Thursday, 21 October 2010

Parable

Quakers believe that something of God may be found in every human being.  That thought prompted me to dream up this modern reworking of a very old joke.

After a long, good, moral, and kind life, an atheist finally dies at a ripe old age.  Much to his surprise he discovers that there really is such a thing as God, and life after death, despite never having entertained such notions during his life.  Moreover, he discovers that God, whom he had previously been warned was a jealous and judgmental character, was in fact the source of the good that was in his life - and indeed he had lived a very good and noble life.

So, as a result, completely unexpectedly, he finds himself admitted to Heaven.  It is a wonderful place: a massive party with tables laid out with delicious food that never seems to run out,  and plenty of drink which you can drink without ever getting too drunk.  Laughter and dancing abound all over the place.

He takes a stroll around and comes across an immensely long wall.  Looking into the distance, he sees that the wall eventually disappears, like the horizon, and he realises it encloses a gigantic circular region.  Out of curiosity he puts his ear to the wall, and hears similar sounds of merriment coming from the other side.  Wondering what the purpose of the wall is, he calls over one of the angels who is serving the drinks, and asks "What's with the wall?  Who is it on the other side?"

The angel replies:  "That'll be the Christians.  They think they are the only ones here."

PS in the original version of the joke, it was the Catholics who thought they were the only ones there.

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