Sunday worships are curious things. Each incarnation takes on a different flavour or personality even, despite the liturgy and sermon texts are identical. Today, the first service was adequate. For whatever reason, I wasn't feeling a connection and resigned myself to accepting that this one was in the category of "they can't all be winners".
Maybe it was a different energy, or just the fact I'd had one extra run-through the worship material, but things went much better during the second service. One of my jokes set the organist giggling so much that some misplaced notes chimed out as she tried to compose herself. There was applause led by the choir after the sermon, and not because they were glad it was over.
It was explained to me afterwards that at times when applause follows the choir anthem, it's as if the congregation was duly entertained. Whereas if a sermon manages to connect on a deeper level, there is no expression of appreciation. And shouldn't the main substance of the worship experience be applauded? Or so the rationale went.
Still, it was like preaching to a studio audience, as if all the responses were on cue. This must be how Letterman feels! After all, we both have kids the same age...