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Bow the knee, you sinners

He was rather eccentric, this pastor of the local Pentecostal church. He had this habit of smacking his lips during his rather lengthy sermons, which could last for up to two hours,

depending on how mad or depressed he was. I’ve never heard someone who could muster up a story about practically anything, and fit it into his sermon.

One Sunday, the bible reading was about Cane when he was exiled to the land of Nod. As he explored the bible text, it was interspersed with ramblings about how Cane had established the first city, and that cities were sinful places, because of the lawlessness of the descendants of Cane.

Try as I did, I could never quite make sense of this rather lengthy sermon; it didn’t help things much, that the smell of lentil soup and fried sausages filtered through the vents, from the kitchen. All I could think was, ‘I hope I’m not too late for a roll with sausage and potato scone.’

Everyone was getting restless, probably thinking the same thing. Did this affect this ancient, arrogant madman at all? I’m sad to say that it didn’t. He rambled on until 1.30pm, and I imagined the burnt offering that would be served up for lunch.

The Sunday school was out, but the kitchen was still locked. One singer, one song came to my mind, knowing that if anyone asked him to finish, he would go on for even longer. 1.45, and the kitchen is finally open for business. I’ve never ran so fast, and I was first in the queue. I ordered two filled rolls; one for me, and the other for my young daughter. It was

pandemonium, with the ‘peace loving christians’ edging each other out to get to the front of the queue.

I could see one of the elders talking to the pastor, and from their facial expressions, I imagined that it was about the length of the sermon. The pastor’s hands were flailing about, and his face was bright red. I wondered if it would make a difference next week.

Sunday morning, and the worship ended; the pastor takes his place behind the

podium. I didn’t know about anyone else, but I wondered how long his sermon would last. One hour passes; the people are restless, but he doesn’t seem to notice, or maybe he doesn’t care. He then tells us that someone complained about the length of his sermon last week, and he rambled on for another hour. I can’t remember the topic; all I could think of was filling my stomach. He spoke for two hours, smacking his lips, as he strutted up and down the platform.

I wasn’t first in the queue that day; I had fallen asleep, and I was dreaming about having a bowl of lentil soup, followed by a cream cake. I left that church shortly afterwards, but I still think about the delicious food they served. I didn’t leave because of the sermon, but that’s another story.


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1 Comment


Janette McGlynn
Janette McGlynn
Mar 31, 2021

This feels more like a short story rather than a poem, I really like it

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