The Awesome News from our comrade Luke from PDX (a local Christmas story)

Deacon Gus from Portland wrote a super sweet telling of the Christmas story.  It was so awesome I thought you should experience the #awesomesauce for yourself. Enjoy!

In the time when Governor Herod was in office in Oregon there was a man named Pastor Zack (he had his PhD and his wife Elizabeth was a 3rd cousin twice removed to some of the Kennedys). Together they lived honorably before The Creator, careful in keeping to the ways of the commandments and enjoying a clear conscience before The Creator. But they were childless because Elizabeth could never conceive and now they were quite old. And with no one to care for them in their old age Zack and Elizabeth were less and less sure they’d be able to make ends meet.

One day when it was Pastor Zack’s turn to conduct services (the ministers had worked out a system among themselves), according to the custom he went into church to burn incense. While the incense was being burned, a great crowd stood outside, praying.

Then a messenger from The Creator appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. When Pastor Zach saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear. But the messengerreassured him, “Don’t fear, Zack. Your prayer has been heard. Elizabeth, your wife, will bear a son by you. You are to name him John. You’re going to leap like a gazelle for joy, and not only you—many will delight in his birth. He’ll achieve great stature with The Creator.

“He’ll drink neither 3-Buck-Chuck nor Local Microbrews. He’ll be filled with the Spirit of the Creator from the moment he leaves his mother’s womb. He’ll turn a lot of churchy people back to The Cosmic Commander in Chief their Creator. He will announce The Creator’s arrival with all the piss and vinegar of that bat-shit crazy, activist-Shaman Elijah. He’ll soften the hearts of parents to children, and kindle devout understanding among people who have no time for that pie-in-the-sky nonsense—he’ll get the people ready for The Creator.”

Pastor Zack said to the messenger, “Do you expect me to believe this? I’m an old man and my wife isn’t exactly a spring chicken either!”

But the messenger said, “I am Gabriel, The Creator’s attendant, sent especially to bring you this happy news. But because you can’t be bothered to believe me, I’m going to zip your lip till the day you can hold your boy in your own arms. Every word I’ve spoken to you will come true on time—The Creator’s time.”

Meanwhile, the congregation waiting for Pastor Zack was getting restless, wondering what was the hold up in the sanctuary. When he came out and couldn’t speak, they knew he had seen a vision. He continued speechless and had to use sign language with everyone.

When he had wound up his church duties, he went back home. It wasn’t long before his wife, Elizabeth, was sporting a baby bump. She went off by herself for five months, treasuring her pregnancy. “So, this is how The Creator works to fix the lousy spot I was in!” she said.

When Elizabeth was 6-months pregnant, The Creator sent the messenger Gabriel to Lents out past the 205 to a young lady named Mary. She was engaged to be married to a man named Joe, he could trace his family line way back to Thomas Jefferson. Upon entering, Gabriel greeted her:

“Good morning! You’re beautiful with The Creator’s beauty,Smokin’ Hot inside and out! The Creator be with you.”

She was really shook up and was trying to make heads or tails of the whole thing. But the messenger assured her, “Mary, you’ve got nothing to fear. The Creator has a surprise for you: Listen up, you’ll become pregnant and have a baby boy and you will call him Jesus (which mean “The Creator rescues”). He’ll be great a man,be called ‘The Almighty’s Son.’The The Cosmic Commander in Chief will give him the the keys to the centers of power;and he’ll always be head of the faithful. His revolution will never end.”

Mary said to the messenger, “W-T-F?!! How is that even possible? I’ve never hopped in the sack with anyone before!”

The messenger replied, “The Spirit of the Creator will come upon you,that’s the power that will impregnate you;For this reason, the child you bring to birth will be called ‘like nothing else’, ‘The Creator’s Son’.

“And had you heard yet that your cousin Elizabeth is going to have a boy, old as she is? Everyone thought she was barren, and here she is six months pregnant! Nothing, you see, is impossible with The Creator.”

