Once upon a time a special kind of creature was created and cared for by a good teamleader. These creatures were given a playing field on which they could play a game. The game involved running around a field and jumping through hoops and kicking balls and all the creatures enjoyed playing it. By scoring points in their game they shared out food and houses, but the game was fair and there were always more than enough points for the players and even if someone couldn't play for some reason and didn't get any points the others would always share what they had with them anyway.
Then one day a couple of these creatures broke one of the rules and after that the game rarely seemed to be so much fun. The field had always been very smooth before and now hollows, bumps, ridges and ruts were appearing everywhere. But the creatures had to go on playing because otherwise they didn't get any food or shelter. There was still enough to eat and houses for all the players but all kinds of problems arose because those who managed to stay at one end of the field hardly needed to play at all and became very lazy and ended up with nearly all the points while those at the other end had to play all day and late into the evening until they were so tired they no longer enjoyed the game at all and never seemed to score enough points. For reasons which nobody seemed to understand the balls seemed much more easy to kick one way than the other and the hoops were easier to jump through towards the more difficult end of the field than towards the end where players scored the most points.
This meant that nearly all of the points and food ended up at one end of the field while most of the players got stuck near the other end, but the field was so long and the creatures so short sighted that those who had nearly all the food could only very dimly see that those at the other end had hardly any and not enough of the players who had more points than they needed were sharing them.
Then one of the creatures climbed up a mountain to meet the good teamleader and was given some ideas about how the game could be played more fairly, and he told all the creatures in the good teamleaders team that a new set of rules called the "Jubilee" would be introduced so that all the players on his team had to stop the game and change their positions on the pitch every so often in such a way that they would then be able to play for a while on an equal footing and all would keep fit, be properly fed and enjoy playing. He also made them cheer the good teamleader every so often and forbade them from following other leaders and he made them keep lots of other good rules. This worked very well for a while so that this team became by far the most successful. However their success didn't last for very long because the team soon forgot their winning formula and its members started following other leaders and they forgot all about the new rules.
Now the good teamleader was very upset by members of his team joining other teams and changing the rules, so he decided to become one of the ordinary players to show how the game could be played fairly and help all the creatures get to know who he was and join his team. He said that when all the players joined his team everyone would inherit fair positions on the pitch and he told of good news for everyone who had been playing on the difficult end of the field and didn't score enough points. To start with he was stunningly popular, especially amongst most of the creatures who scored few points.
He also told the most astounding stories ever told including one about how we have all got to use our playing talents the best that we can and how when one of the Jubilee rules was changed the weakest players are pushed out of the game and the strongest players who already have more points than they need will get even more. He then told a story about a game involving sheep and goats in which those who had more points than they need would have to share them with those who didn't have enough or they would come to a very sticky end.
But the bad teamleaders who had fixed the game before he became one of the players got jealous of the good teamleader's popularity and didn't like the idea of having to share all of the extra points they scored by being on the easier end of the field. So they pretended to like the good teamleader at first, but spread untrue stories about him behind his back which made many of the players suspect that the good teamleader was cheating. Then the bad teamleaders killed the good teamleader by nailing him to a tree, but he didn't stay dead for long because the rules behind the bigger game within which the unfair game was played made that impossible and couldn't be broken.
Later on some of the players wrote the history of the good teamleader and his good news and stories and other players started measuring the playing field. The ones who did the measuring carried out many difficult and complicated calculations and eventually worked out that the field was sloping because the players had been breaking and fixing the rules and that it wouldn't slope if sensible rules were adopted based on the ideas the good teamleader had given to the player who climbed up the mountain. But most of the players (including many who believed they were followers of the good teamleader) thought that the field couldn't be sloping because it looked level to them, they had only ever known and thought of one direction as being up and were not going to change now. Besides which they weren't going to listen to someone trying to tell them theories about complicated measurements and sloping fields which they didn't understand and they were too busy kicking balls around and jumping through hoops all day to have any time for ideas they thought were silly about the field not being level.
Then a few of the players at last managed to find a bit of time away from kicking balls and jumping through hoops all day to think about the measurements and calculations soon realised that the field was indeed sloping. A few of them even started spending some time away from the unfair game which they disliked more than most so they could play a much smaller game amongst themselves using rules which made the smaller game fair. Then some of the other players who weren't interested in theories about sloping playing fields could see that this smaller game was fun and also fair but even then they weren't interested enough to join it because the smaller game didn't give the players who played it enough points for them to be interested. A few of those who wanted all the creatures to be followers of the good teamleader even went so far as to say that it was better for creatures to play the unfair game than the fair one because only the points scored by playing the unfair game could be used for sending players to the most distant parts of the playing field to tell other creatures who hadn't yet heard about him about the good teamleader.
But then a few more players decided to play this smaller game, some of them in large enough groups that the points which they scored made the fair game even more fun and worthwhile. Eventually there were enough points to be scored in these new fair games that more of the creatures stopped wasting their time playing the unfair game and the players lost interest in it and it wasn't played any more. And because this is after all just a fairy story I have to conclude that all of the creatures lived happily every after.
However if you think this story might have something to say about the world we inhabit, you can read all about the Jubilee principles in Leviticus 25 and Nehemiah 5 and the teachings of the good teamleader mentioned in Luke 4, Matthew 5,6 and 25. You can also read about what the writer of this tale believes will happen and is looking forward to when enough people give up playing the unfair game, rules based on the ideas behind the Jubilee are restored and the meek inherit the earth in Revelation chapter 18.
(C)opyleft Richard Kay <email@example.com>