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Costumes The “news,” of course, is the Christmas story; the newscast occurs on the first Christmas day in a modern setting, so all the news commentators should be dressed in today’s clothes. Feel free to adapt this skit to meet the needs of your group.

Action Announcer: Stay tuned for the VBS Evening News with Barnabas Cronkite reporting the latest on a strange sighting in the sky, Martha Waltersberg from downtown Bethlehem, where a huge crowd is gathering for a tax enrollment, and Dr. Ben Hadad with reports about a new cold front moving in. That’s the VBS News coming up next.
Commercial: Taxes. Taxes. Taxes. No one likes to pay taxes. Especially when H & R Blockberg can help you pay the least taxes possible. H & R Blockberg is the only tax-consulting service authorized by the Roman government; each and every consultant has previous tax collecting experience. Yes, you can trust H & R Blockberg for all your tax-related problems. H & R Blockberg, 700 Appian Way.
Announcer: The VBS Evening News with Barnabas Cronkite in Jerusalem, Martha Walters-berg in Bethlehem, and Dr. Ben Hadad on Mt. Ararat. Brought to you by Hertz Donkey Rental—the Donkeys O.J. Feldman rides—and Gethsemane Nurseries, with gardens in every major city. Now . . . Barnabas Cronkite.
Barnabas: Good evening. There has been a new development on the strange light that has been sighted in the eastern hemisphere for the last few nights. Correspondent Moshe Smith reports.
Moshe: For the past few nights a bright light or starlike phenomena has been appearing in the sky. At first it was thought to be a meteor or an optical illusion, but tonight Dr. Jshmael Streisand confirmed that what everyone is seeing is, in fact, a star. The question is, Where did this star come from and what does it mean? Officials close to the situation are speculating that the star is not an isolated incident and that more strange occurrences may be expected. Concerned government officials are monitoring the situation closely, and reliable sources have told VBS that other incidents have not been made public. This is Correspondent Moshe Smith in Jerusalem.
Barnabas: VBS News has learned that an incident did occur near Bethlehem, and we now switch to our minicam. Live in the hills of Bethlehem, David Saul reports.
David: Barnabas, approximately ten minutes ago a group of shepherds told me that they saw some kind of an angel accompanied by music and bright lights. Normally, stories from shepherds are discounted because of the fact that they are a strange breed and tend to hit the sauce, but government officials here seem strangely concerned. From my discussions with the shepherds, apparently, they think this has something to do with a messiah promised years ago. The mention of a messiah seems to be what has government officials so concerned. From the hills of Bethlehem, this has been David Saul reporting.
Barnabas: We’ll be right back after this message from Hertz.
Commercial: O.J. Feldman here for Hertz. When you’re in a strange town, it’s nice to know your friends at Hertz are ready to help. Maybe you had to trade in your donkey because you needed tax money or because he kicked people in crowds, that’s the time to rent a donkey from Hertz. Our donkeys like crowds and are guaranteed to get you where you want to go. Of course, Hertz uses nothing but fine GMAC donkeys. Hertz—where we treat donkeys like donkeys and treat people right.
Barnabas: Last month Caesar Augustus issued a decree requiring all citizens to return to their cities of birth to attain an accurate enrollment for taxing. Martha Waltersberg is in Bethlehem for the story.
Martha: I’m standing here at the No Room Inn on the outskirts of Bethlehem. Thousands of people are swarming into the city now and every available facility is full. Just a few minutes ago a woman who is about to have a baby was almost turned away. Finally, after protests from her husband, they were allowed to stay with the animals. We just finished talking with the head of the Best Eastern Lodge Association, and he suggests that anyone heading for Bethlehem attempt to find lodging outside of town. The head of the Roman government here in Bethlehem is deeply concerned about crowd control. So far, there have not been any major incidents. The question is, Can this uneasy quiet continue? Martha Waltersberg at the No Room Inn in Bethlehem.
Barnabas: A group of highly respected astrologers have begun a significant journey. Correspondent Mart Solomon reports from Peking.
Mart: Barnabas, a large party of wealthy astrologers is traveling toward Israel to observe a strange light. Apparently, it is the same strange light seen over Israel the past few weeks. Informed sources have told us that these men believe there is some relation between the light and the Messiah. Although there has been no official recognition by the Roman government, it is believed that when the astrologers arrive within Roman territory, they will be summoned before government officials. Reporters here, Barnabas, are baffled as to this sudden concern on the part of Roman officials for the promised Messiah. Why, we just will have to wait and see. Mart Solomon from China.
Commercial: The VBS News will continue in just a moment. Ladies, now is the time to order your hooded capes and robes. The Good Hood Company has an incredible selection of hooded capes and robes that are all one piece of material. No longer can your hood be lost or entangled in water jugs being carried on the head. The Good Hood Company, where we also have a clearance on beautiful sheepskin swimming suits. Come by and see us soon.
Barnabas: Eric Rosen has been watching with interest the increasing speculation about a coming messiah. Eric.
Eric: The reason there is so much concern about a messiah, of course, is the popular notion by the Jews that such a messiah will become a political force and overthrow the Romans. This is a hope that Jews have had for years, and we have seen potential “messiahs” come and go. We have a feeling that the strange light in the East is nothing more than a passing phenomena that those who are overly religious and mystical can cling to or, worse yet, use to mount a revolutionary movement. I have done some research on the matter of a messiah and I am not so sure that if and when such a savior were to appear, he would be a political leader. I am sure I will get a lot of mail about this, but I think it would be much more profitable if those who are so anxiously awaiting the Messiah would start living like they believed in the God they say they do. I guess it is always easier and less threatening to hope in the future than to live like the future were now. Eric Rosen, VBS News.
Barnabas: Jerusalem has been the home of the National Open Spear Throwing Olympics. Stud Barjonas reports.
Stud: Coming from major upset victories, two Hebrews will be facing each other in the finals to be held next Friday. Friday’s match between Philip of Caesarea and Simeon of Bethany has already been sold out. There is some concern that Philip of Caesarea may have trouble keeping his feet within the specified boundaries on his approach. He refused comment on the two warnings he received today. However, sources close to Philip confirm that he will be wearing a new imported brand of sandal to give him additional footing. Should be quite a match. In chariot racing today, Fireball Jonah narrowly escaped serious injury when his vehicle turned over in the north-west turn at the Hippodrome. This turn is considered one of the most hazardous in racing. In spite of the mishap, Jonah went on to win the main event.
Barnabas: Dr. Ben Hadad has been standing by on Mt. Ararat for the weather report, but we have just received a bulletin from Bethlehem. Martha Waltersberg is there.
Martha: Barnabas, as you know from my earlier report, I am at the No Room Inn here in Bethlehem. Just as we were getting ready to leave, we were told of a commotion at the back of the inn. We found a young girl who had just given birth to a baby where they keep the animals. Normally, we would have ignored the story, but, Barnabas, something strange is occurring here. A huge crowd is gathering and a number of shepherds and others almost seem to be worshiping the baby. We have been unable to get any comment from anyone here, but there is one other thing. That strange light in the East seems to be much brighter now and almost seems to be directly above us. This is Martha Waltersberg in a stable in Bethlehem.
Barnabas: And that’s the way it is. Barnabas Cronkite for the VBS Evening News. Good night.

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