Monday, 7 January 2013

Meeting Our Waterloo

Still trying to sort out the mess from yesterday evening's guest preacher.

What is it with visitors? I guess it must be something to do with the lack of accountability, and being able to create your own persona free from people who actually know what you're like. Starting with "My name's Mrs Archibald, but you can call me Juli" had a certain direct familiarity about it which startled some people. Startled me even more, since his name's Arnold Grainne.

Then this thing about getting people to turn round to talk to the ones next to them - why do people ever do that? He told us all to discuss the worst thing that had happened last week, and the best. We all agreed the worst thing was being made to talk to the people next to us, and the best was that he would go away shortly.

And then the sermon itself - a discourse on "The Christian Pilgrimage", illustrated through the medium of Abba. Now, quoting the works of the Swedish Supertroupers would have been one thing. Maybe playing snatches of their songs would have been OK. But singing them, backed by a karaoke machine? However I do now know that the Lord asks us to "Take a chance on me"; that it's damaging to my soul to long for "Money, Money, Money"; that those that put their hope in the Lord will fly, fly, like a bird in the sky - like an Eagle; that sanctification is "the Name of the Game"; that we put our hope on our "Super Trouper", as we're glad to hear he's coming - we suddenly feel all right.

He told us that there was a simple three-step path to salvation. Your first step is "I have a dream"; then you realise your fallen-ness and send out an SOS; and then you end up looking into Angel Eyes.

And then he closed the sermon with a series of indoor fireworks, let off from the back of the bull he was riding in circles round the Moot House, while the string quartet he'd brought played "Thank you for the music" and cages of doves, peacocks and - inexplicably - chinchillas were released. At least I could understand why his expenses were so high.

Arnold/Juli tells me that he's only ever written one sermon, which he takes from guest spot to guest spot. Originally it was just a simple homily on "resisting temptation", but he thought it was a little dull and he's been "adding improvements" ever since. On the bright side, we've heard it now. So at least that's it.


  1. I seem to remember an alternative musical 'Three steps to Heaven'. Think I prefer it.


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