Reading Group Guide
1. The Note is an allegory, a story in which certain elements represent essentials of another, deeper story. Like the story of the Good Samaritan and the Prodigal Son, it is a spiritual tale that does not directly discuss God. What are some of the obvious (and subtle) relationships between the note and the Gospel?
2. God has written a note to mankind. What is it, and how is it similar to the message contained in the note from Flight 848? How does the message differ?
3. Compare how the three "prospects" reacted to Peyton's offer of the note with how people respond to God's message of forgiveness and reconciliation.
4. Consider Timothy Manning, who seems secure in his religion and his role. Was Reverend Manning secure in his father's love? Could he have ever reached a place of true security? How did his personal thoughts differ from the persona he presented to the newspaper reporter?
5. Consider Taylor Crowe, the songwriter. Taylor admitted that her father might have written the note, but she claimed the breach between them was too wide to ever be crossed. Does her situation mirror the way some people feel about God? Do they accept this chasm, or do they try to bridge the gap on their own terms? What are some ways people try to "get to God"? Are these man-made attempts ever successful? Have you ever felt that a chasm exists between you and God? Is it too wide or deep to bridge?
6. Consider Tanner Ford, who apparently wanted to accept the note for ambitious reasons. What did he actually accept, a copy of the note or its message? How does this character relate to some people who accept the "trappings" of belief without ever actually embracing the belief itself?
7. The book abounds with poor father/child relationships: Peyton and her father, King and his wounded son, and all three of the candidates to receive the note. In this story, each father was patient, but in real life, estrangement between fathers and children is often the father's fault as well as the child's. Can we ever blame our heavenly Father for walking out on His children?
8. We are given a brief glimpse of Julie St. Claire's relationship with her adoptive father. Julie's mother walked out on this man, and Julie scarcely remembers him. How might her life have been different if her mother had not walked away? What does this say to us about the importance of our roles as parents?
9. What attributes of God were revealed in Peyton's father? Timothy Manning's? Taylor Crowe's? Tanner Ford's?
10. Finally, many people are fond of espousing the "fatherhood of God, brotherhood of man" philosophy. Is God the Father of all, or the Creator of all? If He isn't the Father of all, how do we become His children?