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Jeffrey B Stein

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Give Me That Old Time Religion
by Jeffrey B Stein

Thursday, April 26, 2012
Rated "G" by the Author.
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Recent poems by Jeffrey B Stein
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           >> View all 5

This is not the way God wanted to be worshiped.

Christ himself came knocking on my door
acting as if he were a Jehovah’s witness;
“Got a minute?” he asked.
“Sorry,” I replied,
“I have places to go,
people to see,
leave a card,
we will do lunch some day.”

“Sorry?” he said
as he stuck his Birkenstocks in the door.
With a face filled with humility, kindness and confusion
he spoke softly to me,
“I’m offering you salvation and redemption,
a chance to join me in heaven.”

I laughed as politely as I could,
“yesterday, my dear sir,
I was visited by a man
who offered me, in your name I might add,
all the things that you have just offered
but threw in at no cost
your words recorded on twelve cassette tapes
or four compact discs
along with a ninety minute
‘Work out with the Son of God’ video.
He said I would be shown the way to all my dreams
and I could pay in five easy installments
or call a convenient ‘900’ number as well.
Yes, he said, he was going to make the
road to atonement easy
and quite affordable.”

“I don’t understand,” answered Christ.

“Listen, my dear friend,” I continued
as I showed him my last year’s tax return.
“see this list of itemized deductions;
I bought American Flags from Reverend Jerry,
a piece of God’s Amusement Park from Tammy Faye,
I helped Reverend Jimmy rent motel rooms
so he could examine sin first hand,
I kept Oral from a meeting with his master – your father,
I have taken Bnai Brith tours
to the land of my persecutors,
even burned enough incense
to alarm environmentalists and the like.
So I think that I have paid for my absolution
and all that I really need
is a room with a view,
pay-per-view TV and an endless supply of Diet Pepsi
and my days of eternity will be quite okay with me.”

Christ shrugged his shoulders
and wiped away a tear.
“This is not the way,”
he mumbled
as he picked up his cross
and walked slowly away.

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