Following Sunday evening’s thoughtful proposal from Consuella, an invitation of a different kind came last night from Brother Richthofen, our Parish Ordinand.
To be perfectly frank I’ve never particularly liked Brother Richthofen. Had not our Bishop (the local one, not our GAFCON Bishop) implored me “take him on and try to frighten him away from the church for good” so that questions of the young man’s remarkable resemblance to His Grace, along with other persistent rumours concerning the lad’s parentage wisely (and covertly) circulated by myself several years previously might be permanently dispelled. As one should always ensure one’s Bishop is deeply indebted to your ministry I naturally agreed, although I must say that since then young fellow’s fondness for wearing lederhosen has become alarming.
Nevertheless, out of awareness of my keen interest in mentoring the next generation of fine, upstanding Bible-teaching clergy, yesterday evening Brother Richthofen suggested I might care to join him and a few cheerful friends from Seminary for a small party later this week. He was even so bold as to suggest I might find the evening “surprisingly enjoyable”, and that it might help me discern when this present time of congregational and penitence should conclude.
Now being well aware of the immorality rampant at student parties I was immediately on my guard, but something about the boy’s youthful freshness was curiously convincing. He was determined to put me at ease: “Oh no Father, there will be no women at this party at all, only my friends from seminary and some other men visiting from a social club.” Relieved, I pressed him further and eventually he revealed the other lads invited are from some group called the Bears and Boys Bootblackers, which certainly sounds innocent enough. Still, a wise Bible-teacher never drops their guard, and being well aware of the darkness of men’s hearts I ended by asking him point-blank: was he aware if any of the men in question had inclinations towards Sodomy?
He looked shocked, but I’m a direct man, and the boy knows better than to attempt deceiving me. “No Father” he answered, downcast as if confessing to something: “Our scene is more into rough water-play.” Realising that the poor fellow had simply been afraid that I might not think a little sky-larking in the college pool appropriate fro a member of my ministry team, I laughingly patted him on the shoulder; “Well in that case, Brother Richthofen, I might well join you after all. In my day I was once quite an active swimmer, and played a quick a sharp game of water-polo I’ll have you know.”
He’s an odd lad, and it must have been amazement at the soft side of my Pastoral Heart that caused him to run startled from the room. Between Consuella’s offer of ethnographic missionary study, and a merry evening’s swimming followed by Bible Study with Brother Richthofen’s young friends, and I believe it may indeed soon be time to draw this season of congregational scourging to a close. We shall see what I find in the Scriptures concerning the matter.
I’m Father Christian and I teach the Bible.