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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Monday, July 13, 2009
    The Pharisee sermon
    The Pharisee sermon by Amos Nidiffer
    HE ALSO TOLD THIS PARABLE to some who trusted that they were righteous and regarded others with contempt.
    Two people went to church to pray, one an intellectual, the other a politician. The intellectual, standing by himself, was praying thus, "God I thank you that I am not like other people: thieves, capitalists, conservatives or even like this politician. I garden, eat organic and shop fair trade."
    The politician, standing far off, would not even look up to heaven but beat his chest saying, "God be merciful to me, a sinner!"
    I tell you, this man went home justified rather than the intellectual; for all who exalt themselves will be humbled, but all who humble themselves will be exalted.
    Some back issues of Geez arrived, including #10 which contains 30 Sermons You'd Never Hear in Church. My favourite, so far, is one by Reverend Billy (of the Church of Life After Shopping) which is thoughtful, informed, impassioned and beautifully crafted. Also too long to reproduce here. It's on 'The new fundamentalism': 'Please let's have a nice day, as quiet as a fine restaurant. This fundamentalism of the electronic age indoors, and outdoors the bulldozers and guns, colonial wars and world-wide attacks on the earth - this hybrid enforcement of the Net and the cops - has left us helplessly shopping'. Amos Nidiffer's contribution, in full above, is a fine example of what's in store for those who read Geez - I guess you'd call them Geezers: that's Geezers with a 'j'.