BY ALEX TAREMWA
Until the Sunday of October 2, 2016, I had last stepped foot in church – by choice – on Boxing Day of 2007. Often I went to church either by compulsion or obligation.
My absentia from church for close to a decade should in no way be confused with my agnostic approach to religion. I am convinced that my relationship with Christ is a personal matter.
However, over the years I have been judged, unfairly or not, as a pagan, an unworthy creature who shunned Church fellowship and should be condemned to hell fire.
Although I acknowledge being a sinner, I used to believe that by doing all the good I could, I was still worthy in the eyes of God.
In fact, I always told my “judges” that they will be shocked on Judgement Day when they see me walking through the VIP entrance (if such a thing exists) into Heaven.
I heard the voice of Jesus
So on Sunday of October 2, 2016, I freely made my way to Nkoyoyo Hall. That morning the choir outdid itself. Their voices were soaring far beyond the clouds, and as they sang the hymn “I heard the voice of Jesus,” I was deeply touched. It was my first time to hear the hymn but it made a lot of sense.
Rewind to the evening before and how I got to Nkoyoyo. I felt like I had heard the voice of Jesus. I vividly remember how I hurriedly left The Standard offices that Saturday at 6.45 pm, to catch the Liverpool game screening.
Riding on the boda boda, I heard the voice of God. It was not as loud as portrayed in the Bible where people fell off their feet. Rather it was in my heart – a request of sorts – for me to make it to church the following morning.
In disbelief I purposed to sleep late that night so I could wake up past church time, but surprisingly, I was up by 6:30 am the following morning. What excuse did I have now?
In Nkoyoyo Hall I sat in the front row and closely followed Rev Samson Maliisa’s sermon drawn from St Paul’s Letter to the Romans, chapter 2.
“There is no such a thing as super Christianity,” Maliisa said, adding that, “We all need divine help on a daily basis. We are all potential candidates of God’s wrath and our judgment shall depend on what we have done – not know or believe!”
I could not agree more. I felt a strong magnet pull me to the front when the altar call was made. As I rose from my chair I said to myself, “Well, it’s about time!”
The special moment I always heard people describe was now mine to savour, as everyone stretched their hands out to pray for me, and every part of me felt free.
That is undoubtedly the happiest day of my 25 years’ existence.