“Elena, Remember asking who an enemy is? I just read in Luke when Christ is telling the parable of the nobleman who gave talents to his servants, and one of them buried his, how the nobleman condemns him saying, ‘But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.'”

“That sounds pretty harsh.”

“What is interesting is that he says that to those standing by. He is also the judge of the land with the authority of capital punishment. So if someone believed in a Christian society, could they condemn people who didn’t invest their talents?”

“The nobleman seemed to have despotic power. That’s different than a rule of law.”

“Good point. So is God a despot?”

“I tend to think of him as more merciful and a bestower of free will.”

“But you are the truth and rightness enforcer.”

“That’s why God needs me.”

“Blasphemy!” Pavel playfully shielded his head from impending lightning. “The Old Testament God can seem more despotic, but then Jesus prevented them from stoning the adulteress. But it is Christ telling the parable. Maybe there’s a difference between the Father and the Son. Could the parable be about the Father?”

“I have heard that Christ mediates between us and the Father,” Elena offered.

“He mediates the Father’s justice to the money changers.”

“Yet they are one in essence. Not personality?”

“One probably should not characterize them differently as one being merciful and the other being just. The Son reveals the Father.”

“We should live in fear of him and hope for mercy.”

“Yes. Or fear we are his enemies but hope to be made faithful servants at least.”