Messaging Woes

“n the fifteenth year of the reign of Emperor Tiberius, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was ruler of Galilee, and his brother Philip ruler of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias ruler of Abilene, during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness.” – Luke 3:1-2

“Excuse me, are you John son of Zechariah?”

“Yes. Why do you ask?”

“I’ve got a delivery for you. Sign here.”

“What is it?”

“It says it is… let’s see… ‘The Word of God.'”

“Oh, no. I’m not accepting that. Take it back.”

“I can’t do that. It says it right here. ‘NO REFUSALS.’ It’s even in all capital letters.”

“What are you talking about? There’s no such thing as small letters in these days. Everything is capital letters.”

“It doesn’t matter. ‘NO REFUSALS.’ You have to accept it.”

“[Grumbling] I might have known this day would come. ‘Miracle baby,’ my parents said. That kind of thing always happens for a reason.”

“There’s an additional message for you here.”

“I suppose that’s marked ‘NO REFUSALS’ as well, huh?”

“I’m afraid it is.”

“Well, read it out. I’ve got my hands full of the Word of God here.”

“Okay. It says… Get yourself a camel’s hair outfit, move to the Jordan valley, and start washing people.”

“What?”

“Yep. That’s what it says. Camel’s hair, Jordan, washing.”

“Do I look like a camel’s hair kind of guy? I’m the son of a priest, for heaven’s sake.”

“Well, shouldn’t the washing and preaching be right up your alley?”

“Not in camel’s hair it’s not. Do you have any idea how much that itches?”

“Yes, which is why I’m not wearing it.”

“Good grief. What am I supposed to eat? Does it mention that?”

“Let’s see… locusts and wild honey.”

“I do not believe this.”

“‘NO REFUSALS.'”

“Right. Well. I guess I’ll look over this Word of God.”

“Sounds like a good idea. Anything else I can get for you before I leave? A thesaurus with synonyms for snake? Means of monarch-mollifying? A Messiah recognition kit? A dancing adolescent?”

“Let’s not get ahead of ourselves.”

Yes, I know the last line is a pun.

Not precisely a poem and not precisely a prayer but still based on Luke 3:1-6, the Gospel lesson for Year C, Second Sunday of Advent.

The image is Landscape Composition: Saint John in the Wilderness by Thomas Cole (1827) – The Athenaeum, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=183048.

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