Sunday, July 4, 2010

Is there REALLY an escape from hell?

I want to thank you all for coming to church this Sunday morning 4th of July and postponing your Independence Day barbecues and sundry debaucheries. Amen.

My sermon this morning is on "What Hell is Like": Do You REALLY want to end up there? If not, stop being bad and start being GOOD."

I'll take my text today from the book of Meat Loaf, chapter: Bat Out Of, Verse: Hell.

"When the night is over, like a bat out of hell I'll be gone gone gone. Like a bat out of hell I'll be gone when the morning comes. But when the day is done and the sun goes down and moonlight's shining through, then like a sinner before the gates of heaven I'll come crawling on back to you."

Oh, Lord!

You see, Mr. Loaf knew he couldn't REALLY escape from an eternity in hell, just because his bike was hot and fast.

Some say Hell is a valley. The valley of death? Perhaps. Some say Hell is really the San Fernando Valley. Many make the attempt to escape the San Fernando Valley, but few succeed in the attempt. I think that is what Mr. Loaf was singing about as he described the hell that was the Valley, and the lost souls who inhabited it.

Exactly how terrifying is the hell of the SF Valley on a Saturday night? St. Meat tells us in no uncertain terms in the next verse:

"The sirens are screaming and the fires are howling way down in the valley tonight! There's a man [a type of demon, no doubt] in the shadows with a gun in his eye and a blade shining oh so bright. There's evil in the air and there's thunder in the sky and a killer's on the bloodshot streets."

The terrible account goes on to talk about the dead(ly) rising down in the tunnel and boys going down in the gutter and starting to foam in the heat. Mercy. Hell is just unimaginable.

Well, there is one good girl in hell - there always is, isn't there? - and the poor man described by St. Meat latched on to her for the night. I guess she wasn't all that GOOD really, after all. Else she would not have been in Hell to begin with, it must be supposed.

I see some of you are beginning to sneak looks at your watches and the door, so I will hurry to conclude: escaping from Hell is a pipe dream. There is no escaping when you are there, good girl or no good girl; hot motorcycle or no hot motorcycle; boys going down in the gutter or .... well, I think you get the picture.

No, the trick is to avoid Hell in the first place. To do that, you must be GOOD.

Have a wonderful 4th of July weekend, my children.


Linda said...

Well I don't know about the San Fernando Valley but I do remember that the San Joaquin Valley was a lot like hell on a July Saturday night, does that count?

A. said...

Of course there's an escape from hell: bats get out all the time.

Vicar Ezra said...

Dear Miss Linda - Oh! The San Joaquin Valley! I trust you have only second hand accounts of that den of iniquity, and have no reflections of a personal nature. Galloping Jehosaphat!

Vicar Ezra said...

Dear Mr. or Ms. A. - I'm afraid bats getting out of hell is only an allegory. Sadly, no one escapes the punishment for their being BAD when they are on earth. Bats, being innocent creatures of God, would never be in hell in the first place. So I gently correct you. I am hoping (and praying) you will return to our service next Sunday morning when we consider if 2 out of 3 is really good enough. Bless you, my child.