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Based on Luke 3:7-18 and Matthew 3: 1-12 

This story/sermon/dramatic reading involves the congregation in an act of creative imagination, as they find themselves drawn into the crowd by the river Jordan, listening to John the Baptist preaching and proclaiming the coming of Jesus.

Fiery John

Imagine that you're at the theatre. You've heard a lot about this show. The main actor has a great reputation for pulling in the crowds.
He's quite a character. Dresses in the most peculiar fashion. Rumoured to be on a very restricted diet. Hair even longer than unfashionable.

Big voice. Blunt speaking. Uses a lot of water in his act. Interacts with his audience. Noted for his outspoken views on the world and modern society.

A fierce critic of the established church.
So, what are you going to see? Are you going just to cheer him on when he makes fun of your enemies, or people in authority?

Are you going out of curiosity, to see if all the tales you've heard about him are true?

Are you going because everyone's talking about the show and it wouldn't do to be seen to be missing it? Are you going just to be entertained?

What do you expect to get out of it?
You might be very surprised.

You might well be very shocked!

So, you're waiting in the audience. Everybody's chattering. Comparing notes on how long it took to get here.

Staring at the posh people on the other side of the audience - keeping themselves to themselves, as usual.

Privileged - and don't they know it! Rumour has it that they're the ones who'll be ridiculed during the show. It's a wonder they bother to turn up at all.

But then there's a movement at the front of the audience and people begin to lower their voices - even fall silent - because apparently the show's about to begin.
And on to the stage he comes!

What a sight! You've never seen anything like it in your life before. A big, hairy man. Well, he appears to be big, but it's not so much his height as his presence.

He seems to dominate everything and everybody - without even trying.

And his voice! It's enormous! He seems to roar out across his audience, so that even the deaf people at the back must be able to hear him.

This show was certainly worth waiting for!
Or was it?


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