Summary: A sermon that in story form looks at the events and simple transforming message of Christmas.
I "test drove" this story by putting it on sermon central - the response was luke warm - I have altered this as a sermon and am interested in readers ongoing response particuarily as I am considering sharing it this christmas.
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JN 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning.
JN 1:3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.
The neighbours from heaven.
I guess 2001 years ago there was the type of person around like the star of Dumb and Dumber or Englands Mr Bean just as there is today.
one of the things that most of us are sure of is, that although we like to laugh at these kind of comedians - non of us would like to think ewe look like them - to anyone.
Yet as we consider how God sees our lives it may well be that is just how we look to him given our response to Jesus - to the Cross and of course to christmas.
Step with me will you down through the ages and dare for a moment to consider a bean or dumb and dumber type character right there on the edge of the Bethlehem story.
As you considerthis man’s response - consider also your response to christmas and just ask the question who do I look like this Christmas - A wiseman? A shepherd? or a Zacharias.
Just imagine for a moment the star of a first century sitcom -
Mr Zacharias - He’s back in Jerusalem for the census - it’s sad that his Mother said she didn’t have room for him in the family home because when he visited her there was a dinkey in his room - his Mother had said she couldn’t possibly move the donkey out.
Then he didn’t mean to break her vase - the one that had been in the family since the return from exile - His more greats than you’d care to remember grandfather Silas had bought it back with him - it had been treasured for generations and Mr Zacharias had backed over it and broken it.
he could still feel the pain in his backside from his Mothers broom and his Father’s boot both striking at the same time.
Mr Zacharias had had a lot of bad luck in his life.
Like the time he’d accidently wandered into the temple and had walked into an area that - seemingly - only Priests were allowed to go - Holy of holies they called it - anyway they were going to do terrible things to him but he’d run away - it was about then that he’d grown a beard and shaved his head.
Anyway mr Zacharias had rushed off to the census booth and wouldn’t you know it there was a queue about a mile long - so he threw a stone at some chickens at the nearby bizaar and when the squaked distracting everyone he’d sneaked in in front of a young man and his wife. The young man saw he’d sneaked in but Zacharias had given him his mean and nasty look and rippled his muscles under his tunic and well the young man didn’t want to start anything - He knew better!!
Well he got to the census booth and it seemed there was some misunderstanding about his family had tried to have his name taken off the list - something to do with a scandel over stampeding camels and a smothering or something - he did seem to remember something - but anyway in the end they agreed to count him even though his family disowned him - that finished, Mr Zacharias set off to arrange his accomodation - Well he’d heard the young man behind him in the Queue saying that accomodation wasn’t that easy to get in Bethlehem but had mentioned a certain hotel in a certain street where there might be perhaps one room left.
The young man had got a head start on him because of the misunderstanding about the camels but if there is one thing that Mr Zacharias could do it was run!!!!!!!!!!
So run he did -
Run Mr Zacharias run.
Down crowded alleys and streets - Past cluttered stalls selling everything from pottery to hens and livestock and slaves - he ran like the wind - he’d crashed into a Roman sentry who had drawn his sword but Mr Zacharias had run off and finally had come to his destination . - Making his way down the street was the young man and the donkey - Zacharias had ran that fast he passed the young man and made it to the inn.