So that’s me done with devil-dodging for another year.
And I blame this lack of all-round religiosity on my boarding school where I was bombarded with scriptual artillery every day and thrice on Sundays for many weary years.
Our scripture master was a retired vicar who looked like he had just been worked over by a plague of locusts.
We overdosed on religion.
This had nothing to do with the Christian ethic and everything to do with giving the live-in masters a break from their labours.
But I always appreciated the words and the music.
More than half-a-century later I can still eclipse University Challengers when it comes to religious knowledge.
This last Crimbo though I didn’t recognise half the tunes and although Away in a Manger and Once in Royal David’s City stillsummoned up the ghosts of Christmas past there was not a lot to recognise.
Furthermore, if ever I see a drum kit and guitars going in the side door of a church that will be me sliding out of the back door and heading for the nearest hostelry.
It’s much the same with bible readings.
Apparently baby Jesus is no longer wrapped in swaddling clothes but attired in strips of cloth.
I had no idea that they lagged him.
What’s wrong with a good swaddle, for God’s sake?
Still, I suppose we ought to grateful we didn’t have Him wearlng disposable nappies.
And no doubt practising and devout cheapskates would prefer a quick blast of Lynx on the grounds that frankincense was too scarce and expensive.
Crimbo reallyain’t what it used to be.
Now we have kids in check shirts twanging guitars in cathedrals or massed kazoos playing Bach’s Christmas Oratorio.
I would love to know if this dumbing down process has increased the church’s popularity.
But somehow I doubt it.