“Bwana Yesu asifiwe”, the preacher would interject in the middle of his sermon, a tactic I came to later learn was one to keep the flock from dosing off. This was how a normal Sunday service would run by in my little village, a lot of hope sold with a bit of hallelujahs here and there to spice things up.
Coins falling into the offering basket would add rhythm to the songs sung during the session, songs mostly rehearsed once a week and way off-key. Mama would press a coin into my little hand and usher me off to drop it into the basket, little me skipping off happily and feeling accomplished at the deed.
Repentance was the final order of the day as those who wanted to amend their ways would make their way to the podium. Some with a tendency to backslide would be regular visitors upfront but as it is written, it is not my place to judge rather it will be thoroughly discussed in the local women’s weekly chama. People would be allowed to head their ways with most staying for pleasantries.
Modern-day worship has been turned into a business. Churches mushrooming left, right and centre with shady names and dubious preachers. Hope is being peddled and humanity being fragile and desperate is more than ready to accept it with open arms
“Boss tumemaliza”, my keys come flying and I catch them jumping back to reality. I scan to see my carwash guy having done an exemplary job as always. As I drive home, similarities between the carwash and the modern-day church ring at the back of my head and I could not help but laugh. I know the judging should be left to the Almighty, but it is my duty to call a spade as it is.
Modern-day worship has been turned into a business. Churches mushrooming left, right and centre with shady names and dubious preachers. Hope is being peddled and humanity being fragile and desperate is more than ready to accept it with open arms. The promise of a job, a stable economic life, a stable marriage blinds and binds us, steering us further from the Almighty.
The preacher promising young John forgiveness even though he still visits his mother’s purse to nourish his Whatsapp status week in week out so long as some of it comes to church as offering, Lucinda is assured her cancer will heal as long as she plants a “healing seed”. A case of demand meeting supply, business 101.
One wakes up every Sunday morning to find religious hopefuls worshipping with vigour, thanksgiving and praise, some coming to escort them while others attend to flaunt “what God has given them” in all modesty. Politicians turning holy grounds into rallies hoping to become fishers of votes in a class act of nobility with their generous donations and preachers receiving said donations with open arms as they have become men of the coin rather than men of the cloth. No wonder Jesus whipped them.
I guess at the end of the day what matters is what road you ply because it will determine how deep the cleaning process would take and as you know, it’s just business as usual for the carwash guy. Nothing personal.