Right after school started at 8:00, everyone was given the following letter:
It’s me, your Dad. I love you all! I enjoyed our time together before you went to school this morning. I’ll be there in a little while to pick you up; in the meantime, I’ve given Jacob a list of simple rules and chores.
Jacob, you will be responsible for helping to keep things in order until mid-morning when the Teacher gets there. Everyone else, listen to Jacob, because he’s in charge – not yourselves or the others in the neighborhood!
About mid-morning, the Teacher will teach for a little while, and Jacob will (begrudgingly, I’m sure) relinquish his responsibility. After that, why don’t you all just enjoy one another’s company and wait for me to get back? Stay at the playground and make sure to be fair to each other. I am pleased with the Teacher, so follow His example. Remember, don’t talk to strangers! I will be there sometime before 12:00; be ready.
Love always, Your Father.
P.S. We’re gonna have a lot of fun when we get home!
P.P.S. Those of you who cause trouble or who aren’t ready are going to miss out; be ready! And those of you who disobey are going into time-out – you know better!
Here’s how everyone responded:
• Jacob, in his excitement, and the Jews stopped reading after the second paragraph. This created a rift with everyone else, especially the Teacher.
• One of Father’s casual acquaintances interrupted the Muslims after the first paragraph; they didn’t read the rest of the letter. Anyone who had followed Jacob, past or present, got on their bad side, and they chose the stranger for their teacher.
• The Catholics systemized everything on the playground, and pushed many of the others away, especially by deciding some were more favored by Father than others were.
• The Anglicans and Episcopalians split off from the Catholics, but ended up doing things pretty much the same stuff.
• The Baptists and Methodists argued with one another the whole time about whether or not Father was using military time, but otherwise just hung out and avoided the Catholics.
• The Amish, Mennonites, Quakers, and a few others, didn’t want to enjoy the others’ company and sometimes were beaten up. They mimicked the Teacher, but sometimes forgot the letter itself.
• The Calvinists and Presbyterians were bored and napped until 11:59.
• The Seventh-Day Adventists and Jehovah’s Witnesses are pretty sure it’s 12:00 right now.
• The Latter-Day Saints found another letter that seemed to be from Father, and started doing things a little differently, especially since one of them seemed to have Father on the phone.
• The agnostics decided there was no way to know that the letter was from Father.
• The atheists decided that the letter wasn’t real and that school would simply stop after 12:00, with nothing after it.
• The evangelists ran around with the letter, picking it apart and yelling about 12:00. They meant well.
• The New Age-ers thought they’d gotten this letter before.
• The 3rd World tribes and other isolated folk had to be taught how to read the letter; then they’d often go join one of the other groups.
• The Satanists and Wiccans decided that everyone was in charge. They broke lots of rules.
• The Scientologists got so imaginative they convinced themselves Father was an alien.
• The Hindi, Buddhists, Taoists, and many others went off and played with strangers.
• The littlest children played well, learned a lot from the Teacher, and had innocent fun until Father came to get them.
[Exposition: From “the beginning” until 6:00am, God created everything but man. From 6:00 to 8:00 He creates and spends time with man before the Fall. The letter represents the Bible. The first paragraph is the Torah. The second paragraph completes the Old Testament. The third paragraph is the New Testament; the Teacher is Jesus Christ. “12:00” represents the Second Coming. The post scripts are the Book of Revelations. The bullet-point analyses are simplified analogies of how various groups interpret “the letter”; many are tongue-in-cheek and meant to be somewhat humorous. The final bullet point is the only group that followed the Letter exactly (Matthew 18:3).]