Speaking of closing clues (see last half of yesterday’s post) . . .
Ever heard the preacher utter a less-than-thoughtful non-bridge into the invitation or altar call? We’re sometimes so embarrassed at the habitual nature of this invitation time (and rightly so, in my book) that we grasp and fabricate and manipulate, in order to assist in making the moments more meaningful, catching people’s attention somehow, because if they weren’t asleep already, their spirits fall asleep the moment the preacher starts moving to the closing words.
If a preacher says, “Let’s all stand and praise God together,” but the following song is “Just As I Am,” it seems that the request was less meaningful than functional, because we’re not praising God. “Just As I Am” is not a song of praise or worship. If the invitation song is “Are You Washed in the Blood,” we’re not praising, either; we’re speaking to one another.
I don’t mean to be pointing the finger only at preachers and invitation songs. I manipulate things, too, as I plan and lead. If you please, though — less mere habit, and more thoughtful connections!