The Dream of Immanuel - Monologue

The Dream of Immanuel - Monologue

December 17, 2023 • Rev. Rob Fuquay

St. Luke’s UMC

December 17, 2023

Third Sunday of Advent

And His Name Shall be Called…

The Dream of Immanuel

Isaiah 7: 10-16

Dramatic Monologue


NARRATOR: In the year 745 BC, the Assyrian Empire expanded from the great city of Nineveh and moved westward to the Mediterranean Sea, and all the way south to the city of Jerusalem. Its king, Tiglath-Pileser, was a ruthless dictator. He demanded tributes from other nations in order to spare them devastation. The kings of Aram and Ephraim tried to persuade the King of Judah in Jerusalem, King Ahaz, to join them. When he refused, they conspired against him and threatened to invade Judah. King Ahaz looked to align with Egypt to fend off this threat, but desperately wanted to know and receive God’s blessing. So he sought the council of the renowned prophet, Isaiah.



Isaiah: You wished to see me, your majesty…(waves hand), I know. I know why you summoned me. You are afraid. You’re not sure what to do next. You feel surrounded and out of options. You don’t know which way to turn. And you want to know the Lord’s advice. You wished to consult with me, but I’m here to tell you the Lord wishes to consult with you. He has something to tell you.


Hold fast. Hold fast! Do not react out of fear and do not give in. Take heart and be of courage. You have more power than you realize. You are stronger than you think. You are not alone.


Do you think those things that threaten you threaten our God? Do you think the Mighty One panics at the news of your problems? He is the doer of wonders. He, and He alone, is the Mighty God.


He knows what the King of Assyria says, how he mocks the nations of the earth and takes confidence in his armies. He has seen the dust clouds of his armies while yet miles away. He feels the tremors of the earth from their thousands of chariots. God knows the threats of their king. And he also knows what the other kings have told you, that you must join them in paying tribute to the King of Assyria, that this is the only way to have peace. And unless you join them, then they will attack you. They will come for you first.


God knows what they all say, but they don’t know what God says. That’s what I’ve come to tell you.



But first, I need you tell me something. Tell me about your dreams? What do you see at night when you lay your head upon the pillow? What visions come to you? What imaginations come into your head? (long pause)


Your majesty, I don’t wait this long for the Annual Conference of Levites to make a decision. The Lord knows you have lost the power to dream. Your dreams have become nightmares. Your fears get in the way of your ability to dream. Your visions in the night are of your fears coming true. Because that’s all you think about. But when you keep attention on God, on the one who says, “Behold I am doing a new thing and I can make all things new,” you begin to dream.


My dreams began the year your grandfather, Uzziah, died. I was 18 years old. I dreamt I was standing in the temple. I saw the Lord seated high on his throne and the train of his robe filled the temple. There were seraphs flying above him, angel-like creatures. They were singing over and over again, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, heaven and earth are full of His glory.”


The very sound of their voices shook the pillars of the temple and I was deathly afraid. I cried out, “Woe is me! I am a man of unclean lips and I live among a people of unclean lips. Who am I to be here?” That was nightmare, to feel unworthy and be in God’s presence. It didn’t become a dream until…


…a seraph flew to the altar and with tongs removed a burning coal and came to me and touched my lips. It was just soft. The seraph said, “Your guilt is removed and your sins have been atoned.”


And suddenly the Lord Almighty spoke, “Who will go and be my servant? Whom shall I send?” And I couldn’t help myself. I shouted, “Here am I, Lord, send me!”


I’ve been living the dream ever since. I have been declaring what I see even when its hard. Like seeing our fellow Israelites to the north being led away in chains and brought into a land they have never seen to serve a people they have never known.  Because they ignored God’s ways.


We can’t ignore justice and expect God to ignore it too. We cannot let the widows and children go homeless in our streets while we sleep in security and comfort. We can’t pray for God’s power and disregard His pattern for living. We can’t ask for God to give us what we want and never ask what is God’s will.


And now trouble has come to our brothers and sisters to the north, because they wouldn’t change their way.


Sometimes God’s worst punishment is to let us have our way. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Our way can change. Life can be different. Our God specializes in making things different. He says “Do not dwell on the former things, but Behold! I make all things new again.” He can make us new.


If we will but believe.


