I cannot reveal how it happened, but some fragments of ancient manuscripts have come into my hands. It seems that these are portions of the New Testament that have somehow been omitted from the authorised versions. Since they recount incidents and conversations that appear in some ways to be prophetic, I feel it is my duty to release a few of them for public scrutiny. Here are the first – and, possibly, the last.
And Jesus took his disciples to one side and revealed to them things that must be. He outlined a worldwide organisation that would be composed of clergy and laity and would periodically split apart and re-form, and occasionally fight vigorously over key issues. In many countries the clergy would officiate at state functions and sit in parliaments. In others they would stand between God and man to ensure that no-one found their own way, which would be chaotic. One of the disciples said that this did not seem to be reflected in Jesus’ other teachings, but Jesus replied that the world moved in mysterious ways, and such things would come to pass. And the disciples went to a nearby valley and decided that fishing seemed like an attractive option, unless of course they could become clergy. “What you need,” said Simon Peter, “is one man in charge. Holding the keys, as it were.” But when Jesus asked him if he had said this, he denied it three times.
Jesus told the disciples that they needed to hold a formal meeting every two months for legal reasons. They would discuss whether the fabric needed attention and would decide whether faculties could be granted for pew removal. When the disciples asked what pews, fabric and faculties were, he said that all would be revealed in the fulness of time. Meanwhile, they needed to prepare a budget. Judas called Iscariot said he had this under control and could predict precisely what the income and outgoings would be each month. And because the disciples did not understand a word he said, they kept quiet, but murmured among themselves. Jesus said they might be asked to pay a parish share, but should first render unto Caesar that which was Caesar’s.
Then Jesus took his disciples apart in secret and allocated them roles. Unto one he gave the flower rota, while another decided which hymns should be sung each week. Another was designated to welcome visitors and another to set out and clean the place of worship. And unto two he gave gifts of music, if they should ever be needed. He handed out to each disciple a sheet of papyrus headed Liturgy, and told them to repeat it whenever they met. At this some disciples questioned him closely. They then said they were prepared to be martyred, given the opportunity.