The Beggar of Legalville

Reader 1: Once upon a time, in a town called Legalville. 

Reader 2: Never heard of Legalville?

Reader 1: It’s near Religion City.

Reader 2: Still clueless. 

Reader 1: It’s really not all that important. Now where were we?

Reader 2: Legalville

Reader 1: Once upon a time, there was a man in Legalville. He was a beggar who collected cans and reusable bottles. He collected them in an old grocery cart that needed a serious wheel alignment.

 Reader 2: I think I used that cart last week.

Reader 1: People would see him and shake their heads. There’s old Jed, the can man, they’d say in a pitiful tone. They would pity his existence, but they would just leave him alone, out in the sun. 

Reader 2: Doesn’t exactly sound fun 

Reader 1: It wasn’t. Jed didn’t know the world was any larger than Legalville, U.S.A., until something incredible happened. An attorney visited his cardboard refrigerator box shack with good news.

Reader 2: Good news?

Reader 1: The best news he could hear.

Reader 2: OK?

Reader 1: Take a swing at it. What is the best news old Jed could receive?

Reader 2: That’s easy. Jed, your troubles are over! Your long lost uncle, that you never met, died last week. He left $2 million to your father. Since he passed away last year, that means the money is yours.

Reader 1: How’d you guess?

Reader 2: It’s my line. (shows his script to #1) See?

Reader 1: Right. Anyway, Jed went nuts.

Reader 2: Two million dollars, and I didn’t even have to poll the audience or phone a friend! $2 million! That’s great! I’m rich!

Reader 1: The attorney alerted the media, who immediately went to the alley where Jed lived, between First National Bank and Trust and Renaldo’s Bar and Grill.

Reader 2: The mob of cameramen and news- people knocked down the cardboard refrigerator box door,

Reader 1: exposing his sleeping bag, charcoal grill, and 13 pairs of mismatched socks.

Reader 2: Wow! This is the best day of my life! I feel like a new man,

Reader 1: Jed said as he wiped a tear from his eye, with a used paper napkin from the dumpster at the downtown McDonald’s.

Reader 2: Accountants and Wall Street investors rushed to his side to serve him.

Reader 1: Ladies suddenly found him very attractive.

Reader 2: Legalville proclaimed the day “Jed Day.” The whole town said, Jed! Move away from there!

Reader 1: (to #2) I saw that one coming a mile off.

Reader 2: I couldn’t resist.

Reader 1: The reporters called out, You just won $2 million! What are you gonna do next?

Reader 2: Just you wait,

Reader 1: Jed said, with a three-tooth grin that stretched from ear to ear. The reporters continued, You can go to Disneyland. You can eat steak! You can get dentures and (waving off the smell with his hand) deodorant.”

Reader 2: I’ve already got the whole thing planned. Do you know how long I’ve lived in this cardboard shack? Fifteen long years. Do you know how much generic dog food I’ve eaten?

Reader 1: We don’t even want to imagine, Jed.

Reader 2: This is my plan. I’m going to buy new cardboard and rebuild this old place. I’m going to eat canned brand-name dog food and Spam. Do you know how long it’s been since I had fried Spam for breakfast?

Reader 1: You can’t be serious!

Reader 2: I know. I don’t want to spend it all in one place, but I’m going for broke. I’m movin’ up in this world. I’m getting plastic plates instead of paper plates. I’m going to the grocery store, turn in that old cart, and buy the best one they have. I know they don’t usually sell them, but if I wave a few hundred thousand in front of them, they’ll probably give me a couple of those huge, family-sized ones. Do you know how many recyclable cans I could cart around in those babies?

Reader 1: Jed

Reader 2: He was a millionaire who didn’t understand.

Reader 1: He just didn’t get it.

Reader 2: He couldn’t look beyond his slum life into his new life.

Reader 1: In the following days, he was swindled out of every dollar he inherited.

Reader 2: There may be millionaire-beggars in this church,

Reader 1: content with their spiritual condition in a guilt-ridden cardboard shack on a rundown alley in Legalville.

Reader 2: We have been given a rich inheritance:

Reader 1: unfathomable spiritual blessings.

Reader 2: We are eternally royal.

Reader 1: We are not the nephew of a millionaire,

Reader 2: we are sons and daughters of the King of it all.

Reader 1: Yet the spirit of Jed is still hanging around, plodding through life, pushing a squeaky grocery cart.

Reader 2: Give “thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.”

Reader 1: You have been qualified for the inheritance of God.

Reader 2: “For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves.”

Reader 1: So, grace recipients, let’s crawl out of our cardboard boxes of spiritual poverty.

Reader 2: Leave the dog food of the world on the shelf.

Both: We have been given eternal wealth and a chance to dine with Almighty God.

Based on Colossians 1:12-13