Audio Advent Calendar

This year the Creative Writing Passion-Group on board were asked to make a series of brief reinterpretations of the Advent story for every day at lunch-time on board.

Here’s my two contributions:

Daniel (Part 1)

Listen Online

Phone Rings You have reached the extension of Meshack, Permanent
Secretary for the office of Internal Affairs, Babylon. I’m afraid
I’m unable to take your call, but if you leave a message and contact
information, one of my scheduling staff will return your call. BEEP

Daniel: Mishack, this is Belteshazzar, if you could contact me please
that would be great. I’ve had a bit of an odd, er, experience I’d
like to talk about with you. Shalom, Click

Phone Rings You have reached the extension of Meshack, Permanent
Secretary for the office of Internal Affairs, Babylon. I’m afraid
I’m unable to take your call, but if you leave a message and contact
information, one of my scheduling staff will return your call. BEEP

Daniel: Oh for goodness sake Mishael – answer your blasted phone! It’s me again, Daniel. Look, the dreams have been getting stranger. I swear I’ve not touched a drop of the King’s wine. So there were these beasts, coming out of the sea, all mixed up – a leopard with four wings, a lion, a bear, hideous. This wasn’t some stupid nightmare. Nightmares are way more mundane.

I can remember so vividly, like I was actually there – I’m not going to tell you every detail now… it all ended, somehow with me seeing into the thoneroom in heaven itself! And there, a “son of man”, like, how you described the fourth man in the furnace? The same! And he shows up in the throneroom, and was greeted royally, and then gets made ruler of the whole planet! An eternal kingdom, full of every kind of people, diverse and spectacular, immense and unlike anything we’ve ever seen, Mishael.

So I went and asked one of the court guards what on earth was going on – and he told me it’s all about the future, the beasts are kings who are coming, and eventually the Most High will judge the last kingdom, destroy it, and hand it all over to an eternal kingdom of His people.

Look – I honestly don’t know what it all means, brother. Or why on earth I had this dream. I thought these dreams from the Lord were supposed to be meaningful? How can I make SMART goals or an Action Plan from something like this?!

It’s terrifying, seeing the horrors of so far in the future – I know the Lord will send this Son of Man in the end – but it’s such a long way off – why tell me now? I wrote it all down – maybe you could come by to read through it. Perhaps someone else will find it encouraging. Call me. Click

Daniel (Part 2)

Featuring the Prophet Daniel (played by me) and his Life Coach (played by Dan Potter).

Advent 2018 – Daniel Part 2! Listen Online!

Doorbell, Door Opens

S: Belteshazzar! It’s good to see you again…
You missed the last 3 sessions… How have you been?
I hear from Shadrack that you’ve been sealed in your rooms?
What progress did you make on your action steps?

D: I’ve prayed. I’ve fasted. I’ve repented. I’ve wept.

S: That’s great, er, none of them were things we talked about
last time – but they all sound… useful?

D: Yes. I had a vision.

S: That’s good, right? You’re the one who interprets the King’s
dreams and visions so…

D: I don’t. The Lord does. And He tells me what they mean.

S: Yes, of course. So, what did the Lord say this time?

D: It’s complicated.

S: That’s surprisingly candid, coming from Him.

D: Stop it. So I read Jeremiah’s prophercy, it’s we’re almost
finished with the 70 years until the Temple and our people
are restored – and we’re nothing like ready. That’s why I’ve
been praying and fasting and repenting – How could we
possibly be ready to return?
And while I was praying, the Lord sent an Angel, who told
me many things…

S: Like, er what?

D: Our people will return, we’ll finish rebuilding, the sacrifices
will resume – and in then a while later, the Messiah
will come.

S: That’s amazing!

D: But He’ll die – appearing to have accomplished nothing.

S: But – but – all the other prophercies say all kinds of things
he’ll do!

D: I know. I said it was complicated… and the Angel said
appearing to have accomplished nothing.” So maybe he’s
going to do things in secret? Or somehow won’t be noticed?

S: That doesn’t sound very Messiah-like.

D: I know.

S: This is fascinating, but I think we’re getting a bit distracted…
What would you like to take away from our conversation?

D: I’d like to get some clarity about sevens.

S: Sevens?

D: Yes… Apparently they’re quite important. And we’re going
to have an awful lot of them before the Messiah comes.

