VIRGIN   4'1m*f RT: Joseph announces Mary's pregnancy

(RT == Readers' Theater: requires little or no memorization,
little or no rehearsal. An indefinite number of reporters are
salted throughout the audience)

JOSEPH -- (enters wearing tunic, sandals and headress, crosses
to podium) Good morning. My name is Joseph son of Heli. As
Nazareth is a small town, I'm sure you have all heard that I am
engaged to marry a girl named Mary. The reason I called this
press conference is to address the many rumors that are flying
around Nazareth. First, it is NOT true that I have decided not
to marry her.

REPORTER -- Then, are you denying also that your intended bride
is pregnant?

JOSEPH -- No. I'm not denying that.

REPORTER -- Are you saying that you did not even consider
calling off the wedding?

JOSEPH -- I will admit that my original impulse was to send her
away quietly...

REPORTER -- But Jewish law requires that the girl be put to

JOSEPH -- I'm sorry. You're wrong. Flat out wrong.

REPORTER -- The girl is pregnant out of wed lock. What am I

JOSEPH -- The law does not require that girls who are pregnant
out of wedlock be put to death.

REPORTER -- I'm quite familiar with Jewish law and the law
requires that adulterers be put to death.

JOSEPH -- You are assuming, as I did at first, that Mary is
pregnant because of adultery.

REPORTER -- She's not married. How else do you explain it?

JOSEPH -- Mary claims that the Angel Gabriel appeared to her and
told her that the Holy Spirit of God would implant a baby in her

REPORTER -- And you believed that story?

JOSEPH -- Yes.

REPORTER -- Are you just naive, or are you in a state of denial?

JOSEPH -- Neither. After I decided to send Mary away quietly,
the same angel appeared to me and confirmed Mary's story. He
told me to go ahead with the marriage, that the baby would be a

REPORTER -- So, you're going to go ahead and marry this girl?

JOSEPH -- Yes.

REPORTER -- Why? Nobody would blame you for sending her away.

JOSEPH -- Because Mary and I believe that this baby is the long
awaited messiah of the nation of Israel.

REPORTER -- Doesn't this sound a little far fetched, even to

JOSEPH -- Not in the least. The angel Gabriel told us to name
the baby Yahoshua, which is pronounced JESUS in Greek. Yahoshua
means "God is salvation".

REPORTER -- Are you claiming that this baby will save our people
from their sins?

JOSEPH -- That's what the angel told us.

REPORTER -- But the prophet Isaiah wrote that only God himself
can save us from our sins. Are you claiming that this baby is
God himself?

JOSEPH -- That's the way it looks to us.

REPORTER -- At the very least, I think you are mistaken. But
it's more likely that you're deluded.

JOSEPH -- Not at all. Look at the name the Angel gave him.
Yahoshua or Joshua was the great general who conquered Jericho
in seven days. The walls of Jericho literally fell down on the
seventh day, on the sabbath exactly as predicted by the Lord of
the sabbath. Giving the baby the same name tells us that He will
be the Lord of the Sabbath.

REPORTER -- And you got this directly from an angel?

JOSEPH -- Both of us did. The Prophet Isaiah predicted that our
coming messiah would be born of a virgin and would be called
Immanuel which means "God with us".

REPORTER -- Wait a minute. According to the Prophet Micah, the
messiah will come from Bethlehem, not from Nazareth!

JOSEPH -- Yes. That reminds me. My wife-to-be and I are leaving
today to go to Bethlehem to be counted in the census. The baby
will probably be born there.

REPORTER -- So, the baby is to be born into the family of King
David, as the Prophets predicted?

JOSEPH -- Yes. Both Mary and I are descendants of King David.
I'm sorry, we really MUST go now if we intend to get to
Bethlehem in time for the census. (exits) Thank you for coming.

REPORTER -- Hey, this baby really COULD BE the messiah after

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