Thanks again to our volunteers who helped with this puppet play last Sunday. We especially thank those who volunteered last minute with the ice storm making a mess of travel!
Advent Puppet Scene #4 “Calling Fourth Witness John”
Two puppets, Fred and George, appear (members of the gallery)
Fred: George, George, wake up, it is about to begin again!
George: (Yawns) How can something begin again if it already began three weeks ago? It can’t begin if it has already begun.
Fred: Ok George, then the trial is about to start again.
George: (yawns again then, scratches his head) How can something start again if it already started three weeks ago? It can’t start if it has already started.
Fred. (shaking his head) Ok George, the trial is about to resume.
Court attendant stands:
Court Attendant: ALL RISE!
Judge enters from the choir entrance and goes to the pulpit
Court Attendant: Please be seated.
Judge: In this case against the Christians for spreading lies, call your fourth witness.
Prosecutor: I am calling to the stand John, writer of a book these Christians call the Gospel of John.
The puppet John appears
Prosecutor: Is it not true, John, that you wrote “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”?
Fred: Hey George, we were just talking about things beginning and now the prosecutor is beginning to speak about the beginning of John’s book which begins in its beginning with an explanation of the beginning.
George: You are BEGINNING to get annoying!
Fred: That’s not possible Fred. . . You can’t begin what has already begun.
John: Yes, I wrote that statement about the Word.
Prosecutor: And John, just what or who are you referring to when you speak about “The Word”?
John: Jesus as I make clear if you keep reading.
Prosecutor: And so when you wrote that all things came into being through the Word, you are saying that Jesus has been around longer than anything that has been created. In fact are you not intentionally referring us back to Genesis 1:1 where “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth”? Is that why you did not write about Jesus’ birth, because you believe he has been around forever? . . . Do you really expect us to believe such things?
John: You are misunderstanding what I wrote and what the Bible teaches. We believe that Jesus is fully God, so in that sense he has been around forever, since before creation actually. But we also believe that Jesus is at the same time fully human, and so in that sense he was born in a specific time and place just like any other human. As I say in verse fourteen: “The Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory.” That is Christmas in a nutshell.
Prosecutor: And perhaps spoken by a true nut! So why then did you not tell us more about how the birth of Jesus happened?
John: Matthew and Luke already wrote about such things. In fact Matthew, Mark, and Luke already said much about what Jesus said and did, so when I wrote my Gospel I wanted to concentrate more on helping people see the identity of Jesus. Being His disciple, I spent a lot of time with him, and the more time I spent with him the more I could really see that while being fully human, eating and sleeping like the rest of us, there was something really different about him.
Prosecutor: And what was different about him?
John: Well his love, and his concern for truth. He was full of grace and truth. He tried to tell us who he really was, but we did not clue in until He rose from the dead. That is when we really began to understand who He is and what He taught us. He created life. He is able to give life, and he is willing to give eternal life to all who will receive him. That is why I wrote my Gospel, in hopes that others can get to know him well and so believe in him too. When you know Jesus, you know God. When you know God, you know you are loved.
Judge: John, to say that Jesus is both God and human at the same time is an extraordinary claim. I once heard among my judging peers the maxim that “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” Do you have extraordinary evidence to share with us this morning?
John: I am an eyewitness of the fact that Jesus rose from the dead. And there are many others still alive in my lifetime that are also as Paul mentions in his letter to the Corinthians. And these defendants before you sir are extraordinary evidence. Look at the millions of people whose lives have been changed through their relationship with Jesus. Look at the millions of Christians who can speak about the presence of God in their lives through Jesus. To know love, to be loved, to become more loving – it is extraordinary!
Judge: Very well, Court is adjourned until Christmas Eve when I will call for closing statements.
Candle Lighter: So far we have lit the candles “The Promise of God”, “The Love of God”, and “The Kingdom of God.” (lights three candles). Today we light the fourth advent candle which we call “The Revelation of God”. We are grateful for God’s revelation of Himself through the prophets, and through the entire Bible. But we are so thankful that He has revealed Himself most completely through Jesus whose birth we celebrate this week. (Lights fourth candle) Let us pray: “Lord we thank You for how You have revealed Yourself to us in the Bible. Thank you Lord, that You have revealed Yourself fully in Jesus our Lord. May we know You better not just by knowing about Jesus, by knowing Him personally. Use us your witnesses in this sceptical world. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.