Preview 7/Chapter 30: The Sermon

The good Reverend Jimmy stopped and shook his head and then wiped his brow with a handkerchief and looked imploringly out at the crowd. “So what can we all do to keep our corrupt hearts from leadin’ us astray into wickedness, again an’ again? How we supposed to keep to the straight an’ narrow path with such fiendish hearts cryin’ out to wallow in sin all the time? How indeed do we keep a lid on all that vile filth that lie’s within us ready to burst out so’s the stink of it don’t rise all the way to the gates of Heaven?”
            He halted again and looked skyward and then back at the multitude, beaming with radiant conviction. “Well thankfully God came up with a little plan to help keep us on the righteous track. See, way back in the days of Moses, people didn’t know nothin’ ’bout right from wrong an’ pretty much lived like animalslyin’, cheatin’, stealin’, killin’ each other, fornicatin’ indiscriminately with other people’s husbands an’ wives an’ children an’ even their dang livestock, yep! It’s the truth! Why do you all think God had to go an’ tell Moses in Exodus 22:19, that ‘Whosoever lies with a beast shall surely be put to death’?Because they didn’t know no better back then, yep!
            “An’ so lookin’ down at all this God got a little peeved He did—after all He didn’t create human bein’s in His image so’s they could just run around fornicatin’with farm animals! Heck no! He had a higher purpose for us, yep! So He rubbed His Great Noggin an’ thought about it some, an’ then decided what the people really needed was some sorta structure to their lives an’ some incentive to stick to it, an’ so in His Great Wisdom—’cause He knew people loved games an’ gamblin’ an’ sports better’n just ’bout anythin’—He created The Big Game of Life, with rules so simple that even the most mischievous an’ lazy-minded souls could understand ’em. An’ when God finally got all this figured out, He called Moses up to the mountain top an’ put on a great big show that shook the heavens an’ earth an’ then He gave Moses the Rules of the Big Game inscribed by His Own Hand onto a couple a stone tablets—them’s the Ten Commandments sure ’nuff, yep! The official rulebook on how to play the ultimate game of all—The Big Game of Life! An’ just so’s everybody’d be properly motivated to stick to the rules, He put the cost of winnin’ or losin’ the Game down in simple black an’ white—if you played by the rules an’ won, well then you got the ultimate prize of Eternal Paradise in His Blessed Kingdom, but if you didn’t, if you ignored the rules or broke the rules, or worse yet, tried to cheat, well then you lost automatically an’ God’d personally hurl you into hell an’ dunk you right down into the Great Lake of Fire to flail about in burnin’ torment ferevermore, yep!
            “And so just like that, Moses’ people finally had somethin’ to go on—somethin’ to let ’em truly know right from wrong. They was rules for a righteous life an’ a true enough roadmap to the Pearly Gates, yep! An’ it was all good, my friends, all good, ’cept for one little itty-bitty hitch. An’ you all know what that was don’t you? Well you better quick ’cause we still got that hitch hamperin’ us today an’ though times may have changed, all the rules of God’s Big Game still apply! An’ bear in mind, this ain’t just the Squeal of Fortune, or the Price is Right On!, or Survivors, or none of them other rinky-dink games I’m talkin’ ’bout here, this here’s the real thing, an’ the price of losin’s just as potentially full of eternal agony as ever before, yep! So what was that little itty-bitty hitch that kept Moses’ people from followin’ God’s rules to a T, an’ what hitch we still got hinderin’ us from livin’ a pure an’ righteous life today?
            “Well let me give you all a hint, it ain’t our love for petunias! Heck no! That ain’t it! It’s our love for sin that arises within our poor wicked an’ deceitful hearts—the very vile an’ despicable organs pumpin’ away right now in our chests sendin’ blood coursin’ through our bodies even as I speak to you all, yep! For while we all know the rules that God’s given us to play by an’ our minds crave peace an’ tranquility an’ we yearn for love an’ union with God, the fact remains that our flesh is weak an’ our hearts riddled with corruption an’ that’s the dang problem, yep! But listen my friends, that’s just the way we was made. No matter how righteous we try to be, how hard we struggle to live up to God’s Commandments, how steadfastedly we try to keep Satan at bay, we still have to live in a physical body that harbors a beastly nature, that troubles us to no end with sin, an’ yep! we despair, we don’t like it, we’re unhappy, we’re miserable, but still we fall into our sins again an’ again an’ again! We fornicate with strangers, lust after wealth, envy one another, defile the Creation, molder into couch potatoes, feed cows to cows an’ chickens to chickens an’ then eat ’em cut up an’ deep-fried in rancid oil by some foreign teenager who can’t even speak proper American, yep!”
            Reverend Jimmy paused, glaring out at the flock, and then he snapped his fingers and a smile lit up his face and he asked, “Alright then, so how many football fans we got in the house tonight?”

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“Tá scéal ÁLAINN ar an laoch Meiriceánach! A amadádo do cinnte, ach ní bheidh aon laoch an lú! Bealtaine na cailíní a bheith agat le Rudy!” — Seolta Nuachta Luimneach

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