On most every Sunday, my family and I rise early, read ourselves and then head off to church. There are several purposes for church. We come together to fellowship in some way. We don’t know every person at the large church we attend, but usually we can find someone we know and participate in some sort of fellowship. Some of us serve. It’s not unusual for at least one person in my family to be serving in some way in some area of the church. We also go for Bible study. We have a “Sunday School” class we attend and we’ll hear some sort of Bible lesson. We also hear preaching and teaching from the pulpit. Our senior minister is very good at this and we are rightly led through the preaching and teaching of God’s word. Oh yeah, we also sing some songs and sometimes we’ll listen to people play and or sing solos. The music is very good.
But the real purpose for coming together – fellowship, service, studying, teaching, preaching and music – is to worship God. We are specifically setting aside this time to go and participate in worshiping the One, true God. Though we may “go to church” and do a lot of different things while we are there, the real purpose is to go and worship the King.
God tells us this about worshiping Him: “God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” – John 4:24 (ESV) So, even though we may go every Sunday and even though we may participate in all of the activities that are “part of worship,” this is the real standard for worshiping God. We must worship Him in spirit and in truth.
For me, worship is a lot harder than it really should be. My family and I attend church regularly, but the process of getting there and, to be honest, some of the people there, throw up huge obstacles to having my heart right for worship. My heart should be kind and tenderhearted and eager to forgive, like God has forgiven me (Ephesians 4:32), but my spirit is usually hard and calloused, ready to protect my interests. I should be heavenly focused, but most times I’m ground down into the sod with my earthly focused. Many times I’m too thoughtful about what happened the previous day, rather than being there in the moment and worshiping God.
So today, our gang will head off to church again. My prayer is that we won’t just be checking the box that we are there and participating, but that we will be there to worship the One true God in spirit and in truth. I hope this day brings the same for you.