“An Unexpected Visitor!”

Festival of John the Baptist 24 June 2018
(Malachi 3:1-4 Psalm 141 Acts 13:13-26 Luke 1:57-67)
(Skit – Dialogue Sermon)

(Sermon begins with Pastor Mike at Ambo)

Mike: Today is a special festival as we remember one of the most memorable figures in the entire Bible—John the Baptist.

(Pastor Andrew comes through the doors at the baptism font dressed as John the Baptist)

Andrew: Repent for the kingdom of God is at hand!

Mike: Oh my gosh! Are you who I think you are?

Andrew: Repent for the kingdom of God is at hand!

Mike: Who are you? Are you the Christ?

Andrew: I am not the Christ.

Mike: So who are you? Are you Elijah?

Andrew: I am not!

Mike: Are you the prophet?

Andrew: I am not!

Mike: Who are you so I can tell the bishop. I want to be able to give an answer to those people who keep track of these things. What do you say about yourself?

Andrew: I am a voice of one crying in the wilderness; make straight the way of the Lord, as Isaiah the prophet said.

Mike: Come on! I don’t have time for such foolishness! We have a worship service to conduct. We have to get going here!

Andrew: Now you sound like those Pharisees, all those church people. Why do you think I spend my time out in the wilderness and orchards in Adams County?. I don’t have time to get a bath and dress up in pretty clothing and look so nice so I’ll be accepted in your churches!

Mike: What are you really saying here? Don’t you like what we’re doing here?

Andrew: You stand there with your pious looks and your costly garments, and you pretend to be people of truth and godliness. You hypocrites! I say to you, repent … for the kingdom of heaven is at hand! Come up to Fuller Lake and confess your sins and be baptized! I don’t care how you are dressed! Look at my garments! I wear a garment of camel hair and my belt is leather. The Lord God has provided my every need! I live up in the “sticks.”

Mike: I heard you live on lightning bugs and beetle juice.

Andrew: Who told you that? I live on locusts and wild honey! And it is mighty good! Do you want some?

Mike: I’ll pass! I already ate breakfast! Maybe you can give some to the kids after church.

Andrew: Suit yourself! I am God’s servant! I am here to prepare the way of the Lord! I am here to prepare you for he who is coming after me! I have been sent before him.

Mike: Who are you talking about?

Andrew: I’m talking about the Messiah. Would you even recognize him if he walked in here right now? He existed before me and I am not fit to remove his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. And his winnowing fork is in his hand and he will thoroughly clear his threshing floor, and he will gather his wheat into the barn but he will burn the chaff with unquenchable fire!

Mike: Hey, now you’re scaring us. I’m not so sure about you! People want to leave here feeling good, but you’re making us feel bad.

Andrew: I’m only asking, will you be gathered into the barn or will you burn with unquenchable fire?

Mike: I heard that you’ve been baptizing people up at Fuller Lake! How can you do that if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet? I bet you’re not even an ordained pastor!

Andrew: I do what I do because the kingdom of heaven is at hand! Even with such cold water in the lake, people come to me because they want to know God. I’m here to prepare the way of the Lord!

Mike: But that is what we are doing, also!

Andrew: All I know is that I baptize with water for repentance; but I also want to tell you that among you stands one whom you do not know and it is he who is coming after me who is mightier than I.

Mike: okay! Okay! Okay! We get it! So let us continue with our worship.

Andrew: You Pharisees! You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Repent…I say repent! Do you think by coming here to church, that you have found the kingdom of heaven? By coming here each Sunday, does that mean you are truly repentant?

Mike: Well of course!

Andrew: Maybe, but you must also bring forth fruit in keeping with repentance.

Mike: Okay. I agree with you there!

Andrew: Do not suppose that you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham for our Father in faith. I say to you, that God is able from the stones out on Stratton Street to raise up children to Abraham. And the axe is already laid at the foot of some old apple trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore … bring forth good fruit in keeping with your repentance.

Mike: I really do agree with you! Then what shall we do?

Andrew: Let the person who has two tunics share with a person who has none; and let the person who has food do the same. When you see a sister or brother in need, share with them from your abundance. Be fair and be honest! Don’t accuse anyone falsely. Be content with your wages. God always sees you the way you are!

Mike: I can see that you are a prophet, and that you speak clearly about the Kingdom.

Andrew: I do not fear to speak the truth! I was not even afraid to speak out against Herod. Yes … Herod who committed a grievous sin! He took his brother’s wife, Herodias, the wife of Philip! She did not belong in Herod’s house! And no one had the courage to speak out against this immoral act! I have to be on my way, but I cannot say this clearly enough to all of you here today: do not be afraid to speak up when you see something wrong. There is One who is among you! It is the Messiah! Repent!

Mike: Thank you, , John the Baptist! Thank you for coming here today! [John leaves] I don’t think there is more I can say. John wants us to recognize Jesus who is right here among us. John the Baptist is pointing us to the Messiah, the Christ.

Let us repent!

Let us rejoice!

Let us love one another! Amen.

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