And Mary said, “Yes, I see it all now:The Cosmic Commander in Chief’s is my boss and I’m ready to serve.Ok, I’m on board, let’s make it happen just like you said.” Then the messenger left her.

Right after he left, Mary grabbed her umbrella and headed out to catch the bus to St. Johns. She arrived at the home of Zack and greeted Elizabeth. And you’ll never guess what happened? When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, her baby gave a kick. And Elizabeth bubbled over with The Creator’s Spirit and shouted as loud as she could, “Praise The Cosmic Commander in Chief for a woman like you! And praise Him for your baby! How does something so amazing happen to little old me—the mother of my True President coming to me? Because listen here, when I heard your ‘Hello’, the baby in my womb seemed like he was doing one of those trendy new dances you kids are into these days. It’s a great lady who hears the news The Cosmic Commander in Chief has for her and knows that it will become a reality.”

And Mary said,

I’m bursting with The Creator’s-news; I’m hashtagging this so everyone will

know!I’m dancing the song of my Liberator, The Creator.

The Creator took one good look at me, and “Ba-BAM!” look what happened

I’m the most fortunate woman on earth!

The one who can do all things has done great things for me,

The Creator whose very name is holy, set apart from all others.

His mercy flows in wave after wave on those who are in awe before him.He flexed his muscles and showed his strength,

scattered those bluffing machismo bullies.

He pulls the thrones out from under the royalty

and He gives dignity to the those without self-worth.

The starving poor sat down to a banquet;

but the rich he sent off with nothing to eat.

He embraced his chosen child, Israel;

he remembered and piled on the mercies, piled them high.

It’s exactly what he promised,beginning with Abraham and right up to

now.

Mary stayed with Elizabeth for the next three months and then went back to her own home.

 

[Birth of John the B and Pastor Zack's song]

It happened in those days that a proclamation went out from President Augustus that every citizen must be counted in a census. This was the first such census while Quirinius was Secretary of the Treasury.

 

So everybody went to register. Because Joe’s ID still had him listed as living at home so that he could remain on his parents’ insurance he went up from Lents, to his parents home in the NE, an area called Concordia to register with his bride Mary, who was by this point about to ready to pop.

There was no room for them with all the gentrification in the area and the cost of housing around the college and all. So they stayed in Joe’s parents garage. While they were there, her time came, but Joseph’s insurance didn’t cover Mary, so they couldn’t afford to go to the hospital and she gave birth to her first boy right there in the garage. She wrapped him in an old blanket and laid him in a milk crate they swiped off an old 10 speed locked to the lamppost out front.

Now there were some wineos and bums under the Burnside bridge staying out of the rain. They were up late crafting panhandling signs like “Santa Kidnapped Family, Need Money to Hire Elf Mercenaries”. And a messenger from the Creator appeared to them and evidence of the Creator was shining about them brighter than a neon sign. It nearly scared the life right out of them. And the messenger said to them, “No fear, fellas; for listen, I’ve got some awesome news for you, news of great joy in which allpeople will have a stake. Today your liberator was born in the City of Roses. He is the leader. He is the Real Boss. And here’s a clue for you: you will find the a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a milk crate.”

And all of a sudden joining the one messenger there was the entirety of heaven’s Military elite singing The Creator’s praises and saying,

Mad props to The Creator! And on earth, At-one-ness amongst those in his favor”

When the messengers went away from them into the sky, the bums said to one another, “Let’s go find that garage in Concordia (I think the max is still running this late) to see how all this that the World’s Boss has showed us has turned out.”

So they went just as fast as they could and found Mary and Joe and there in the milk crate was the baby. Seeing this, they related the story of what had been told them about this little fellow. The people were simply amazed as they listened to what the homeless folks told them. And Mary clung to all these words, turning them over and over in her head. The bums went back to their space under the bridge, giving The Creator the credit and giving him props for all they had seen and heard, exactly as it had been described to them.

And when the time came for them to give him a name they called him Jesus, just as the Creator’s messenger had said before he was conceived.

