An Ode for .. Arise Church

Wise bard Victor Billot on Pastor John’s fleeced flock

The Lilies of the Fields


For forty days and forty nights
Pastor John wandered in the wilderness
at the back of his palace.
“Lo,” said Pastor John,
“this wilderness needs pruning.”
And the interns came,
and toiled in the fields from dawn to dusk,
until the wilderness came to resemble
a finely clipped and fragrant meadow.
Yet the interns grew weary
under the burdensome unpaid internships
and begged Pastor John:
“Lo, we are dressed in tattered rags.”
But Pastor John smileth.
“Why take ye thought for clothes?
Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow;
they toil not, neither do they spin.”
So the interns struggled mightily
and babysitteth and scrubbeth
the mighty bathrooms of the Lord.
And Pastor John popped in occasionally
and sayeth in approval,
“Blessed are the cleaners of bathrooms,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
Then did the pastor stroll into the village
for a flat white and dainty cakes
and walketh to David the Farrier,
to collect his mule which had been shod.
David Glareth at the Pastor intently
and his face was most uncheerful.
Saith David to the idle villagers:
“Take heed that no man deceive you.
For many shall come in his name, saying, I am the Dude;
and these pretenders will deceive the credulous.”
But Pastor John smileth and waveth
and once more teacheth his humble students:
“A glad heart makes a cheerful face,
but by sorrow of heart the spirit is crushed.”
And the villagers cheered and anointed Pastor John
with aromatic oils and garlands of flowers,
while David the Farrier was left in his smoky hovel
with a bar of mules and a crushed spirit.
Lo, and as it was the Sabbath, Pastor John
told the interns they could rest,
and sent them to the Temple.
Then Pastor John beamed in by 3D holograph
and preached most passionately;
“I believe God is telling 10 people here to give $10,000.”
And the interns were amazed at his words.
But Pastor John spake to them, and counselled:
“Children, how difficult it is to enter the kingdom of God!
It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle
than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.”
So the interns gladly set up direct debits
to the Lord, and worketh their asses off 24/7/365 for free,
for they wished very much to enter the Kingdom of God.
And Pastor John gazed down and saw this was good;
as did his wife and other senior management
when they witnessed all the busy works and the tithing.
And Pastor John smileth upon his flock, and sayeth:
“Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven.”
Yea, and after the learnings at the Temple,
Pastor John returned upon his newly shod mule
to his fragrant orchards;
yet en route the mule stopped and refusedth to budget.
And the Pastor whipped the mule and curseth it.
But the mule turned around and spoke,
see you not the Vengeful Angel of Social Media before you?
And there before them in the middle of the road
stood The Vengeful Angel of Social Media,
with a flaming sword of rough justice
and a savage swarm of buzzing tweets.
Lo, and so the Pastor was purged and dragged
and canceled and highly ranked in Google searches;
and his flock dispersed in great haste,
and advised the pastor to scrubbeth his own bathrooms.
And David the Farrier said no more,
but whistled most contentedly as he shod another mule.

Victor Billot has previously felt moved to compose Odes for such luminaries as Mike Hosking, Ashley Bloomfield, Clarke Gayford, Brian Tamaki, Dr Siouxsie Wiles, and Garrick Tremain.

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