The new worship arena
Updated: Dec 10, 2022
One of the greatest revelations in Jesus's teaching ministry came out during a seemingly casual encounter with a stranger.
Jesus sat down at a well to catch some breath after a long journey. Not long after, a woman came long to get some water and they got talking. Their discussion covered history, politics, marriage, and religion.
As expected, religious discussions between people from different cultures is never easy to navigate. The woman promptly brought up the topic of where to worship God. Her own Samaritan traditions required worshipping God on Mount Gerizim instead of Jerusalem.
The great debate
In many parts of the world, whether to worship God or not is a matter of fierce debate.
When God comes up as a topic of discussion, all that comes to mind is the physical structures, institutions, and what they represent in history and culture.
We can all get so emotional and fixated with traditions and history of what and where our ancestors worshipped. Jesus said to the woman at the well of Samaria, if you know WHO you worship, it will not matter whether you worship here on your local mountains or go to Jerusalem to worship at the temple.
Like many across the world today, the woman at the well had real problems with worship. She was confused about the authenticity of her religious traditions and at the same time excluded from the temple worship that was the supposedly superior mode of worship.
No doubt, true worship is impossible with such limiting barriers and complexities.
A new model
By Jesus’s own standard, worship as a geographic experience will become an irrelevant construct because both the mountain and Jerusalem would soon be displaced by a new form of worship.
This is good news.
Jesus laid out the template for the future of worship. God is no longer keen on religious dogmas, traditions of men and fixations with place and time. God is looking for folks who know Him as their Father.
Based on that knowledge, such people can connect with God at the deepest level, heart to heart and spirit to spirit.
The real debate
True worship is coming to God without pretence or hypocrisy. True worship breaks down barriers of tradition and culture. It doesn't matter who you are or where you come from, you have access to the same holy God through the Holy Spirit.
True worship is not limited by time and place because God is not crafted into walls of temples and cathedrals. True worship is inspired by the spirit of God dwelling in man.
The real debate then is not whether to worship God or not, or whether to go back to church or not (for those who already left).
The real question is whether you know WHO to worship. If you know God and God knows you, your 24/7 access to God’s holy presence is guaranteed.
Prayer: Lord, I lay down every argument. Help me to worship you in spirit and in truth, in Jesus name.
Bible Reading: John 4:1-24, 1 Corinthians 3:16-17, 2 Corinthians 6:16
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