Sunday, December 25, 2011

Rich Gospel Investigates the Light

To use this in a service dress as a private eye (dark glasses, hat, raincoat with collar pulled up)

On the word intriguing – stroke your chin before speaking it

On the word suspicious - look round from side to side before speaking it

On the word mysterious - scratch your head as if puzzled

It was Christmas Eve and Rich Gospel was about to go home for Christmas.

It was a busy time of year. At the offices of Glad, Tidings, Comfort and Joy – the theological detective agency – the phone was ringing incessantly. Sadly, incessantly wasn't picking up.

'Paranormal, supernatural and doctrinal investigations,' they'd put on the business cards.

Very popular this time of year. It had been the busiest Christmas season ever and Rich had taken all the countings. Oops. Of course he meant counted all the takings. Obviously.

Suddenly a letter came through the window and landed on his desk. The window had been closed but luckily the letter was tied to a brick.

Very (look round from side to side) suspicious.

He raced outside but there was no-one in sight. Very (scratch your head) mysterious.

Picking bits of broken glass out of his hair, Rich opened the letter.

'Dear Mr Gospel', it said, 'My daughter has asked for a very specific sort of torch for Christmas. She wants a light that shines in the darkness that the darkness doesn't understand.'

Rich had a ponder. He toasted it and spread it with jam. Best ponder he'd had for ages. Then he went back to his train of thought. Sadly the station was closed so he had to return to work.

He knew about light. It wasn't as clever as it was made out to be. Think about it. Every time you put a light on it is because the room is dark. The dark must have got there first. If scientists listened to him (which they didn't because they tried to avoid being in the same room as an eccentric crank) they would be investigating not the speed of light but the speed of dark.

He had a little wonder, a 1987 one, a good year for wonder. It went very well with the ponder he had just finished.

So if all the girl wanted was a light that shines in the darkness he could give her a torch, a lamp, a candle, a bulb, a match, a fire, a tinderstick, a taper, a laser beam, a thunderflash... easy. But she wanted a light that the darkness didn't understand. Weird. In fact very (stroke your chin) intriguing.

Only recently he had whispered into his computer keyboard that he hadn't washed his hands today. This had turned it off.

He picked it up and kicked it across the room. This booted it up. He waited for it to be ready for use again.

He decided to search for lights that shine in the darkness but this simply took him to the web-sites of lighting companies. Very (stroke your chin) intriguing.

So he changed his search string for a piece of rope and tried the words 'understanding the darkness'. This took him to some very disappointing web-sites all about goths. Very (scratch your head) mysterious.

He was about to remove the piece of wood from the top of the computer to log off when he noticed, far down the search list, a quote from a book by a man called John. Men called John were, in his experience, deeply in touch with the innermost secrets of the theological universe. Something to do with the meaning of their name. Jonathan means God has given us a gift.

He read the quote. It was from a very old book but he thought he had one which he had used last Christmas when investigating angels.

He got the book down from his shelf. He read the beginning of John:

...and the light shineth in the darkness and the darkness comprehendesd it not.

It was very old language in his Bible; he must get a new one. Then he had a thought. After his ponder and wonder he was pretty full but eating always helped. Comprehending. That means understanding, doesn't it?

Very (stroke your chin) intriguing.

He read on. On wasn't as interesting as the Bible so he went back to it. What was this light?

As he read he found out more and more. The light wasn't a torch or a candle. It was illuminating in a different way. It was a person. A person who throws light on things. A person who - very (scratch your head) mysterious - was said to come from God.

Still he had his answer and that was what he got paid for. He was about to send the reply when he realised he had no address to write back to. Just a brick and a broken window. He'd forgotten that this was very (look round from side to side) suspicious.

He went back into his office where a surfer was just leaving. He was from an emergency boarding company and had tidied up the window.

Give me the answer he said, and the brick. If you let me take it to the client she'll pay for the window to be fixed. She just wanted to get your attention.

Very (scratch your head) mysterious. But he had one thing in common with the window. He was also shattered. He headed for home before anyone else needed investigating, a copy of John's clever book tucked under his arm, to read over Christmas.

This is what he started to read...

(Reading John 1:1-14)

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