Sunday Evening Service – The Hartselle Enquirer

By Jacob Hatcher

Community columnist

Over time, things are bound to change. Bob Dylan warned us of this long before I was born. The days of kids in the back of trucks are long gone and with the proliferation of air conditioning, no one sits on the porch anymore. I myself have resorted to drinking artificially sweetened tea. I know: I’m as shocked as you are.

In all of these changes, life has mostly improved, but there is one thing that I think the world is worse off not having, and that is Sunday night church services.

When I was growing up, after roasting my Nana and changing into more comfortable clothes, the best part of Sunday was the gathering of the saints at sunset. In churches across the country, young and old would gather to hold business meetings, sing hymns, and listen to Brother So-and-so give a sermon on an obscure Old Testament passage before taking over the Cracker Barrel on closer.

I think my favorite part of the Sunday evening service was seeing all the elders of the church in what they considered casual attire. Seeing some of these old-timers in polo shirts and pleated khakis instead of their suits and ties was like seeing them in flip-flops and tank tops.

It was kind of like bumping into your Grade 3 teacher at the grocery store: it was kind of unnatural, but it also humanized them.

There’s an image that I think of from time to time when our son Hank was learning to crawl. It was a Sunday night service. There he lay, surrounded by his church family, cheering him on.

A few of those pictured have risen to fame, and we’ve been away from this church for years, but every time I come across this photo, it’s a chilly Sunday night in Louisville, KY. And then, out of the blue, I have an inexplicable craving for cornbread and fried catfish.

Somebody save me a seat. And order me an unsweetened tea.

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