One of the questions asked by modern society, is going to church still relevant? Well my answer to this question is a definite yes! Please allow me to unpack this firm belief of mine. First and foremost we are human beings and this makes us relational beings but also spiritual, emotional, mental and sexual beings. This is our makeup.
The church is a physical place and a space where we go to, to gather and express our thanksgiving to God through our worship. It gives us an opportunity to gather corporately to celebrate in divine fellowship in the presence of God.
During this divine service, there is a structure or a particular flow to the liturgy and the following is a basic structure to the service: the first is (this is within the context of a Eucharistic service), we gather or congregate, during this gathering period there is a call to worship, through praise, singing and the act of penitence. Secondly we proclaim the word of God, where we listen, read and reflect on the scriptures from the Old and New Testament. Through the sermon an exposition of the scriptures is given within our particular context. Words of hope, encouraging and spiritual guidance is given.
The third component is, we respond, we respond with our prayers where we are reminded we are dependent on the grace of God but also dependent on one another and we give thanks for this and ask for strength to continue to live in harmony with one another. Fourthly, we celebrate the Great Thanksgiving or The Eucharist (from the Greek to give thanks). Here the narrative of Jesus’ Last Supper with his disciples unfolds and we are reminded what Jesus achieved for us and our salvation, through his death and resurrection.
The final component to the structure of the service, is the congregation is being sent out into the society, community and the world. This is a very powerful statement of empowerment, where the duty shifts to the church, who is the people of God to go and be the transforming agents of God in their communities and the world.
In the light of the above I do belief that the church is still relevant to our spiritual and social well-being. It is a place where we can retreat to and experience a place and a space, which is a spiritual energiser and sanctuary.
“The perfect church service, would be one we were almost unaware of. Our attention would have been on God.” – C.S. Lewis
“The deepest level of communication is not communication but communion.” – Thomas Merton
FATHER GRADWELL FREDERICKS