I heard this question on the radio yesterday, and it made me think. While away from the Faith, I attended services with my sister, which had altar calls; they were very moving. But as Protestants, is that all they have?
Why don’t we have “altar calls”? Definition from Wiki:
An altar call is a practice in some evangelical churches in which those who wish to make a new spiritual commitment to Jesus Christ are invited to come forward publicly. It is so named because the supplicants gather at the altar located at the front of the church building. In the Old Testament, an altar was where sacrifices were made. So, the name “altar call” refers to a believer “offering” themselves on an altar to God, as in Romans 12:1:
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
I argue that we do have altar calls. Every time we go to the altar to receive the Eucharist, or even when we present ourselves at Mass, we are professing our love and belief in our Lord. Yet, I see where evangelical altar calls can be viewed as more ‘dynamic’ or ‘exciting’. Have we considered our manner when we approach Mass and the Eucharist? Is there JOY in our hearts for the Love our Lord has shown us? Are we reverent and pious in our approach? Do we realize that by receiving the Eucharist, we are professing our faith in His Body and Blood, in His supreme Sacrifice for our sins? There are times when I want to dance up and down the aisle with joy, when the Spirit has moved in me while receiving Communion. Sometimes I want to shake others and say LOOK! Isn’t this just AWESOME?
Don’t those altar calls look FUN though? Perhaps we should realize and rejoice in our brethren making the same profession of Faith, the same love of the Lord, receiving the same Body and Blood of our Savior! We can rejoice at the receiving of our Savior each and every week, each and every DAY! We can still be reverent, pious, solemn and joyous at the same time. What a great gift we have in Jesus Christ!
Being Catholic is not about ‘feeling good’. Religion isn’t about how it makes you ‘feel’. Feelings can be fleeting, Sustainable love, joy, reverence…that’s what will last. Let every day, every Mass, be our altar call. He calls us to join Him, to receive Him, both physically and spiritually.
(disclaimer: I’m operating on 3 hours of sleep and illness, so if I’m a bit discombobulated please be forgiving)