''Let us go to church’’ These words echo through the house every Sunday morning as my mom riles everyone up to go to church. Sunday used to be a day to be excited about; it’s the time to bring out the well-ironed church outfits condensed with the intoxicating stench of camphor. It is an excuse to be thoroughly cleaned and glistened with overwhelming amounts of Vaseline, leaving you reflecting sunshine like a mirror. Woe betides you if look unkempt to church or be out dressed by the neighbor’s kids. My mom would spend forever trying to get her head tie in the perfect angle that will symbolize how well she was doing. My dad couldn’t be bothered, his Sunday meant laundry and ironing his office shirts, Benson and Hedges dangling from his lips with Sunny Ade’s music blaring in the background as he expertly twists his waist to the rhythm of the song while trying to keep his towel from falling off his waist. On good days my mom could get him to go with her to church amidst grumbling; her reason was she didn’t want her friends to think she didn’t have a husband.
Sunday means you get a few coins for the offering basket, which was an incentive to actually inspire the children to go to church. I wonder if our parents knew we didn’t actually drop the coins in the offering book or perhaps they knew because we inherited it from them. The mallams with their mouth watering candies, biscuits and drinks welcome us into their warm embrace as we drop our offerings into their ever welcoming purses. Sunday was the day to catch up with friends from the neighborhood in church, bragging about their exam and test scores and oh you get to see your crush too. My crush? Crushes? I had a different one for every Sunday.
Sunday school was a escape from the harsh reality of school and focus on the thrilling stories from the bible. The story of Jonah being swallowed by a fish, the story of David slaying Goliath with a stone and the epic story of Samson ripping a lion apart..haaa such stories left us wide eyed and in awe. Such memories can’t be complete without the recitation of memories verses. Aunty Biola, how hard you tried to teach me the Ten Commandments while I was only absorbed in the details of how Moses path the Red Sea. She always ended the class with how our sins will make the devil take us to hell; the mental picture of the devil was a man dressed in black with horns and a ridiculous tail..hey don’t laugh it was scary back then. I always wanted to sum up the courage to ask her if sticking my hands to take meat from my mom’s pot meant Jesus would throw me in a hell fire for eternity. I didn’t think Jesus was that mean though.
Sundays now? Oh dear.. I can’t sum it up; I don’t want to lose the nostalgic feeling writing this piece has given me. Ok i will say it, it is pathetic. It is now deeply entrenched in the juices of prosperity preaching that you hear every time until it becomes totally boring. The charade bridled with the sweet antics of motivational speakers never ceases to amaze me. It is like a show, an entertainment piece saddled with the theatrics of the exclamations such as Ride on pastor!! Yes Lord!! Hmm!! Haaaa!!! And a few courageous members trying to display how intense the service is by speaking in tongue. At this point, I am busy browsing the internet for news about my favorite football team and checking Instagram for any juicy piece of news. Don’t blame me! Aunty Biola told more exciting stories than these crooks in suits.
Written by @FemiShine