Zechariah’s Journey from Doubt to Hope: An Advent drama based on Luke 1

Note:    This is the first of a series of brief dramas for use during the Advent season.  Others will feature Mary, an Angel, Joseph, and a person who embodies the Christ-filled life.

[The role of the Interviewer works best if played by the preacher for the service but could be played by someone else]

Interviewer:    Good morning Church!  If you have noticed the extra candles up here this morning you know this is a special day – the first Sunday of Advent.  Advent is the time when we prepare our hearts for the birth of Christ.

These four weeks of Advent are a time when we can take a spiritual journey—a trip from doubt and fear, sadness and apathy, all the way to hope, faith, joy, love and peace.  To aid us on that journey we’ve asked some of the key Biblical characters in this great story to share their own journeys with us.  Today our guest is Zechariah.

[Zechariah enters in biblical costume, looking confused and fearful, uncomfortable and wary.]

Interviewer:    Zechariah, welcome.  Come on in- no need to be afraid.  You’re among friends here in God’s house.

[Zechariah writes on a stone or ceramic tablet he’s carrying and shows it to Interviewer]

Interviewer:    Oh, I see.  It seems Zechariah has lost his ability to speak.

[Zechariah writes again]

He says he was in the temple and could not believe the crazy, incredible news that a messenger claiming to be an angel gave him.  So, Zechariah, what was this news and why didn’t you believe it?

[Zechariah writes again]

I see.  Yes, I’d have trouble believing that too.  As you can see folks, Zechariah is not a young man, and this “angel” told him he and his wife Elizabeth, who’s also no “spring chicken” it says here—the angel said that Zechariah and Elizabeth were going to have a baby after many years of bareness.  No wonder Zechariah had his doubts.  Does Medicare cover maternity bills?

[Zechariah writes again and then rubs his back as if it is hurting]

Interviewer reads tablet and laughs:    Zechariah says, “Elizabeth and I are both at that age where if we have body parts that don‘t hurt, they don’t work!”  [Chuckles again]  So you didn’t believe the angel’s message.  Why did that cause you to lose your voice, Zechariah?

[Zechariah writes again]

So, losing your ability to speak was your punishment for doubting, for not believing?  [Zechariah nods]   And God sort of put you in time out then?  [Zechariah nods again]

For how long?   [Zechariah writes again]

He says, “I guess until I believe!”

Interviewer:    [puts hand on Zechariah’s shoulder to comfort him]   Our prayers are with you, Zechariah.  I know how hard it must be for you not to be able to talk.

[Zechariah exits slowly looking very sad.  He sits in front pew or seat until he returns later]

Interviewer:    Waiting and hoping is not easy in difficult times, especially when what we are hoping for seems so impossible to believe—like God’s sending his son to live among us in human form.  That’s why the first Advent candle is the candle of Hope.  [Lights candle as he/she continues to talk]

Even when doubt threatens to overwhelm us, as it did Zechariah, we are people of hope because we believe the words of Isaiah who tells us that even though we grow  faint and weary, those who wait upon the Lord will renew their strength and be lifted up on Eagles’ wings.

[Congregation sings “On Eagles’ Wings” and then proceeds with rest of worship service.  Zechariah sits in front pew or seat during rest of service so he is visible and present to the congregation.  At appropriate time he will return  to tell the rest of his story.]

[At End of Sermon]
Interviewer:    We heard earlier how Zechariah’s story in Luke began in doubt, but it doesn’t end there.  Zechariah, come tell us the rest of your story.

Zechariah:    [excited and animated] It was a real miracle!  Elizabeth did indeed conceive, just as the angel said.  And when her time came she gave birth to a beautiful son.  Everyone expected us to name him after me, but God had told us both to name him “John,” even though no one in our family ever had that name.  I guess God knew “Zechariah the Baptist” didn’t roll of the tongue as well as “John the Baptist!”

Interviewer:    So, when did you get your voice back?

Zechariah:    As soon as I showed my belief in God’s plan.  I wrote, “His Name is John,” and immediately my voice returned; and I haven’t stopped witnessing since.  I tell everyone who will listen what great things God had planned for our son.  John lived in the wilderness and became strong so he was ready when the time came to go before the Messiah to prepare his ways – the ways of repentance and forgiveness and salvation!

Interviewer:    Thank you, Zechariah, for sharing your amazing journey from doubt to Hope.

Zechariah:    Thanks be to God!

[Zechariah exits and Interviewer/pastor concludes service with prayer/appropriate congregational hymn/song/benediction]

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