The Church At Worship
The reason the Church exists is to give glory, praise and worship to God. Missions then are the process by which we can reach people with the news of the gospel so that they too can give praise and worship to God. Missions are what we are engaged in as a Church worldwide.
In our “can do" approach to life, we may be tempted to think that the real purpose of the Church is activity. Yet, even if that activity is just and righteous, it may be an activity that doesn't center praise and glory in God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. We can miss the meaning and the purpose of the Church if we do not praise and glorify God in worship in all that we do.
One day, Jesus confronted a Samaritan woman at a well. She attempted to draw attention away from herself and her sinful life by engaging in a debate about religious worship practices. She was caught up in ritual and location but Jesus answered by saying: “Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit and His worshippers must worship in spirit and in truth." (John 4:23-24)
Jesus is simply saying that worship is not about time, place, ritual or program but about the "spirit". Jesus says that only those who are born again in their spirit as true sons and daughters of God can worship Him. Our old, depraved natures must be made new by the indwelling Holy Spirit of God. Worship is from the heart. The truth Jesus mentions is the truth of the death and resurrection of Jesus who redeems us.
In and through Jesus, anyone can worship God in spirit and in truth. In Philippians 3:3, Paul declares we are the true circumcision and we worship God in spirit. Paul is saying that religious ritual, however meaningful, is not true worship if it is done without faith and without the presence of the Holy Spirit in our hearts.
May God bless us as we truly worship God for who He is and for what He has done.