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MEPHIBOS 4'1m*f RT: King David shows mercy to Jonathan's son

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

DAVID -- (enters wearing royal robe, crown and sandals, crosses
to podium) Good morning. I am David son of Jesse. As you
undoubtedly know by now, Israel's first king, King Saul and his
son died on the battlefield recently. The reason I called this
press conference is to announce that I will now ascend to the
throne as your new king.

REPORTER -- Your Majesty, not meaning to sound disloyal to the
new king, but you are not a son of King Saul. You are not even
in King Saul's tribe. Besides being a mighty warrior, what gives
you the right to be king of Israel?

DAVID -- I was annointed king while King Saul was still alive.

REPORTER -- Can you be more specific about the date?

DAVID -- Yes. I was annointed king of Israel by the Prophet
Samuel just before I killed the Philistine giant Goliath.

REPORTER -- That means you served as King Saul's assistant for
several years after you were annointed king.

DAVID -- That's right.

REPORTER -- Why didn't you take over as king right away?

DAVID -- King Saul was still alive. A king serves as king for
life. In order to take over as king, I would have had to kill
him.

REPORTER -- And you weren't willing to kill him?

DAVID -- It would have been a sin to kill him. The king serves
at the pleasure of the Lord God of Israel. I'm not going to
thwart God's will.

REPORTER -- Your Majesty, it is customary for the new king to
kill every member of the old king's family, including his
servants, to assure loyalty of all those remaining alive. Will
you continue the tradition?

DAVID -- No. As a matter of fact, I recently found the only
remaining heir of King Saul, his grandson, Mephibosheth. And I
have invited him to my palace.

REPORTER -- But the purpose of the visit is not to kill him?

DAVID -- No. My purpose is to honor him.

REPORTER -- Why would you honor the grandson of a King who
repeatedly tried to kill you?

DAVID -- Because Mephibosheth's father, Jonathan,  was my best
friend. Jonathan repeatedly interceded for me with his father.
He even saved my life. So, neither Jonathan nor his son deserve
death. They deserve honor.

REPORTER -- Aren't you worried about Mephibosheth's loyalty to
his grandfather?

DAVID -- Not in the least. It is God who put me on the throne
and it is God who will sustain me on the throne.

REPORTER -- How will you honor Mephibosheth. Can you give us
some specifics?

DAVID -- Yes. When people heard that Saul and Jonathan had died
in battle, the people of Saul's home town assumed that I would
kill all the king's relatives. So, they confiscated the family's
land and divided it among the townspeople. When I discovered
that Mephibosheth was still alive, I have given orders for
Jonathan's land to be deeded over to Mephibosheth and I decreed
that harvest of crops from the land to be given to Mephibosheth
in accordance with the law. I have also extended an invitation
to Mephibosheth and his family to have dinner with me at the
palace every night for the rest of his life.

REPORTER -- That's a remarkably generous offer.

DAVID -- Jonathan was a remarkably generous friend. It's the
least I can do to honor his memory.

REPORTER -- Your Majesty, are you sure that you weren't
motivated by guilt?

DAVID -- Guilt. How would I be motivated by guilt?

REPORTER -- It is common knowledge that Jonathan's son was
paralyzed by a fall he sustained while his servants were
carrying him into hiding. The servants were reportedly hiding
him from YOU.

DAVID -- First of all, I have already made it very clear that I
had no intention of killing ANY members of the previous royal
household. Second, if his servants were under the impression
that I DID mean to harm Mephibosheth, they were mistaken, so I
can hardly be blamed for an accident I had nothing to do with,
much less feel guilty for it. No, my motives are pure. I am
honoring my best friend Jonathan by honoring his son. That's all
there is to it.

And now, may God Almighty, creator of Heaven and Earth and
sustainer of Israel, bless this nation and this throne.

Thank you for your attention.

(exits)

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