229. A Christmas Story (with Assassins)

I’ve decided to share one of my old stories on TMTF this month, because recycling is good for the environment.

I wrote “Zealot: A Christmas Story” because there are not enough Christmas stories about assassins. It’s the tale of Jehu, a Jewish revolutionary bent on driving the Roman Empire out of Palestine. His life of hatred and bloodshed is interrupted by an astonishing series of people: a cowardly traveler, some crazy shepherds, a grouchy scholar and a rabbi whose teachings would transform the world.

The story of the Nativity is a familiar one. We all remember the stable, the manger, the angels and the shepherds. What we forget is the historical context. For centuries, the Jews had been subjugated by powerful empires. Ancient prophecies of the Messiah, a hero chosen by God to restore Israel, must have seemed empty and distant.

Jesus was born in an era of hopelessness and disillusionment. Since God seemed to be doing nothing to rescue Israel from Rome, a number of Jews decided to take matters into their own hands. They became zealots: revolutionaries fighting a hopeless battle, struggling to survive and awaiting the Messiah whom God had promised.

In the end, the Messiah came. He lived and died not to rescue Israel from Rome, but to free humankind from death.

“Zealot: A Christmas Story” is the tale of a revolutionary, and how he witnessed the beginning of a revolution infinitely greater than any he could imagine.

Throughout December and early January, chapters of this story will be published on TMTF on Wednesdays, replacing my weekly ramblings about geeky things. Never fear! Geeky Wednesdays will return next month.

I hope you enjoy “Zealot: A Christmas Story.” Have a bright, beautiful December!

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