True Worship (08-08-22)
Pause for thought
One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.
For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock.
Bible Reading: John 4:19-24
"Sir," the woman said, "I can see that you are a prophet. Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem."
"Woman," Jesus replied, "believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father
neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.
You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know,
for salvation is from the Jews.
Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father
in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.
God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth."
Are there places in your life that have a spiritual significance, places where you have felt particularly close to God, or where you find it more easy to sense God's presence?
There is something very powerful about worshipping in a building where Christians have worshipped for centuries before; there is the realisation of a continuity of worship that has been passed on from one generation to another, but there can also be the sense of awe, of ‘otherness’, or indeed of the presence of God.
For the Jewish nation in Jesus’ time, such a place would be the temple in Jerusalem, while for the Samaritans it was Mount Gerizim on which it was believed Abraham was asked to, and spared from, sacrificing his son Isaac.
In his conversation with the woman at the well Jesus is prophesying the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70 and the scattering of Jews, Samaritans and indeed Christians that would follow this. But the destruction of the places of worship would not bring about the destruction of worship, indeed it would contribute to its spreading abroad.
True worship, Jesus says, is not a matter of the place but a matter of the heart, it is not a matter of reciting words from a prayer book or a hymn book but a matter of our human spirit engaging with God’s Holy Spirit and of our tongues speaking and singing words of truth with integrity. True worship is about worshipping God in Spirit and in truth.
What are the things in your life today that cause you to worship God? Could you find your own words to express your worship to him now?
Lord, forgive me for the times that I worship you on auto pilot.
May my spirit soar in worship of you and my words express the wonder of your glory.
I will offer up my life in Spirit and truth