Unto Us a Child Is Born

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#294: “Unto Us a Child Is Born”
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Luke 2:1-52

1In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.

2(This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3And everyone went to his own town to register. 4So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. 8And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. 12This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." 13Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests." 15When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about." 16So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told. 21On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise him, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he had been conceived. 22When the time of their purification according to the Law of Moses had been completed, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23(as it is written in the Law of the Lord, "Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord"), 24and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: "a pair of doves or two young pigeons." 25Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord's Christ. 27Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, 28Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: 29"Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace. 30For my eyes have seen your salvation, 31which you have prepared in the sight of all people, 32a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel." 33The child's father and mother marveled at what was said about him. 34Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: "This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, 35so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too." 36There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. 38Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem. 39When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth. 40And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon him. 41Every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover. 42When he was twelve years old, they went up to the Feast, according to the custom. 43After the Feast was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. 44Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. 45When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. 46After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. 48When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, "Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you." 49"Why were you searching for me?" he asked. "Didn't you know I had to be in my Father's house?" 50But they did not understand what he was saying to them. 51Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart.

52And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.

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Unto Us a Child Is Born

“Unto Us a Child Is Born” is episode #294 of the Adventures in Odyssey audio series. It was written and directed by Paul McCusker, and originally aired on December 24, 1994.


On Christmas eve, Jimmy produces a live Kids' radio presentation of the birth of Jesus--which includes an unexpected real birth.


It’s Christmastime in Odyssey. This year, Jimmy Barclay has gotten ambitious with the annual Christmas production. Jimmy wants to perform the biblical account of Jesus’ birth, live on the radio. He coerces his family and the gang at Whit’s End to help. As a new Christian, Katrina is especially enthusiastic about the whole thing.

The rehearsals come off mostly without a hitch, except for whenever there is a stop or a break. Then George runs off to call the church; Mary has to lie down because she’s pregnant; Donna takes off to go shopping; and Connie, Jason, and Jack run out to the front counter to wait on customers. Only Eugene and Katrina stay at their posts. Eugene runs the board and Katrina handles the sound effects. But soon Eugene takes off, too. He’s anxious because Katrina has bought him a Christmas gift, and he hasn’t gotten one for her. So, at Connie’s suggestion, Eugene buys Katrina what he feels is an appropriate present.

The night of the broadcast rolls around. Everything is running smoothly, until Mary Barclay goes into labor, and George and Donna have to rush her to the hospital. Fortunately, Eugene and Katrina are there to fill in the roles of Joseph and Mary. During the final scene of the broadcast, Eugene’s feelings for Katrina blossom and grow. After the program, the two exchange gifts. They’re pleased and amused to see they’ve bought each other the same thing, a Bible. Meanwhile, at the hospital, the Barclays' coo over the newest addition to their family: a baby boy named Stewart Reed.

This plot section is too short and should be expanded. »

Discussion Questions

  1. What is the purpose behind gift-giving? Should Eugene have bought Katrina a gift merely because she had bought him one? Why or why not?
  2. Why was Katrina so excited about participating in the Christmas production?
  3. How do you celebrate Christmas at your church?


Heard in episode

Role Voice Actor
Aaron Bob Smithouser
Benjamin Mark Drury
Caleb (Shepherd) Marshal Younger
Donna Barclay Azure Janosky
Eugene Meltsner Will Ryan
George Barclay Chuck Bolte
Hospital Receptionist Unknown
Jack Allen Alan Young
Jason Whittaker Townsend Coleman
Jimmy Barclay David Griffin
Katrina Shanks Pamela Hayden
Mary Barclay Carol Bilger
Store Clerk Will Ryan

Mentioned in episode

Character Mentioned By
Armitage Shanks Katrina Shanks
Millie Shanks Katrina Shanks
Doc Morton Donna Barclay
Stewart Reed Barclay George Barclay




Donna Barclay: No way! I am not playing a bratty, self-centered character.
Jimmy Barclay: Why not? You were born for it.

Jason Whittaker: ...and Mary slept. While in the hills above them, shepherds were greeted by a host of heavenly angels. <trumpets start blaring>
Jimmy Barclay: No, no, wrong tape!

Jack Allen: They seem like a nice couple. I hope they get to the hospital—duh, the, the, the stable, quickly!