Hymn of Invitation
So what happens, then, if we don’t craft our worship services to attract unbelievers?
We’ll have to get serious again about Sunday. All of us. And then as the clock strikes noon, we’ll have to go.
Go out and feed the hungry.
Go out and clothe the naked.
Go out and associate with people who don’t look like us, don’t think like us, don’t act like us, don’t vote like us and don’t usually like us.
Go out and fight for justice.
Go out and end oppression.
Go out and proclaim anew the old, old story.
Go out and reach out to those who are running from God and God’s church.
Go out and stop deflecting tough questions with our usual, tired cliches.
And do all of this in the name of the one who sent us.
And then open the doors wide again on Sunday morning.
Then we’ll actually be the church.
A Redeemed Benediction
I can’t help but think of Fred Pratt Green’s haunting, convicting hymn.
When the church of Jesus shuts its outer door,
lest the roar of traffic drown the voice of prayer,
may our prayers, Lord, make us ten times more aware
that the world we banish is our Christian care.
If our hearts are lifted where devotion soars
high above this hungry, suffering world of ours,
lest our hymns should drug us to forget its needs,
forge our Christian worship into Christian deeds.
Lest the gifts we offer, money, talents, time,
serve to salve our conscience, to our secret shame,
Lord, reprove, inspire us by the way you give;
teach us, dying Savior, how true Christians live.
Forge our Christian worship into Christian deeds. Wow. Let it be so.