I have never been able to locate the source of this little tale. But it seems worth repeating as a reminder that the purpose of Pentecost was to gather, never to create division or bring judgment.

A Heavenly Breach

As you know, God has entrusted responsibility for the smooth operation of Heaven to the apostle Peter. As chief caretaker of the celestial precincts one of Peter’s top jobs is quality control. Every morning Peter makes a tour seeking out undesirables who may have mistakenly found their way into Heaven. The purity of God’s dwelling place must be protected you know.

One morning Peter was shocked to discover a number of heaven-inhabitants who he knew had not been admitted through regular channels. He recognized them immediately as undesirables.  They had obviously not come in the main gate during admittance hours. Peter found people roaming the streets who he could tell just by looking at them had obviously never been baptized. There were others who he could tell would fail the most basic Bible knowledge quiz to which petitioners for entrance to heaven were routinely subjected. There were other stragglers wandering around whose souls were so tarnished they obviously had no place among the good people who belonged in heaven.

Peter immediately launched an investigation to discover how such a grievous breach in heaven’s security could have occurred. He sent out his subordinates to to discover how all these people who so clearly failed to meet heavenly standards had found their way into the holy precincts.

Finally, Peter received a report that a breach had been located in the wall surrounding Heaven. He rushed to the site in a far dark corner of the heavenly realm. When Peter arrived, he was horrified to discover that someone had removed a few stones at the base of the carefully constructed wall and the most unruly crowd of riffraff were crawling through the gap. Peter rushed at the invaders with indignation in the hopes of stopping them from polluting God’s honour by violating the fortification Peter and his helpers had so erected around heaven.

You can imagine Peter’s shock when he found standing by the hole in the wall gently helping each person through none other than Jesus himself. Peter stood speechless uncertain how to respond to this disturbing scene.

Jesus looked sheepishly at his apostle and said, “I am sorry Peter; I know it is against the rules. And I know these poor souls are not quite all they should be. I know some of them have never been baptized and that a few of them hold slightly strange ideas and they have not gone to church very often. I am fully aware that they are all terrible sinners. But Peter, you have to understand, these poor people are my special friends. I love them and I want them here with me.”


nb: In this parable the breach in heaven’s wall is low down to the ground. The only way to get through is to crawl.

We don’t get to carry all our baggage along with us when we enter the celestial city. We can’t bring along our power, our impressive credentials, our flashy accomplishments. To open to the Presence that is embodied in Pentecost means laying down all those things in the external realm in which we have sought to establish a sense of our identity.