1684. At least the parson’s sermon was short

My dear brothers and sisters. Let me tell you a story; a fable with a profound message.

A woman called Esmay once sowed a whole garden with bright red poppy seeds. It was her way of remembering her late brother who was killed in the war.

“When they are in flower on his anniversary it will be as if heaven is looking down, and saying all is well!”

But they didn’t flower for his anniversary. They hadn’t even given a thought to sprouting a bud for the occasion. They burst into flower several months later. Esmay couldn’t bear to look at them. Basically they were weeds. She pulled them out and planted some carrots instead. It was the wrong time of the year to plant carrots (or potatoes for that matter) and so they came to nothing. She should have planted something like Swiss chard or even some heat tolerant spinach.

So, my dear brethren, as we reflect upon this story let us remember that our Divine Lord choose fishermen to be his apostles. Well, some of them anyway. And we should love everybody. And there’s global warming. Remember that too.

In conclusion may I add that it’s incomprehensible to me as to why so few people come to church these days?

Amen.

19 thoughts on “1684. At least the parson’s sermon was short

  1. Nitin Lalit

    At least he didn’t end by saying, “Give to my charity, give and give some more, you uncharitable bastards!” That’s my all time favourite Bruce post btw. This pastor seems to spent time reading Jude the Obscure and not the Bible! Well I guess he reads Ecclesiastes religiously!

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      1. Nitin Lalit

        I’d like to listen to that, but I’m wary of the Bible to be honest. It frightens me. It isn’t the violence in the Old Testament that does that. It’s the Bible’s portrayal of the human condition that terrifies me. The more you think you have some good in you, the more the Bible shows you your depravity. Then there’s the doctrine of election which is unsettling. Ultimately you’re left wondering whether salvation is something unattainable.

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          1. Nitin Lalit

            One of the most disturbing narratives is the burning of Jephthah’s daughter. Why didn’t God prevent human sacrifice like he did when Abraham was put to the test? God determined that she should die that way. All she did was play the tambourine with joy to greet her father and God makes her the first person he sees after he made his vow. Reading that disgusts me.

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            1. Bruce Post author

              It’s the history of a people groping their way towards clarity and salvation. It would be a bit silly to assume that the Bible was simply a record of what God did and didn’t do. Take Job. He never existed. It’s a philosophical discourse on the nature of evil and suffering. We have moved on very little from there – for e.g. some still claim that AIDS is God punishing the Gays. Job shows them to be wrong. etc. I’m not a literalist when it comes to the Bible. A Terzanelle shouldn’t be read as a sonnet!

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              1. Nitin Lalit

                God punishing Gays with AIDS is nonsense. Just like slaying in the spirit and everything else that’s preached in Charismatic churches. But I disagree about the rest. If this was four years ago, I’d tell you my point of view regarding the Bible. But I no longer live like a Christian. So, there’s no point in preaching what I no longer practise. If you want a literary approach to Reformed theology and not a preachy one, I’d suggest reading Marilynne Robinson. Okay, now I’ll plead the fifth!

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                    1. Nitin Lalit

                      Oh! In that case, these aren’t scripture excepts. She’s a Pulitzer Prize winning novelist who uses Reformed themes in her writing. Coming back to the Buddhists, these fellows will beat your being into non-being all right and point a gun until you’ve discovered the four noble truths and then put a poker up your arse if you don’t use the eightfold path to liberate yourself. You’re terrified until you’re happy or you die in fear, if you catch the drift!

                      Liked by 1 person

                    2. Nitin Lalit

                      I did understand that you weren’t trying to be superior Bruce. I apologise if I didn’t mention it earlier. I wrote that comment chuckling! But I’m afraid that my deconstruction of Buddhism (which is only a parody) might strike (or have struck) a chord with a few ‘educated’ Bhakts who frequent (or might stumble upon) your site. These men are schizophrenics in the now archaic sense of the term. They value knowledge and then support a regime where men are lynched for herding cows; they believe that the government shouldn’t dole out freebies (a pro capitalist stance), and then believe that there’s something wrong about a person spending his hard earned money on beef; they pride in brilliant journalism and then herald a bigoted, nationalistic, circus running, barking dog like Arnab Goswami; they believe that there is a ‘problem with Muslims’ but support a government which has no problem in placing an accused terrorist and an accused rapist in cabinet positions because they wear saffron and herald the casteist bullshit that is the cornerstone of this dump; they accuse the Congress, but turn a blind eye to the horse-trading and toppling of State governments done by the BJP regularly; they believe rapists should be publicly lynched, but are fine with a PM who has blood on his hands; they quote Nietzsche and write using purple prose, but then support khaki underpants wearing, stick wielding, Hindutva psychobabble spewing fools who are butt-hurt every time their beliefs which rest on mythological talking monkeys are questioned; they are fine with verdicts that have glaring discrepancies because they support their religion, but cry like little spoilt children when a foreign journalist uses keen insight to point out how the powers in charge manipulate the people to vote for them; they say that democracy has failed us, but are fine with supporting a saffron Nazi regime. They uses eloquent words to charm the foreigners into loving their brilliant prose, but you’ll never find anyone from here, other than a fellow Indian Bhakt supporting their work. So, coming back, my deconstructive parody of Buddhist philosophy probably feels like punitive buggering to them, which will (or already has) triggered all manner of sarcasm here in the form of quotes, etc. But don’t delete the comment. Let them bring their beautiful roses with thorns to the verbal battlefield; I’ll bring the scythe.

                      Liked by 1 person

  2. umashankar

    “In some remote corner of the universe, poured out and glittering in innumerable solar systems, there once was a star on which clever animals invented knowledge. That was the haughtiest and most mendacious minute of ‘world history’―yet only a minute. After nature had drawn a few breaths the star grew cold, and the clever animals had to die.

    One might invent such a fable and still not have illustrated sufficiently how wretched, how shadowy and flighty, how aimless and arbitrary, the human intellect appears in nature. There have been eternities when it did not exist; and when it is done for again, nothing will have happened. For this intellect has no further mission that would lead beyond human life. It is human, rather, and only its owner and producer gives it such importance, as if the world pivoted around it. But if we could communicate with the mosquito, then we would learn that it floats through the air with the same self-importance, feeling within itself the flying center of the world.”

    ― Nietzsche

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    1. Bruce Post author

      Thanks for the quotation Uma. This little
      “story” seems to have hit a couple of chords. I was only thinking of my “Sacred Eloquence”(as they called it) teacher in the seminary for 8 years, who said stand up, say it, and sit down. and shut up. I always kept to that – but sometimes people drivel on and on like they’re trying to cover everything the world (mosquitoes included) ever thought of! This “homily” was a spoof on what in fact one can hear!

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I delight in having my dull life coloured by your intelligent perceptions, your wit, and your vivacity.

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