After they had finished carrying out the rules and regulations of the church regarding the baby, they brought him to the area bishop at a big fancy church downtown. There they dedicated him to the Creator, just as the sacred writings said: “Every first baby, if it’s a boy, will be dedicated to the Creator.” Also they wanted to make an offering of thanks a “pair of backyard raised chickens or two young rabbits”. The offering (a ritual) had been all ordered out in the sacred writings; it had a sliding scale depending on income, they didn’t have much so they weren’t expected to give much. The guy standing behind them anxiously jingling the keys to his Beemer was a different story. He’d ordered a whole free-range sheep to be delivered from a local farmer and he was in a hurry to get to some fancy corporate New Years party.

Now then, there was a man at this church named Simon. He was a sincere, dedicated man who was deeply concerned for the welfare of the world. Being a man deeply in-tune with the Spirit of the Creator, he had received a message from the Spirit of the Creator, that it was a sure bet he’d see The Great Leader before he kicked the bucket. On that day The Creator drew him into to that very church. And when Mary and Joe brought in Jesus for the ceremonies, Simon picked him up in his arms and praised The Creator. He said,

Now Master, you are sending your servant into retirement in style! Into the great at-one-ness, as you have promised.

With my own eyes I’ve seen your liberation;

You’ve made this liberation possible for everybody:

A Creator-revealing light to expose the problem of all people and places,

You’ve put your spotlight on your faithful agents.

And his dad and mom were really amazed at all this stuff that was being said about him. Simon slapped them on the back and said to his mom, “Hear me out, this little tyke is here to knock many people over and to pick them back up again. He’s here to be a symbol of controversy so the inner workings of many hearts will be laid bare. You aren’t going to get off scott free either: a shot to the heart will rip through your soul as well!

Now Anna, a lady minister, was there. She was from a Silver Spoon kind of family if there ever was one. This old blue hair had been married long ago but her hubby had died back in the Nixon administration and she’d never remarried. She never left the church, day and night she was echoing songs and prayers off the walls of the church about the Bad-ass-ness of the Creator. She approached Mary, Joe and baby Jesus at the same time and passed on to them The Creator’s approval. She started talking about this kiddo to everyone who was waiting for the Revolution.

And when they got through with all the churchy stuff, they went back to their home in the neighborhood of Lents (just east of the 205). And the little guy grew and was healthy. He was crazy smart and The Creator liked him.

Now each year his parents and tons of their friends went on their annual vacation to the The Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland. So when he was twelve, they went to the festival just as they usually did. When it was over, they hopped in their rusty old Honda and headed back home, but Jesus had stayed behind without anyone noticing. Thinking that he was in somebody else’s car, they went several hours before realizing he was AWOL. When everyone stopped at a truck stop they started asking around to their friends and relatives about him. They couldn’t find him, so they sped back to Ashland and continued to search for him. After hours they found him at the Ashland University chatting with a table full of professors from the Doctorate of Ministry program. He had blown the socks off of everyone there with his level of insight and answers. When Mary and Joe saw this, they were dumbfounded, and his mother said to him “What the hell do you think you are trying to do to your dad and I? Do you have any idea how much trouble you are in right now?!” He said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Didn’t you realize I’d be with my Father’s people?”

But they didn’t catch onto what he was getting at.

They all got back into the Honda and drove back up to their home in Lents and he was a great little kid. His mom held these things dearly, deep within herself. And Jesus matured, growing up in both mentally and physically. The Creator liked him and, for that matter, so did everybody else.

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2 comments
Gus Kroll
Gus Kroll

 @cammoblammo , totally agree. There is something about having to take seriously the words enough to make them your own that really does open up the text. Glad you enjoyed.

cammoblammo
cammoblammo

Nice. I love Luke's version of the Nativity. So many interesting people I really want to meet!

 

Actually, this reminds me of a retelling I wrote once, set in the Australian outback and centred on a group of stockmen. There's nothing like remaking a story for getting into the original author's head.