Isaiah 45:1,4-6; Psalm 96:1,3-5,7-10; I Thessalonians 1:1-5; Matthew 22:15-21
There is a play in which a troubled man spends his whole life tormented by thoughts of God, leading to feelings of inadequacy and guilt. Finally, he decides to end it all, to stop the voices, the dreams, the late-night visions, and the inner torment — all haunting reminders of an ever-present God.
In the final scene of the play, the man is raving. He grabs a pistol, raises it to his head, and then the stage goes dark. When the lights go back on, the audience sees the man sprawled out on the stage, pistol next to his body. Behind him sits a white-robed man at a desk.
“Gabriel, bring me the file on J.A. Smith,” he says. Then, the man lying on the stage struggles to his feet. The man behind the desk speaks to him. “Well, Mr. Smith,” he says, “so much for your theatrics. Now, let’s get down to business. We’ve got all the time in the world.” At this point,…