As Christmas day approaches, we begin to ponder anew the Christmas story, that good news of great joy. This past Sunday, some youth at church wrote part of the Christmas story from the perspective of one of the participants. Here’s what they came up with; I think you’ll enjoy it.
I am Gabriel, Mighty Messenger of the Lord. I serve God Most High, and am always ready to obey His every command. I’ve been patiently waiting for the day when God would send us out to crush our enemies, our fallen angelic brothers who followed that cursed traitor, Lucifer.
So, imagine my joy when God called me into His presence and said, “Gabriel, the time has come.” Surely, it was time for the mighty army of God to go out and smite our enemies.
But God had a different plan. Instead of leading His armies into battle, I was to take a message to a lowly man, Zechariah. I memorized what I was to say and, empowered by God, left for earth.
I found Zechariah in the temple and gave him the message. But Zechariah didn’t believe me! I used my power to strike him dumb; then returned to God.
“Gabriel, I have another job for you!” God said. At last! Maybe this time I would lead God’s army!
But, instead, God had another announcement for me. This time, I was to visit a young, pure, unmarried girl and tell her that she’d have a baby and that he would be called the Son of God!
Finally, I began to realize that it wasn’t yet time for God’s army to defeat his enemies. Instead, God had another plan to rescue the frail humans. I decided that I needed to study this mystery more.
Hi, my name is Zechariah. You can call me “Zach”. So, I’m like a priest at the Temple, and 9 months ago I was doing some of my duties and stuff, right. When all of a sudden this angel walks up and tells me my wife’s gonna have a baby. Naturally, I’m skeptical, right, because my wife’s like really old, you know. So I kinda doubt the angel a little bit. Bad move. The angel makes me unable to speak, okay?! Not good.
But then I find out it’s totally true! My wife IS going to have a son, and the angel said his name is going to be John.
So, I was pretty much unable to speak until just yesterday, when John was born. Hooray! The angel told me that John was going to prepare a way for the Lord, which is a really cool thing. I’m so proud of my new son — and I’m also pretty glad I can talk again.
So, here I am, Zecharias — priest of the temple — of the descendents of Aaron. I spent years and years training to be a priest — to get a chance to offer incense to the Lord — and what do I get for it? I get stricken dumb! I mean, who does that angel think he is to take away my speech just because I wouldn’t buy his phony baloney about Elizabeth having a son. Like, angel-man… Hello! The lady’s a total oldy. And, I’m not too young myself. The worst part is that I can’t even tell my friends about the angel and all that!
Elizabeth! Will you keep it down in there! I’m trying to rant. Oh, that’s right, I can’t talk. What is she bawling about anyway? Wait, that doesn’t sound like Elizabeth! It’s almost… if I didn’t know better, I’d think it was a…
“What shall we name him, Zecharias?”
“His name shall be John.”
God still answers prayers. It might not be exactly in our time, but it turns out even better than how we planned it. Hi, my name is Elizabeth, and these past days I’ve wanted to tell everyone how God answered my husband Zechariah and my prayers.
We had prayed for a son for it seems like forever. Since we were married more than forty years ago, it got harder and harder to trust that God knew best. Then one day our lives were changed forever. Zechariah is a priest at the temple, and this year he was chosen to offer the sacrifice. The other priests later told me that he had been in the Holy of Holies for the longest time. When he came out, something was wrong — he was stricken mute! He looked like he had seen a ghost. Some said that he had seen a vision; others said he was being punished by God. I didn’t know what to think. Then Zechariah wrote on a tablet that an angel said we would have a son! And it turns out I did!
So there I was watching sheep and falling asleep when all of a sudden — boom — a really bright light with angels were in the sky. I almost fainted; it was so scary to see. Yet, it also felt warm and happy.
The angels said: “There is born today in the city of David a Savior who is Christ the Lord.” I was freaked out when they started singing.
So all the shepherds and I went to Bethlehem where I saw that little baby boy wrapped in cloth and laying in a manger. It made me cry because I was so happy.”
So there I was, playing tiddlywinks on the hillside. I was losing to a sheep. It was a pretty awful time. It gets dark out there in the country side, not like the city where there are lamps and torches lit in the streets. The only light out there was the starlight.
Anyway, so there I was, losing in tiddlywinks to a sheep — the other shepherds were having a good time at my expense, too — when all of a sudden, there as a great big hot pink glow that covered the hillside! It was an angel! It didn’t take long for me to forget about tiddlywinks.
The angel said, “Whoa! Good news! Today, over there beyond that hill in the hamlet of Bethlehem, the coolest thing ever has just happened. A baby has been born — and he’s Christ the Lord! Talk about groovy!”
That’s when the whole hillside went psychedelic and there were angels everywhere! We decided we couldn’t pass this up, and hurried on over to Bethlehem — and what do you know, there the little dude was!
When the angel came to me and told me that Mary, my fiancee, was pregnant, I was speechless. I didn’t know what to think. I knew that I loved her and knew that if word got out that she had been pregnant before marriage, she would be greatly looked down upon. Therefore, we kept everything low key. In a way, I was in disbelief, for it seemed impossible. I was also overwhelmed with joy because I knew I would be a father-like figure to the Son of God. I was also fearful that I wouldn’t raise him right, but knew God never made a mistake. Therefore, I knew that I would raise him as God planned.
So there I was, sitting on my glorious throne, myself looking gorgeous, by the way. I am awesome, magnificent… King Herod!
So, back to the story. One day, I was sitting as usual when my peeps came in to tell there were three magi waiting to come in to see me. And I was like, three magi? What are they doing here? I have no business with them. “Send them in anyway,” I said. The doors opened, and with trumpet fanfare, the three magi came in.
They knelt before me, then asked, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews, for we saw His star in the east and have come to worship him.”
I was like, “A king? Above me? Preposterous. There is no king who is above me.” Good thing I didn’t say that out-loud. Instead, I said, “I don’t know where this king is. After you find, would you let me know?”
My name is Simeon. I live in Jerusalem, the capital of Judah. I am a devout believer in God and the Holy Spirit is upon me, in fact. The Holy Spirit once revealed to me that I would not die until I had seen the Lord’s Christ.
One day, the Spirit prompted me to go into the temple, which is in Jerusalem, and there I saw a family with their son. They were there to circumcise the baby. I knew at once that this was the Christ, the one whom I had waited for. I picked up the baby and praised God for fulfilling His promise to me. The baby’s parents were amazed that I knew who their son was. Then I prophesied about the child’s coming life and also about his mother’s coming sorrow.
I now feel that I can die in peace, knowing that God’s salvation to the world has finally come.
A Wise Man:
When Christ was born, I didn’t know what to think. But I was told by God about this. I followed a star to Bethlehem, and brought gold and other gifts. I set this treasure before Him, and knelt before Him and praised Him. We traveled through deserts for months and months to see this King. I wondered a lot about what He would be like.. When we did finally reach Him in Bethlehem, I was overwhelmed with surprise and joy. I was in the presence of a child of God.
For the real, unabridged account of the birth of Christ, read Matthew 1:18-2:18 and Luke 1:1-2:40 in the Bible.