Sunday, 4 December 2011

Who's New in Heaven - John the Baptist

Enter Angie the Recording Angel (a chat-show host) with a “This is Your Life” style book

AngieHello, good morning, and welcome to “Who’s New in Heaven”, where every week we meet a new arrival and find out what they got up to on earth. I’m Angie the Recording Angel, and this week I’ll be opening up the Book of Life with a very special guest. Here he is - ladies and gentleman, it’s John the Baptist.
Enter John the Baptist, carrying a guitar, accompanied by the riff from “Smoke on the Water”.
AngieJohn the Baptist. Welcome to heaven. Great to have our first saint on the program.
JTBThanks very much, Angie. It’s good to be here.
AngieAnd nice to see your head back where it belongs. Helps to keep the guitar on, I bet. Now, St John. Some people are saying where did it all go wrong? A promising start to your career, then cut cruelly short
JTBYeah, in more ways than one.
AngieQuite. But in the early days, you just seemed to explode on the scene.
JTBYeah, people talk like I came from nowhere. But you’ve got to realise I paid my dues, out playing the provincial gigs before the crowds started to arrive. Years of hard work, learning the craft, out in the desert.
AngieAnd I believe that times were hard, then.
JTBYeah. Locusts and honey. That’s all I had to eat. Though you could make the locusts taste better by dipping them in the honey. And the honey tasted even better if you didn't eat the locusts.
AngieBut it was during that time in the desert that your wrote your first big hit?
JTBAbsolutely. “Repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand”. Went to number 1 in Judea.
AngieSo the crowds packed in. Biggest draw in the Decapolis. You must have felt on top of the world.
JTBYeah, and the hits rolled out. “Give your coat to someone who doesn’t have one.” That was the follow up. We were rocking all over the known world.
AngieAnd what would you say was the pinnacle of your career?
JTBHad to be the time when I worked with Jesus. I remember the first time I saw him - I just stood there and said “Behold the Lamb of God”.
AngieOf course, that was your next hit?
JTBOh yeah. “Behold the Lamb of God” was huge.
AngieAnd it’s going to be covered for the next two thousand years.
JTBCool. I knew I was in the presence of the Master. I wasn’t fit to change his guitar strings.
AngieBut Jesus’ arrival on the scene caused some disruption for you, musically?
JTBWell, some of my backing musicians joined his group. Peter, and Andrew, and Nicodemus. Best horn section I ever had. But then, we were part of a real vibrant scene, I had plenty of others wanting to join the band, and let’s face it. He was the best. At that first gig – I saw the Holy Spirit fall on him. He was the Son of God.
AngieSo why did you split up?
JTBArtistic differences.
There was no doubt about it, if I stayed with Jesus I was always going to be singing backing vocals. And I still felt like I had something to offer – somewhere to develop.
AngieBut it was your protest songs that upset Herod?
JTBWell, particularly upset his wife. And of course she got him to have my head cut off.
AngieThat must have been the lowest moment for you.
JTBWish you'd stop making gags about it.  But oddly enough, not really. I mean, it was bad, but it brought me here. Thinking back, it was when I was in prison, wondering whether Jesus was really who he said he was. That was the real darkest time.
AngieYou doubted if he was the Son of God?
JTBI did. I mean, I’d thought the Kingdom coming in would mean we were on the Stairway to Heaven. I thought, Nothing’s Gonna Stop us Now.
AngieInstead you’d ended up on the Road to Nowhere.
JTBYeah. And doing the Jailhouse Rock.
AngieSo, looking back – was he the Son of God?
JTBIt’s like the man said. The lame walked, the blind could see, the deaf could hear and the dead were raised. Course he was.
AngieNow, John, nobody leaves the show empty-handed. So we’ve just got time to show you a few things that you’ll be remembered by on earth. You get two feast days. Most saints will only get one, if they’re lucky. [Hands over “Feast Day” cards from his book]. You get your own symbol – the Lamb and Flag. [Hands over inn sign] – there’ll be a few pubs named after that.
JTBBit ironic, seeing’s I didn’t even drink.
AngieAnd every year, during the days of Advent, people all over the world will light a candle to remember you – the man who recognised the Son of God, and stood firm in his witness to the end.
AngieJohn the Baptist, thank you very much.
Join us next week, when in a specially shortened program we’ll be hoping to have a word with Lazarus. Till then, it’s goodbye from John the Baptist;
AngieAnd goodbye from me. [Exit both]

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