Prepare Ye the Way [draft]
57 When it came time for Elizabeth to give birth, her family and neighbours were delighted, because her mood swings were really getting out of hand.
58 ‘Finally, the Lord has shown us mercy!’ cried her next-door neighbour.
And Elizabeth gave birth to a bouncing baby boy.
59 On the eighth day, Elizabeth’s family got together for the circumcision. 60 They wanted to name the baby after his father Zechariah, but Elizabeth wanted to call him John.
61 Her family replied, ‘But nobody in the family is called John!’
‘I don’t care!’ retorted Elizabeth. ‘I like the name John, and I’m his mother!’
Her uncle Ebenezer piped up, ‘So what? You’re a woman! Since when did we let women have opinions? Fetch Zechariah! Let him tell us what he wants the boy to be called.’
‘But he’s dumb,’ protested her aunt Taliah.
‘It doesn’t take a lot brain power to name a baby!’ snorted Ebenezer.
‘No, I mean he can’t speak!’
‘Give him a writing tablet then!’
62 So, Taliah ran and got a writing tablet, and then made signs to Zechariah to ask him what he wanted to call his son. Zechariah wrote: ‘I can still hear, you idiot.’
‘Oh,’ replied Taliah. ‘What do you want to name your son?’
63 He wrote, ‘John’.
64 Immediately, his mouth fell open and his tongue flopped out. 65 ‘Thank fuck for that!’ He yelled so loudly that everyone throughout the hill country of Judea could hear him.
66 ‘Oh, you can talk again!’ exclaimed Elizabeth in astonishment.
67 ‘Not only that,’ he declared, ‘I can sing!
‘Praise the Lord, I’ve got a son,
And now I have a working tongue!
He raised my horn and gave it vigour,
Although I wish he’d made it bigger!
‘In the past, he spoke to men;
He was just more hands-on back then.
Now he works in mysterious ways,
Like making me mute for all those days.
‘You were chosen by the Most High,
Invisible father in the sky,
To be a prophet, my blessed boy.
Your mother and I are overjoyed.
‘You will be known far and wide,
So take celebrity in your stride.
Although one day, they might want you dead,
I’m sure in the end, you’ll be ahead.’
80 But as he grew, the pressure of child stardom got to John, so he went off to live in the wilderness.