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This is what the Lord says to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I take hold of (Isaiah 45:1)I was talking to a young Arab man today. He told me a story. He told me about his people's history. He told me about Abraham, his forefather. And Hagar (pronounced with a soft "g"). And Ishmael. He told me about how Hagar and Ishmael were sent into the desert and how they found water, and how this is where Mecca began. He was very surprised I knew all about this. When I was studying for another Masters degree at McGill University, I became fascinated by how diverse the earliest church was. There was so much literature written. There were so many different Christian communities associated in various kinds of ways and through various kinds of manifestations to Jesus. But in both of these stories a dominant strand prevailed upon the literature. In the Jewish history, the Jewish people have the plot and provided us with the Old Testament. The Arab people, as well as other people, hold the subplot in the Jewish literature. In the earliest church and the later councils, a certain strain took control of the literature and prevailed, providing us with the New Testament. The Gnostics as well as many other strains of Christianity took the subplot. I think the story of Jesus furnishes us with the antidote this. Most of his stories undermine the plot and its main players and shine the light on the subplot and the underdogs, actually elevating the subplot and its players to a more significant position. Would we be wise to be not so impressed with the plot and its players? Would we be wise to notice the subplots and its players and the significance they actually have? (I'm having a 30% sale on my fine art here. Just type in the word "really" in the coupon code box.)