Excerpts from a sermon held at a certain Anglican Church, a member of the Archdiocese of Kisumu on 25th December, 2007, at 9.30am:
PROVOSTEST - presiding clergy
BISHOP RITEST - delivers the sermon
FILOMENA - Choir-mistress
YO-YO - Youth Fellowship leader
HON. BENY O. O. -prominent church "investor"
We are gathered here this Sunday ermm, I mean this wonderful Xmas morning. This is a very expectant day for all of us (casts a sly glance at FILOMENA, at least 3 months heavy).
Let me remind us that amongst us are those who don't share the Xmas spirit and wish to prey into our pockets for our small cash and cheap phones.
I see its a full house today. Turn to your neighbour and ask where he/she was last Sunday. Oh yes, any visitor amongst us? And by visitors I also mean those members who have been away since last Christmas.
(uncomfortable squirming in the pews)
Am tempted to call the clergy to say hallo to their secret wives!
(Appreciative laughter that jolts the marathon dozers to full concentration)
I will now welcome YO-YO for a few announcements.
(YO-YO walks up to the podium and unhooks the mic)
Eh semeni ma-youth. Praiseee Lord! Leo 4.30 kuna tea party ya kudeliberate njaro ya kugutuka bila kushtuka hii Boxin Day bana. . . Munajua sisi ndio 63% ya ma boxer so lazima tujiami jo! Msisahau orange eating party kesho. Msidanganywe ovyo vile Eve alithoriwa na Nyoka akazane na Ndizi na Sagodi aliwashow wamange Machungwa solo. Kumbe Sagodi amewascan, anawacheki na angle théta! Si munaona vile walipaishwa? (huge howl of laughter from the wings) Otherwise, contribution from last youth service was ksh. 645. Be blessed in the Lord!
Let us now have intercessional prayers for our families and our country. Ummm (looks at the front row reserved for church"investors") Can Hon. Beny O. O. lead us in this?
(A murmer permeates the entire church. Clearly Prov. hasn't heard of the recent scandal where a certain " trifling gold digger" called up the Hon.'s wife, announcing she was pregnant with his child and its is rumoured she also described poor Beny's undergarments and the contents therein to 100% detail. At that instant, Prov's Motorola C113 beeps loudly, indicating a new text message which he scrolls through, red with embarrassment)
Well it seems Hon. Beny O. O. could not join us today but our prayers are his! (leads the intercession prayer session)
And now let us welcome our award-winning Choir Mistress, Filomena!
(Filomena approaches the mic)
I presented this solo piece at the national Churches competition and it was declared the most uplifting solo piece. Enjoy!
(Clears her throat and delves into an 8-octave soprano performance in a language closer to opera and rises to an ear-splitting crescendo followed by awed silence.)
Didnt I tell you we had Pavarottis in our ministry? Now you have heard. . . May God bless dear Filomena and (coughs judiciously) her family. Now for the sermon, lets rise and sing Hymn Number That One to welcome the Ritest Reverend the Bishop for today's word.
(Congregation sings in a sort of semblance of unity as BISHOP RITEST takes his place at the podium, tapping the mic-head and occasionaly interjecting the singing with "Mic Check, 1 2, Mic Check. . .")
(The hymn fades out)
Let us open our Bibles at Matthew Chapter 2 (Reads aloud and briskly till verse 12) Yes. . .the Lord is showing a lot to us through this story of the 3 wise men or in Kiswahili, wale warefu watatu! As it had been prophesied, a king had ALREADY been born and they were just messengers of this inevitability to poor King Herod! Praise the Lord!
I put it to you brethren, that we are in a similar situation as those 3 warefus. It is election season yet again but I am telling you our President has already been chosen. As far as I am the Bishop, the job has already been done and there is NOBODY who can change that destiny. . .with or without our votes. A king has been born to us!
(Appreciative murmurs all round. Bishop removes a white kerchief and wipes beads of sweat off his forehead)
Let us spring back to the Biblical text. Now, what would be the purpose of this new king? Herod thought he was doing fine by any standards. To him the best thing for the kingdom would be a sort of 'Herod Aendelee' approach to the politics of the day. But this new king was meant to bring change. . .a change that they really needed. Most of us first borns would not have survived the Herod Aendelee Campaign you know! But God had refused, HALLELUJAH!
(wild gesticulation from a certain quarter of the congregation, noticably all dressed in orange from head to toe)
Herods place had already been replaced! His seat was already sat on, Praise the Lord!
(Loud Amen from the same quarter)Its time for our own change as well. . .as you know already, the market is overflowing with oranges, bananas, wipers and torches but GOD knows what you will take home so just OBEY OBEY OBEY if you want to be part of that change! If you don't then you will still be part of that change. . . . On the loosing side. Choose where you stand. . . God does not tolerate lukewarm uji. . .Are you with Herod's team or are you with the PEOPLE's team? And that is the word straight from the bowels of Heaven this Xmas Day. Halelujah!
(Standing ovation. .and from somewhere a scream of "Kazi ya Herod isiendelee!" met by cheers)Let us now pray. . .
(A solemn reflective visage ensues)Lord, as we come before you, we are in deep thought. Why is it that in all the election campaigns our city has been left out? Politicians have traversed every corner of this country - Eldoret, Naivasha, Nairobi, Kericho, Mombasa, El-Wak, Turkana, North Horr. . .but why do they shun Kisumu?! Oh Kisumu, Kisumu, Kisumu. Home of Tom Mboya, the first constitutional affairs Minister. . .KISUMU, oh Kisumu. Home of Ramogi Oginga Odinga, friend of Jomo Kenyatta. KISUMU! Home to Achieng' Oneko, great freedom fighter. Kisumu. Great land of old . . . Kisumu. . . The centre of the Railway. KISUMU! Home of the first teachers, doctors, and learned friends! Kisumu. Where planes from Cairo en route to Cape Town stopped over in the olden days. Kisumu, oh, Kisumu! The only city in the equator. . .oh Kisumu!
(Shouts of YES LORD on every mention of Kisumu)Then what has happened Lord? Look at us now. . . Kisumu. Land of the poorest of the poor. Kisumu. Backyard of hyacinth. Kisumu! Small city without smoke. Kisumu. Surely. . . HAVE WE BEEN FORGOTTEN?
I know you have not abandoned us Lord. A time has come for this poor neglected city like it came for that folktown of Bethlehem. A time has come for us to RULE! Halellujah! A king has been born to us! Thank you, Lord! Thank you Jesus! Thank you Lord!
(The entire church rises to its feet as if manipulated by a superhuman force. Everyone is shouting, leaping up and down and speaking in tongues for the rest of the sermon, the only exception being flabbergasted kids and a group later identified as Election Observers. "Joy To The World" belts out from the church organ. .)
. . .END. . .