I = Isaiah
R = Registrar of Prophecies
(It would help if there was a sign saying Registrar of Prophecies)
R -- Next ! (Isaiah takes a seat. He can be in biblical or modern dress.) Name - ?
I -- Isaiah.
R -- Isaiah What?
I -- Just Isaiah, nothing else.
R -- Nothing else? Are you are a rock star or something?
I -- Im a prophet. Why else would I have come to the Registrar of Prophecies?
R -- But you must have another name. I cant put Isaiah. It would leave a blank space.
I -- (exasperated) Would First Isaiah do? .
R -- First Isaiah? You mean theres more of you?
I -- Let me explain: I wrote the first 39 chapters in the 8thC BC, Second Isaiah wrote chapters 40 to 54 during the 6thC; and Third Isaiah wrote Chapters 55 to the end in the 5thC. Then they were all put together in one book - called Isaiah.
R -- Now let ME explain: this office shuts at 5 and there are others waiting outside.
I -- Ive come to register my prophecy.
R -- Good. So whats the date?
I -- 9th December -
R -- No, not todays date, you fool! The date of your prophecy, the date you say the world is going to end!
I -- Er, Im afraid mine isnt that kind of prophecy.
R -- What do you mean, not that kind of prophecy? Thats the only kind of prophecy there is! Ive got thousands of prophecies lining these walls and they all give a date when the world will end! Ive had about 100 people this week prophesying 11th December 2111.
I -- Whats so special about 11th December 2111?
R -- Its a palindrome, see, 1112 2111. Palindromes are very popular. For 20th November 2002 we had to build an extension to house all the prophecies.
I -- Well, Im sorry but I dont have a date, palindromic or otherwise. Im a forth-teller, not a fore-teller. The Word of God is told forth in the words I speak.
R -- But this wont do at all. I dont have any FORTHtelling forms, only FOREtelling forms! How did you get in here anyway? Who let you in?
I -- Who could keep me out? Im the greatest prophet of Jewish scripture. I am quoted more times in the New Testament than any other prophet.
R -- All right, all right, but I still have to have a DATE.
I -- Ive got an idea - write the word NOW.
R -- Now? You mean todays date?
I -- No, I mean NOW. When you wake up tomorrow, todays date will be yesterday, whereas NOW will still be NOW - tomorrow, the day after, and so on forever.
R -- I dont have enough room for all that.
I -- Just put NOW. My prophecies call forth the word of God for people NOW in the 8th century BC, and NOW in the 21st century AD.
R -- Yes, well, Im sure youre right, but lets move on - references. I need three referees.
I -- Will three kings do?
R -- Id SAY so! Now they were proper prophets, the Three Kings. They saw the star, consulted their charts, and they had a DATE.
They knew when Christ would be born.
I -- No, not THOSE three kings: I worked in the courts of three 8th Century Kings: Ahaz, Hezekiah & Uzziah.
R -- And where might I find these royal referees?
I -- The second Book of Kings. Chapters 15-20.
R -- (writing painstakingly) Fif-teen .. to .. twen .. ty. There! Well be computerised next year. The whole lot - I cant wait! A paperless office - sheer heaven!
I -- (raising himself to his full height, taking a deep breath and orating) Advanced technology will not lead to a brighter future. Human invention will not lead to security. Cheap oil will not lead to eternal bliss. None of the Harry Potter gizmos and i-Pods and Robo-Babies, not even George Foremans Super-Humongous Size Grills will lead us to the Promised Land. If this is where you place your faith, O people of this world, if this is the only reality you can see, you are in dire trouble.
R -- What are you doing?
I -- Im prophesying! This is the prophecy Ive come to register!
R -- But I cant put that down! Youre talking about US - hey, youre even talking about ME - I was planning to get one of those grills!
I -- I told you my prophecies were about NOW didnt I? God's will NOW for this world. I forth-see a world where there are no scam artists who take advantage of seniors, no paedophiles who abuse children, no drug dealers creating young addicts. I forth-see a world where bombs and bullets are not used to settle disputes and the strong do not take advantage of the weak. And a little child leads them.
R -- And by little child I presume you mean Jesus. But hes already come and gone and were still in the same old mess. You sound like so much we read in the Bible - we know it ain't so. Your prophesying sounds fine, but we know it isnt possible for such things to happen. Youve only got to look at the situation in the world today - yours would be a beautiful world, but it just "ain't" so.
I -- You still dont understand do you? Youre so obsessed with your forms and your numbers, you dont see that these are not my words but Gods Word. Yet you say it aint so.
R -- I know it aint so. Its a dream, a nice dream.
I -- Our dream maybe, but Gods reality. The reality wherever Gods Rule applies. In Gods Kingdom, the oil of peace flows down the beards of Israeli soldiers grown old, and the Palestinian sits under a fig tree in his own garden and a little child leads them.
R -- There you go again. This little child died 2000 years ago. On a cross.
I -- In South America, the mothers of the Disappeared sit and pray together with the politically rich and powerful; in Africa, the hungry sit down at the tables of the well fed, and in Asia the children dying of Aids are rocked to sleep in the arms of the drug-barons and a little child leads them.
R -- No he doesnt! He cant lead anybody - hes hanging on a cross! Christmas is coming and we shall go about doing what we did before, only more so. We shall head for the shopping mall and we wont give a thought to the starving and homeless. Well buy our Alkaselzers to cure our overindulgence and shrug our shoulders when were told that millions of children are dying from preventable disease. Go and give your Word of God to the fairies in Maceys - their Santas Grotto should be able to contain your great fantasy, no problem.
I -- Christmas is always coming, you silly man! The Child is always being born into the world, always knocking on the door of your heart and asking for a room. Now, yes, now, now, NOW (he works up to an oratorical frenzy and exits proclaiming loudly), the Spirit of the Lord rests on him, on the little Child who leads them
R -- (after a pause to let the impact of Isaiahs exit die down, he looks at Isaiahs Registration Card carefully) I think Ill put Mr First Isaiahs prophecy in .... (goes to put it in imaginary files) ... PENDING (throws it over his shoulder and calls out:) NEXT!
English. Masters in French. Retired parish priest. Associate Writer with Redemptorist Publications (Anglican Dept). Also published in Church Times and BBC 'Book of the Future'. UK tour manager of Russian Orthodox 6-person choir. Works copyright of Geoff Anderson in perpetuity. Contact email@example.com.
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