Don’t make him come down there! (A script for Christmas)

Cast:

5 angels, named Incredulo, Sympathico, Fideo, Jubilato, and Exultato

2 angels stand front of stage, shielding their eyes with their hands and peering intently at the audience.

Incredulo:  Just look at them down there.

Sympathico: (turning aside) to be honest, I’d rather not.

Incredulo: (nodding) Not exactly a pretty sight, are they?

Sympathico: Well here’s the thing.  I think they are a pretty sight.  But I don’t think they can see that.  That’s why they do the things they do to each other.

Incredulo: (pointing into the far distance, not at the congregation) Look at those ones over there.  What are they doing?

Sympathico:  I think they call it fighting.

Incredulo: Why?

Sympathico: (pointing at different groups in the distance) Because these ones want the land that belongs to those ones.  So they attack them and try to take it from them.

Incredulo: Unbelievable!

Congregational carol: It came upon the midnight clear

Fideo comes running in from the side.

Fideo: O my goodness, I can’t believe what I’m seeing.

Sympathico: What?

Fideo: All kinds of things!  They’re hurting each other, they’re hurting themselves, and they can’t seem to stop.

Incredulo: Unbelievable!

Sympathico:  Living up here, I never dreamed there could be so much pain and unhappiness.

Incredulo: Doesn’t God see what they’re doing?

Sympathico: Of course he sees; he sees everything.

Fideo: Don’t they realise how powerful he is?

Sympathico: I guess not, or they wouldn’t want to cross him!

Fideo: (Turning to congregation and wagging his finger) Don’t make him come down there!  You’ll regret it!  Just don’t make him come down there!

Congregational carol:  O little town of Bethlehem

Jubilato comes running in from the other side

Jubilato:  Have you heard?  Have you heard?

Incredulo:       }

Sympathico:   } (in unison) Heard what?

Fideo:             }

Jubilato: He’s going down there!  Everyone says he’s going down there to sort them out.

Fideo: Oh no!  I warned them!

Sympathico: They’ve had it now!

Fideo: I suppose he plans to destroy them and start again with a new creation.

Jubilato: Well, they’ve had it coming.  They’ve asked for it.

Solo or small group: Nothing will ever be the same again (Graham Kendrick)

Another angel, Exultato enters silently at the back of the room and threads his/her way through the congregation to the front, joins the other angels, then slowly turns and faces the congregation.

Exultato: (in tones of wonder) Have you heard?

Incredulo: Yes, we’ve heard.

All: He’s going down there!

Exultato: Yes, but have you heard the rest?

Incredulo: No, but we can guess.

Fideo: I warned them.  I warned them not to make him come down there.

Sympathico: It’s curtains for them now.

Exultato: No, no, it’s not like that at all!  He’s not going to destroy them, he’s going to save them!

Incredulo: Unbelievable!

Congregational carol: Joy to the world

Sympathico: So what’s the story?

Exultato: He’s going down there, but that’s not all, he’s going to become one of them.

Incredulo: What, a human?

Exultato: Yes.

Incredulo: Unbelievable!

Exultato: More unbelievable than you think.  He’s going to contain the whole of himself in one human embryo and be born as a baby and grow up among them.

(Incredulo’s jaw drops and he stands, open-mouthed)

Fideo: Unbelievable.  (Points at Incredulo) Incredulo’s speechless.

Congregational carol: O little town of Bethlehem

Sympathico: I guess we were all overlooking one thing.

Fideo: What?

Sympathico: He really, really loves them.  He would never destroy them.

Exultato:  It’s more amazing than you think.  He loves them so much, he would actually rather die than live without them.  And if that’s what it takes to save them, he’ll do it.

Incredulo: Unbelievable!  But it must be true.  Amazing!

Solo or small group: Earth lies spellbound in darkness (Graham Kendrick)

Optional: Sermon at this point

Congregational carol: Hark the Herald angels sing

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In Naaman’s footsteps

3 weeks ago I did something rather strange, following in the footsteps of someone else who had done the same thing a few weeks earlier. Like Naaman in 2 Kings 5, I was dipped 7 times, only not in the river Jordan, but the bapstistry of the King’s Centre, Aldershot. I had listened to Jan’s testimony after her 7-fold dipping, and several parts of it had spoken to me, including a passage she read about the undragoning of Eustace from The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C S Lewis, which closely mirrored something God was already saying to me.

However, I didn’t immediately sign up to follow suit, mainly because I didn’t want to jump on the latest bandwagon, but only to hear from God and follow His direction. Over the next couple of weeks, I actively spent time asking God if this was something He wanted to use in my life as He clearly had in Jan’s.

Then I had a counselling session in which I was asked to describe how I saw my journey, the future that I’m now facing post-divorce. I felt as if I had let go of the future I thought I was going to have and which I wanted all along, in which God would redeem our marriage and we would have a future together which was radically different from our past. That didn’t happen, and I had to let go of that, and instead there was a doorway into another future, very different from the one I thought I was going to have, but very good nonetheless. But I felt as if, instead of going through that doorway, I had fallen into a black hole somewhere between the two. As we allowed the Holy Spirit to explore that with us, I had a picture of myself standing outside that doorway to the new future, and it wasn’t that I had fallen down a black hole, it was that I was still carrying so much baggage on my back that I just couldn’t fit through the doorway. I went through a process of naming the things I was still carrying and putting them down, and then went through the doorway. I closed that door on everything I had put down, and asked Jesus to lock it so that no one could open it again.

At once I knew that this Naaman-like dipping was the next step. It was not a baptism – I had been baptised into the Body of Christ as a teenager, and God has honoured that, as He always does. This was not a case of being re-baptised. The thing that spoke to me about Naaman’s story was that Naaman emerged with his skin made new like that of a little child, and God was speaking to me about the need for me to go through a process of casting off all the adult stuff that has made me hard and cynical and become childlike again, rediscovering an innocent simplicity in my walk with Him.

Some changes we become aware of immediately; others emerge over time as the result of a process. Immediately after the dipping I knew the Holy Spirit had done something in me, sealing what had happened earlier when the door was closed on everything that had been holding me back. I experienced an immediate release in prayer, a new freedom to come to my Father in that childlike simplicity I had been longing for. I felt like a baby just starting out with everything to learn.

False images of God which I had struggled with fell away as He revealed to me afresh His tender heart of compassion, and the loveliness of Jesus. Habits and temptations which had kept me from Him, or behind which I had been hiding, were broken. These things I knew immediately.

One other thing has emerged over the three weeks since then. I had every expectation that this event was going to change me and affect my future. If I hadn’t had that faith, I wouldn’t have bothered going through with it. But what has surprised me is that it has also changed the way I view my past. Things that previously were just painful memories have taken on a different aspect. The adventure I thought I was setting out on didn’t materialise, but I have been on a very different adventure instead. It has made me the person I am today, and who knows where it will lead me in the future?

How exciting! And what an amazing God we serve, endlessly creative in His ways of reaching and changing us, infinitely capable of surprising us and doing exceedingly abundantly above all that we can ask or even dream of.