When I was a teenager, God was having a tough time getting through to me through conventional, Sunday morning church services. How clever of Him, then, to have sneaked into my stubborn consciousness through early Sunday morning television, with the brilliant Insight series. As Greg from Kalispell, MT also mentioned, there was an episode I have never forgotten, titled "The Poker Game". It starred a young Beau Bridges as a quiet, sweet, hippie sort of guy. He was wearing wire-rimmed glasses (much like the type John Lennon wore) which may have had rose-colored lenses - I'm not certain; I saw the episode in black and white. What I mostly remember is the theme of tolerance, based on love, versus intolerance, based on prejudicial, stereotypical thinking.
Another unforgettable episode had the theme of God as presumed dead. (I think Carroll O'Connor starred in this one.) A small group of self-centered, cynical, miserable people had gathered at a chapel to conduct a "funeral" for God, declaring that, given the state of the world, He must be dead. At the end of the funeral, one of the men brusquely instructed the chapel's caretaker, a simple, God-loving man, that the steeple bell was to be disconnected permanently, as it would no longer be needed.
The group reassembled at a nearby building for a "wake", which actually was more of a cocktail party during which the group members revealed a number of unsettling and unsavory aspects of their lives. But after some time, the chapel bell suddenly began to ring. Startled, the group hurried back to the chapel, where the caretaker, frightened, insisted he had not reconnected the bell.
Inside, the open casket still lay at the front. One at a time, the frightened members of the party approached it. Lying within the satin lining, each saw, with horror, who truly was dead ... without the grace and love of God, and His Son, Jesus Christ.
As the last person to gaze fearfully into the casket, only the caretaker found it to be empty.
God bless the late Father Kieser, Paulist Productions, and the actors, writers, and crew members who worked together to bring the Father, Son and Holy Spirit into the 20th Century so creatively and memorably.
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