The 21st Century Restoration – Will We Join It? (Sep-Dec 2006)

By Matt Dabbs

by John King
September – December, 2006

Can be used as a solo script and adapted for worship reading or drama

Where do you store your treasures? Do you have a secret vault no one knows about but you? Maybe you rent a lock box at a local bank. We all have a hiding place where we put the things we hold onto because they are too special to let go.

What’s in your special place? Your first love letter from your spouse? Your last note from your deceased dad? Insurance policies? Negatives of photographs? Things that are irreplaceable? Many of them connect us to former days. They trigger memories of special times and awesome relationships, especially the older we get.

My treasure place held some mysteries. It was where I put the inconceivables—you know, those truths that some say are too good to be true but a strange part of you responds, “It’s too good to not be true.?Those mysteries all had to do with my first son. Yes, he had several brothers and sisters, but nothing was normal about him. It was all so unbelievable I couldn’t talk to many people about it.

I was engaged to get married. We were waiting until our finances were set. We didn’t want to rush things, but then the news came . . .

I had to hurry. Grabbed a few things and headed off to check it out. Could it really be true? The messenger sure sounded serious. Maybe I misunderstood, but he clearly told me Liz could clear up any lingering confusions. I wanted to believe it was true so I just decided to take him at his word and go talk to her. Was I ever in for a surprise!

Yes, Liz really was going to have a child! All these years of praying with no answer had taken their toll. She and Zach had all but given up on it ever happening. The whole thing actually left him speechless. But Liz was talking non-stop! As soon as I walked in their house she said her baby really started moving. A strange presence came over her and she started praising God and telling me I was so blessed. It overwhelmed me, too, and I realized it had to be true. We spent weeks talking about how awesome the future would be.

By the time I returned home I couldn’t hide the truth any longer. I must have thought of a thousand different ways to tell my fianc? to tell my parents, but none sounded right. When he saw me that first time I could see the shock and hurt on his face. He left before we could speak. That really scared me. My best friend said his best friend was sure he would call the whole thing off. People were spreading terrible rumors and I didn’t know what to do. Who would ever believe the truth? Lies were easier to accept.

My job was too big without his help—I could never do it alone! But I had never been asked to do something without being given what I needed to be successful. Surely that would be true this time. Right as I got to the brink of despair, wonderful news arrived. He was willing to team up with me and we would give it our best shot. The rumors didn’t stop, but at least I wasn’t alone now.

All the rest of the people in town grumbled about the latest edict, but I decided it was good for us. Now we had a good reason for getting away. The trip wouldn’t be easy, but sometimes a change of scenery can help. Maybe we would just stay there. The new place certainly had some special history. We traveled slowly and carefully. At least there were others making the same trip and we could talk about their lives. Like us, most had never been there before.

It was a madhouse when we arrived. Every “No Vacancy?sign was illuminated. We had to find a place to stay, but where? About dusk we were troubled by how limited our options really were. But then a young couple walked up to us and said, “It’s not much, but you can stay with us in our house.?The crowded village didn’t destroy hospitality. We hadn’t much more than arrived when the pains started. I had felt some earlier, but these were different.

The hours were forgotten in that incredible moment! Nothing could have prepared me for it. He really did come. As we celebrated there was a soft knock at the door. They had heard the neighbors telling about the travelers?good news. They quietly slipped in the door and looked. It was amazing because they knew. Finally, we weren’t the only ones! It was such a relief to be able to share the news. Our hosts found it pretty incredible, but what could they say? Our joy was contagious. This mystery was mind-boggling.

Weeks later we went into the city. An old man came up and I could tell by his face he knew! He was ecstatic and said, “Now I can die and go to heaven!?We couldn’t imagine how long he had been waiting for this day. Our months of anticipation were nothing compared to his decades. He told me he had some good news and some bad news. We had a special job and it would be successful. But there would be days of excruciating pain—it would be easier if someone stabbed me. While his words troubled me, I somehow knew they were true. How could this be?

Months later the same feeling returned. “Hurry!?he said as he woke me up. “We’ve got to go, now! We can’t wait till tomorrow!?br>
Our guests had just left and they seemed in a hurry, too. Our new home was no longer safe. We had to go south. “We have to get out of the country,?he whispered. I could tell by the look in his eyes this was serious business. It was good our guests had been so generous. We had money to pay our way.

These last two years were unbelievable. Unbelievable, until I think about his true identity. When God sends his Son into your life everything changes. Trust me, I know first-hand. Nothing will ever be the same after Jesus comes to live in your house. Some may try to kill you. Others may laugh at you and say mean things. But there will always be others who understand. When you get it you just have to worship him! Joseph and I both came to realize that early on. We are doing our best to give him a good life, but we know that ultimately that responsibility rests with his Father.

These mystery memories are my greatest treasures. I store them in my heart. Every day I stop to ponder them. Jesus, God’s only begotten, lives in our house. Nothing can ever be the same when he lives with you.

Listen to an MP3 excerpt from “The Magnificat” as performed on The ZOE Group’s album, In Christ Alone. Click album art to purchase CD. New Wineskins

John Kenneth KingJohn Kenneth King. John has been happily married to Debra for twenty-five years. Their two children, Kenneth and Rachel, are college students. John is a shepherd and preaching minister for the Stones River Church in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. You can e-mail him at [preacher@stonesriver.org].

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Profile photo of Matt DabbsThis author published 1583 posts in this site.
Matt is the preaching minister at the Auburn Church of Christ in Auburn, Alabama. He and Missy have been married 12 years and are raising two wonderful boys, Jonah and Elijah. Matt is passionate about reaching and discipling young adults, small groups, and teaching. Matt is currently the editor and co-owner of Wineskins.org.

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