PantheonPaul is under house arrest and is having coffee with his Roman guard, Rufus.

Paul (eyes closed; thoughtfully): This medium roast, breakfast blend is just about perfect.

Rufus (eyes closed; nodding): Yeah, nice and smooth. Arabica beans from Alexandria, if I’m not mistaken.

Paul (opening his eyes): The roast is what makes the difference, simple but crucial.

Rufus (smelling the coffee): Agreed.

Paul: So, have you thought about what we discussed?

Rufus: Sure. Jesus is God, but it’s hard to see through all the junk. Sometimes I don’t see the difference between the Roman church and the Roman Pantheon–I can imagine Christians building a huge temple here, too.

Paul: That’s all noise and nonsense. It’s really simple. Forget all the other stuff unless it draws you into a better relationship with God. The junk can be good or bad depending on the circumstances.

Rufus: Simple? Seems like your faith is nothing but trouble. After all, you are under arrest, right?

Paul: Point well taken. But, do I look worried?

Rufus (laughing): NEVER! You are as cool a customer as I’ve ever guarded. Yet, odds are, you’ll be crucified and I’ll have to hold you down.

Paul: Yeah, I know. I’m not the least worried.

Rufus (questioningly): Why?

Paul (smiling): Happens I know a guy who was crucified–epic fail in Judea–he COULDN’T be killed! He didn’t die and I won’t either.

Rufus (tapping Paul’s chest): Well, apparently Jesus is God–you aren’t.

Paul: Au contraire mon Rufus. I am he, he is me, we is he and we are one.

Rufus: Explain.

Paul: OK. One God, whom we met in Jesus; One Faith, no death in him; One Baptism, repentance and change; and One Way, living abundantly in grace and truth. Faith, hope and love–the greatest is love. No death.

Rufus: That’s it?

Paul: Totally–in fact, I need to send that to the Ephesians. Got a letter–John and Jesus’ mother, Mary will be moving to Ephesus to help in the church we started there.

Rufus: What about the churches, temples, rituals, ceremonies, Hebrew Histories, apostolic letters and stuff?

Paul: Just expressions. Not the main thing.

Rufus (putting down his coffee cup): Well, I believe Jesus didn’t die, for us–and I repent and want to follow The Way.

Paul: Act with grace toward others with truth in your heart. This could be a dangerous move for you. No more pillaging.

Rufus (thoughtfully): God help me.

Paul: Absolutely.

Tr8: One God, One Faith, One Baptism and One Way.


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