S: Er, right. So, what are the key points of understanding these

D: I’m not really sure. An Angel told me about them. His name was
Gabriel. He was really nice – He told me that I’m precious to
The Lord. I have a feeling he’s involved in this all some how.
And then he started talking about all these sevens… 70 sevens,
then another 7 sevens, and then 62 more sevens after that.

S: Is there a cultural Angel to understanding this angle? Or cultural
angle to understanding the Angel, I mean.

D: Do Angels have a culture?

S: I don’t know! You’ve met more than I have!

D: True. hm. It’s a good question. A cultural angle..
Well – creation took 6 days,
plus the Sabbath – but 70 weeks is less than 2 years – it can’t
mean that… we used to have special celebrations every 7th
year – I think it’s seven years… so about 500 years,
in total, I guess?

S: So… what actions will you take to move forward?

D: 500 years is a really long time! I could do a lot of action
steps in 500 years.
I think I need to go pray some more.

S: That’s always a valuable thing to do…
What do you want to remember from today’s conversation?

D: I thought this was just all something to do with us returning
to the Jerusalem soon – but I think it’s something bigger.
The Lord isn’t just preparing us for the end to our exile –
There’s so much going to happen.

S: Hmm. So you said you wanted to get some clarity about this…
Out of 10, how clear is it now?

D: Maybe Seven?


This was written by our friend Becky Breckels and me, and then read by my amazing wife.

Door opening and shutting

Elizabeth: Zechariah! You’re home! How was the Temple? Anything exciting happen?

Pause as is if Zechariah is speaking

Elizabeth: What’s that love? I can’t hear you!

Slightly shorter pause as Zechariah gestures wildly

Elizabeth: Well I can’t understand you if you’re just going to stand there gesturing! *deep sigh* Fine, we’ll play charades.

Your eye. A drink? A can. Tying something… a knot? Oh! “I Can not”, you cannot what? Talk?

Elizabeth: What do you mean you can’t talk? You’ve never had any problems talking before!

Zechariah starts gesturing wings.

Elizabeth: What are you trying to say? Wings…a bird?

Zechariah shakes his head

Elizabeth: No…? Not a bird…well what else has wings?

Zechariah starts gesturing a halo

Elizabeth: What’s that supposed to be?! A circle above your head!?

Sounds like a heart? A Triangle? Half a triangle? That’s still a triangle! Second half of triangle? Ngle? Sounds like ngle?

Zechariah starts gesturing both wings and a halo

Elizabeth: …AN ANGEL! You saw an angel! Blessed be! An angel! Well…what did he say?

Zechariah starts gesturing writing

Elizabeth: He told you to write something?

Zechariah shakes his head

Elizabeth: You know this would probably be easier if you had your writing things. Now, where did I put them…(fades out)

Sounds of pots and pans clattering

Elizabeth: Ah! Here they are! Now, what did the angel tell you?

Sounds of writing on a blackboard or tablet

Elizabeth: We’re going to have a son!?

This is all a joke, right?

More writing sounds

Elizabeth: His name will be John?! But that’s not a family name!

This must be a joke. I’m going to go make dinner.

OK! Fine, I’ll wait. You’d better make the punchline worth it.

Continued writing sounds

Elizabeth: (Writing sounds throughout) …No alcohol…filled with the Holy Spirit! Spirit and power of Elijah! You’re serious? This isn’t a joke? Turn many to the Lord…prepare the people for the coming of the Lord! …For the coming of the Lord! The Messiah!? He’s coming soon then?

Zechariah shrugs his shoulders

Elizabeth: What do you mean you don’t know! … You didn’t ask!? You had an angel of the Lord standing right in front of you! And you didn’t ask him when the Messiah is coming!?

Zechariah shakes his head

Elizabeth: Hang on, you haven’t told me what any of this as to do with you having no voice…What did you say to the Angel?

Oh come on, don’t be embarrassed.

What did you do?

You thought it was a joke too? Oh come on. An angel shows up, of course it’s not a joke. Who would think such a thing?

You told the angel he was crazy?

Well, serves you right if you can’t talk any more.

Er, how long are you going to be silent for?

Until the baby arrives?! I guess we’d better buy some more writing equipment. And you really need to start working on your mime skills.