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A Social Experiment In Heaven

One day, whatever that means in a realm beyond space and time, the Holy Trinity—the Father, the Spirit, and the Son—decided to run a social experiment on the souls who were waiting outside heaven’s pearly gates. When the gates opened, Saint Peter would announce over the heavenly intercom to form three separate single-file lines: one behind the Father, one behind the Spirit, and one behind the Son, for the Trinity was curious who the souls might gravitate towards. Many of the Muslims and the Jews formed a line behind the Father, for they believed in something of transcendence, holding all things together. Many of the Hindus, Buddhists, mystics, and spiritual-seekers formed a line behind the Spirit, for they believed in inner experience and transformation, union with the divine. Nearly all of the Christian souls formed a line behind Jesus, for they believed in a personal, loving God who became human. Still, there were some Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, mystics, spiritual seekers, and even atheists who were in Jesus’s line, for they lived in a way that echoed the life of Christ: loving thy neighbor and gravitating toward the “least of these.” Jesus was surprised by the large turnout of Christians in his line and was reported to say aloud, “Why are all these Christians in my line? Didn’t I tell my followers that they would have something better than I: the Holy Spirit? And didn’t I direct my followers to the Father in prayer? And why have I heard so many of them muttering to one another how confused they are there is no line for the Bible?” No matter, the experiment had revealed what he needed to do. Jesus welcomed the Christians into heaven so that they could dance for the first time. And then he went back down to earth because of them—so that he could once again reveal who the Godhead was. By Stephen Copeland

This parable was first published on

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