NINEVEH  4'1m*f RT: Jonah and the whale

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

JONAH -- (enters wearing tunic, headdress and sandals, crosses
to podium, unrolls scroll, reads) My name is Jonah son of
Amittai. I am a Hebrew prophet from the land of Canaan. The
reason I called this press conference is to announce a change of
plans from the Lord God himself regarding the city of Nineveh.
God says he will NOT destroy your city after all. I hope you're
happy now. (rolls up scroll, turns)

REPORTER -- Jonah. Jonah, may we ask you a few questions?

JONAH -- (turns) If you must.

REPORTER -- When you warned us 40 days ago to repent, you saved
120,000 lives. Are you aware of that?

JONAH -- I'm aware of that.

REPORTER -- But you don't seem to be too happy about it.

JONAH -- I'm not.

REPORTER -- Why not?

JONAH -- Forty days ago I prophesied that the City of Nineveh
and everyone in it would be destroyed. I never said anything
about repentance! But you repented! And God relented. Now the
Lord looks like the compassionate one and I look like the bad
guy! I knew this would happen!

REPORTER -- Is it true you refused to come here to Nineveh when
the Lord God first told you to?

JONAH -- I wouldn't exactly say REFUSED! I may have ACCIDENTALLY
taken the wrong boat to get here.

REPORTER -- There's nothing but dry desert between the land of
Canaan and Nineveh. Why would you need to take a boat at all?

JONAH -- Well, it was just a little mix up. That's all.

REPORTER -- "A mix-up" you say?

JONAH -- Yes.

REPORTER -- What possible mix-up would cause you to take a boat
to cross a desert?

JONAH -- See, I thought the Lord God told me to go preach
against TARSHISH. The two names sound alike.


JONAH -- Alright! I'll admit it! I was scared to death of you
Ninevites. Your wickedness is legendary. I didn't want to have
anything to do with you!

REPORTER -- Well, if you got on a boat to Tarshish, how did you
end up in Nineveh?

JONAH -- The Lord God found me on the boat and sent a horrible
storm over the sea. The boat's crew knew I was a prophet of God
and immediately knew that the storm was sent to punish me for my

REPORTER -- Did the boat's crew turn the boat around?

JONAH -- No. The crew of the boat threw me in to the sea.

REPORTER -- They threw a prophet of God into the sea?!

JONAH -- It was a sacrifice. You see the Lord God requires that
if someone sins, there has to be a sacrifice for the sin. It's a
little difficult to explain now. It will be a little easier to
explain when the Lord God himself sacrifices himself for the
sins of the world in a few years.

REPORTER -- You don't mean a literal sacrifice.

JONAH -- Yes.

REPORTER -- Well, the Lord God obviously didn't sacrifice you,
you're here, alive, breathing and talking.

JONAH -- Yes, he did. I was dead for three days in the belly of
a fish. And after three days the Lord God raised me from the
dead when the fish vomited me onto dry land. This three-days of
death will also happen when the Lord God himself sacrifices
himself for the sins of ALL mankind some time in the future. In
fact, repeating history is so important to God that He will
probably come from Galilee as I did just to let everyone know
that HE is the sacrifice for our sins.

REPORTER -- So, it's a miracle that you're here!

JONAH -- Exactly.

REPORTER -- But you're not the least bit grateful.

JONAH -- Well, now that you put it that way, I guess being the
bad guy who prophesied death to Nineveh is better than being
dead. Actually, I guess it's way better. Now that you mention
it, I guess I'll rejoice with the rest of you that our God is a
god of mercy. Thanks for listening.


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