Well, well, well: Christmas is finally over, and Bible-Believing Clergy like myself can at last get back to the more important work of proclaiming the Good News that everyone who disagrees with us will suffer eternal torture. At the hands of a loving god, of course.
Mind you, here at St. Onuphrius’ we have had a most enjoyable Noël. Since Bishop Quinine, like most faux-Bishops, firmly believes in Santa Claus (c’mon – that’s nothing compared to what they believe regarding their own self-importance) things are always a bit more complicated than they might be: finishing the milk and “cookies” he leaves out has in past years left at least one member of the Ministry Team hospitalized until the new year.
This time, however, I hit upon the brilliant idea of dividing the treat into small nicely wrapped packets, which we then kindly delivered to the other members of my local Minister’s Fraternal. (With the natural exception of the Baptist, on account of this hardly being an appropriate occasion to risk violating my restraining order, and the Rabbi: after I last tried teaching him about Christian generosity he responded by organizing an informative dialogue with two Mossad representatives, and waking up on Christmas morning to find myself chained to the wall of a Tel Aviv basement doesn’t quite coincide with my medium-term ministry strategy.)
As we expected, this resulted in most of our town’s Christmas morning services crossing the fine line between “liturgically unprepared” and “bedlam”. I’ve been told the United Methodist felt compelled to munch Twinkies throughout his sermon, while the woman at the UCC simply read aloud the lyrics of The Dark side of the Moon. Although, to be fair, she may well have just been following her denomination’s lectionary. Meanwhile the Methodist was convinced he’d had a personal visitation from Charles Wesley, who allegedly thinks the local District Supervisor “can’t recognize talent when it’s staring him in the face”. (Since the apparition also opined that “if ‘Shine Jesus, Shine ‘ had been around in my day I’d have taken Calvin’s line on hymnody” I’d caution My Beloved Sinners against being too hasty in dismissing the vision entirely.) While the Seventh-day Adventist made a tearful public confession to regularly enjoying a secret Friday evening snack of pork rinds.
The Pentecostal, on the other hand, was hardly affected. Except for occasionally pausing to interpret a glossolalic prophesy supposedly emanating from a potted palm on the side of the podium (“Behold the sowing of tears and the reaping of joy, sayeth the Lord, thou shalt honor My anointed and surrender the whole of thy tithe – plus a bit extra – every single Sunday”), Pastor Morebuck handled it like a pro. Which he quite possibly is, given that prior to receiving the call to ministry he was an accountant with one of the Big Four. Or maybe he just sold condominium timeshares in Florida: there’s not much difference from an ethical perspective.
All of which resulted in an exceptionally good turn-out for our own services: a great many people who would have otherwise been in Godless Christian churches outside the Anglican Tradition were instead blessed with the kind of solid Bible Teaching only ever found in the pugnacious wing of a Communion tearing itself apart over the incarnate God's right to love everyone.
Which brings us to something I intend to share with all of you more deeply in My Next Important Homily. While preparing for the day’s herculean preaching load it struck me how shockingly unBiblical the Gospel accounts of our Substitutionary Atoner’s birth actually are. Clearly the Nativity was actually intended to serve as a “How not to” example of Christian parenthood, and I’m not just referring to the Blessed Virgin’s failure to forgo parturition in favor of a medically lucrative elective c-section. No indeed; the Scriptural narratives are at this point simply riddled with transgressions of basic Biblical principles, and it’s about time they were called to answer for themselves.
Until then, however, My Generous Prayer is that you would all continue to enjoy this festive season’s aftermath. Take care to cherish friends and family, including that strange Republican uncle-by-marriage with an interest in naturism, who’s been spending an unwholesome amount of time locked alone in the bathroom. May the Lord Bless you all richly, and may none of you eat improperly refrigerated leftovers. And remember: if God had wanted us to drink and drive St. Paul’s conversion on the road to Damascus would have been accompanied by a late-model SUV and a six-pack. And zebra crossings would be packed with slow-moving Scientologists.
I’m Father Christian and I teach the Bible.