Do you believe, O King? Do you believe that God can change your situation? That God can change you? He is ever so ready. He is ready to give you a sign, of his power to change your situation, but you refuse. I offer you a sign from God and you turn it down. You say I will not put the Lord to the test by demanding a sign, but the Lord sees through your false piety. The Lord knows why you do not want a sign, because you don’t want to change your course.  You’ve already made your mind up what is best and you simply want God to bless your actions. You just want God to agree with you.  You want his power but you don’t want His input. You’ve trusted more in what other people have told you you should do. You’ve trusted more in what makes sense to you. But God’s ways are not our ways.


You want to turn to Egypt to help you against the other kings believing that some earthly might is your real source of security. You are acting like a mouse turning to a cat to help fight another cat. But you forget, its in the nature of all cats to eat the mouse. You will be devoured if you say the course.


There is no earthly security that will not eventually fail you.


O King you have forgotten your own faith? Have you forgotten your stories of faith? I taught them to you as a boy, don’t you remember? Have you forgotten Elisha? His servant looked up one day and saw the armies of the King of Aram, who threatens you now, had surrounded them on the ridge of the hills all around them. The servant panicked, but Elisha remained calm. He said, “Don’t be afraid, those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” Then he prayed for the Lord to help the servant see. And the servant looked up and saw that above the armies were the chariots of fire. The angel armies of God.


Have you forgotten? I used to tell you that story sitting on my knee. Well now its time for your story. You are surrounded, O king, but by much more than the armies of Aram or even Assyria. You have more power than you realize. If you will just trust and hold fast!


(wife steps into position as light comes up on her)


You refuse a sign, but the Lord will give you one anyway. See, the young woman will be with child, and will give birth to a son and call his name Immanuel, for he will be God with us. Before he eats curds and honey and knows enough to reject the wrong and choose the right, the land of the kings who have put you in dread will be laid waste.


That is right, your own wife, bears your sign. The child within her will be your heir. He will be the successor to your throne. He will rule in righteousness and splendor. He will do the Lord’s will. He will lead the people to depend upon God and to hold fast and trust not in human alliances. Then the people will live in the land and prosper. They will eat from their own vineyards and produce. The Lord will do for them what no king could do or prevent.


For the people who walk in darkness will see a great light. Those living in the land of deep shadows on them light will dawn. Every warrior’s boot used in battle and every garment rolled in blood will be destined for burning and will be fuel for the fire.


(pointing again at the woman with child) For unto us a child is born. Unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulders, and he his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. (light on woman slowly fades and she exits)


Of the increase of his government there shall be no end. His rule shall continue to increase. His rule that bends toward justice and mercy; his rule that brings about God’s way in our world, it will continue to increase. As fearful as the world may get, as awful as things may appear, his way will keep increasing if we but see it and seek it.


You are simply called to prepare his way. To make ready for it. To make rough places smooth. To make crooked places straight.  You must prepare the way for your son to come and rule because he will turn the hearts of the people back to God. But it must begin with you, O King! Repent. Stop your frantic running around looking for a worldly solution to a godly problem. Turn to God because He will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are stayed on Him.


Those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings like eagles. They shall run and not grow weary. They shall walk and not be faint. The goal, your majesty is to keep walking. Keep going. And if you will but turn to Him he will be your strength.


Because we need you to. We need your faith, because faith is never just for ourselves. Others need our faith too. Others need us to be faithful. A whole nation, O King, depends on your faith. Future generations depend on your faith.


That is what I see. My vision goes far beyond you and this present problem. My dream sees into a future of another child to come who will be God’s answer to the world. He will turn our swords into plowshares and our spears into pruning hooks, and we will not train for war any more. He will cause the wolf to lie down with the lamb, and thee calf and the lion together. And a little child shall lead them.


I can see that child. I see the place of his appearing. It will not be in power. It will not be in a palace. It will be in a forgotten place. A lonely place. A place no one is looking for, as a person no one is assuming. He will come as one of them, and he will show people this way. He will be God’s presence to them. And offer his life to them…for them.


(organ begins(T), guitar begins(C)] I see this and I can’t unsee it. It’s a dream I can’t let go of, but it’s a dream we must share. SO I declare it. And I will keep declaring it, until we all live that dream.


So go to sleep O King. Sleep and dream…


(Traditional: Isaiah holds position until spot goes down as choir stands and begins anthem.

Contemporary: Isaiah walks with lighting remaining. Casey and Katy enter)