Fifany: a new word

I have minted a new word from the Sunday pulpit: “fifany”. This is the season of Pentecost. So over the last few Sundays we have been preaching about the Holy Spirit and people’s encounters with Him. We planned a series of sermons that will cover Acts 1, 2, 8, 9 and 10. Last Sunday I was preaching Acts 8, about what happens when the Holy Spirit comes, as seen through the eyes of Simon the sorcerer. I mentioned to the church that the word “simony” comes from this story. Simony is the buying of religious office and positions. Bribes are given, lands are given, money is given and in exchange someone gets appointed a bishop, or archbishop or some other position of power and influence. During the dark ages such positions yielded power and wealth and thus are coveted. Simon the sorcerer saw the Holy Spirit’s amazing power given with the laying of hands and it so impressed him he wanted to buy that
God given grace from the apostle Peter and John. Peter scolded him, “To hell with your money! And you along with it. Why, that’s unthinkable—trying to buy God’s gift! You’ll never be part of what God is doing by striking bargains and offering bribes. Change your ways—and now! Ask the Master to forgive you for trying to use God to make money. I can see this is an old habit with you; you reek with money-lust.” Then I mentioned about “fifany” – in FIFA the world’s federation of associations that control international football. In FIFA bribes were used to buy votes so that a country could host the World Cup.  Everybody suspects it but now the FBI from USA is investigating it. The country least interested in football is going to do the rest of the world that is crazy about football a very big favour: catch the crooks and surgically remove the cancerous organs. I wish them success. Remember this word: “fifany”.

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