Sunday, 22 August 2010

Sermon: The woman with a bent back

On a sunny summer's morning such as this, it can be such a delight - in a chaste and holy way - to notice the young ladies of our congregation coming to chapel.

In their light, summer clothes they are like a bunch of flowers, bouncing into the church full of joy and youth and the life of the summer time. Or, if caught by a summer shower on the way in, those same light clothes flattened and clinging to their... no, sorry. Lost my train of thought there. Centre, Drayton. Centre.

Yet the temptation is there, when girls are pretty and the weather is warm - for them to revel in the fiendish attractions that can cause holy, respectable men who are old enough to be their fathers to lose sleep on hot, sultry nights. Or even get a dig in their ribs from their sharp-elbowed wives for allowing their thoughts and eyes to stray for a moment too long. For be well aware - such a man is not to blame in this. No, he is merely as the one who is held for a moment by witchcraft.

Yes, witchcraft. Let us not mince words. For what else could it be that allows a young slip of a thing, through the application of a summer dress and a temptation of lipstick, to control the thoughts and spirit of an older man who should - who, indeed, does - know better?

And so I tell you, young ladies of the church. Shun the lipstick that Max Factor and his evil friend Lori All try to push upon you. See them as the sticks of damnation that they are. Let your eyes shine as they are, and not with the evil lures of mascara. Do not lift up your heads and reveal your faces to tempt those of weaker faith. Do not lift up your head to see the opportunities around you of advancement - of those things that are beyond your station - even, that we should whisper such a word - of leadership.

No. Keep your pretty heads down, and your eyes focussed on the Way that is before you. Strait and narrow as it is, do not let your sight waver from the holy ground on which you stand for a moment. Or you might lift your heads, and lose the path, and gain ideas above your station.

And now I must close, as I see the arrival of the Baptibus outside the chapel. And we sing the 90th Psalm as a reminder that physical attraction and flaxen hair are as dust.

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