Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The priest and his congregation

  The priest looked sternly at the few people gathered in the church. They huddled pretty much in a cluster below him. He towered above them. They had to raise their eyes and look up on him.
  - Sin is everywhere today, he began, using his most impressive voice.
  They didn't really react or anything, but just sat there, doing their duty as good Christians, listening half-heartedly at the voice of authority in their midst.
  - Like God the Lord tells us in Galatians five, nineteen to twenty-one: «When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God»…
  He paused, studying the congregation with triumph in his eyes.
  - We are gathered here today to say NO to all that, to everything removing us from God. Hallelujah!
  - Hallelujah! The weak choir from the small number of people echoed his shout.
  The priest slowly turned red, as his performance picked up. Spittle flowed from his mouth.
  - We, the good humans will restore humanity in God’s holy service.
  He had them now. He felt it in every nerve-ending and neuron. It was almost a tangible thing, a certainty many years as God’s servant had granted him. He imagined that his next words resembled a roar and shook the church to its foundations.
  - So, go now and sin NO MORE

  It was late in the afternoon. The church had fallen silent, or so most people would claim. But he sensed the words from the sermon repeat themselves, felt them light his bones.
  Night had fallen. Very few people were out at this hour. He easily avoided the few that were. There was a road through the forest, no more than a trail, really that was hardly used at all, except by him.
  He approached a certain building with caution, glancing around him several times before crossing its small backyard. There was a staircase leading up to the second floor. There was no dust on these stairs, he knew that, even without looking. They were well used.
  But not tonight. Most working men slept at this hour, preparing themselves for tomorrow’s hard work, and most other customers chose the front door. This was a discreet enterprise, after all.
  He knocked on the door and didn't have long to wait before a light-clad woman opened it.
  - Good evening, Reverend, she greeted him softly.
  - Good evening, Lisa, he said briskly.
  - Ready to sin, Reverend, she wondered seductively, - ready for a lot to be regretted and repented?
  - Yes, by God, he replied hoarsely.
  - Little me is shivering in anticipation, she whispered her sweet words in both his ears.

  He walked inside and she closed the door behind them. The evening’s carnal delights were about to begin.

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