

We are a light hearted people!

We are a high wattage population,

rich with lumens!

Let me tell you,

we who walked in darkness have seen great lights!

Planet earth, home of the laser-light show,

cities glowing in space,

the earth ringed with the work of our hands;

we glow in our own limelight.

And so this Christmas,

we are our own angels of light.

We feel no need for heavenly light,

which everyone says was highly over-rated.


Maybe no one will be more surprised than us

when a Saviour comes

in a darkness that dawns when we least expect it.


Maybe Jesus will come,

in the moment when the power fails,

when all the blinking red lights flicker and pause,

when the batteries die

and the generators heave their last sigh,

when the TV and computer screens go blank,

when we are unplugged

and cast upon our own resources.

In this darkness, Jesus comes.


Maybe Jesus will come,

in the moment when compassion fails,

when all the milk of human kindness runs dry,

when relationships sour and hatred festers

and we see the devastation of war

in all its cruelty, with broken bodies,

broken dreams, broken lands;

when all we thought we had

comes crashing down.

In this darkness, Jesus comes.


Maybe Jesus will come,

in the midnight moment when hope fails,

when the darkness from the deep envelops us

(a darkness that comes from the inside out)

when we are mired in a depression

that cannot be avoided,

or turned off with any switch.

In this darkness, Jesus comes.


Jesus comes as a thief in the night,

stealing into our lives,

where he waits to be born again,

who knows how,

in the darkness of each human heart.

The world glistens with radiant possibilities,

while the angels sing in the starry night sky,

laughing at this craziest of Second comings.

“Jesus is coming again. Gloria!”


[You can divide this into parts as you see fit, depending on the number of readers you have.  If you email me, I can send you the way I divided it for three readers.]

This poem is indebted to Vida Scudder for the phrase, “the world glistens with radiant possibilities”, and to Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s poem “Christ climbed down” for the closing idea.

New Book Coming Soon!

Carol Penner has written a devotional book for Lent that explores the challenges of repentance and forgiveness. Forty reflections and prayers to deepen your walk with God as you prepare for Easter.  

You can order it here!

About Carol Penner

I am a Mennonite pastor currently teaching theology at Conrad Grebel University College in Waterloo, Ontario. I’ve served congregations in Ontario and most recently, Alberta.

I love to write and to lead worship! If you are finding my writing helpful, I would love to hear from you! Feel free to use or adapt the material here, it is all written by me. If printing material, please credit “Copyright Carol Penner” (and say whether you modified it). If publishing, please contact me for permission. Contact me at

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