How do we worship? We have seen individuals in Hindu Temples seeking out some particular idol that they believe is able to help them over some particular problem. We have talked to a Roman Catholic in Dublin who was doing penance – and praying each day to Mary for a set number of days – with a confident expectation of some particular blessing! We may inwardly ‘smile’ at such superstition, but let us make sure we ourselves really understand – in our hearts – what is an acceptable attitude and place of worship – one that our Saviour and our God, his father will recognise and accept.
Our thoughts were provoked into following along this line of thinking as we pondered the reply of Jesus to the statement the Samaritan woman made to him that we read today in John ch. 4. Jesus told her, “the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father …. true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him.” [v.21,23]
That “hour” came when Jesus died on the cross. Paul told the Corinthians, in his first letter, “I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scripture” [15 v.3]
Those words really challenge our minds! Worship is to be done in ‘spirit’ – in our hearts – and as our hearts focus on the absolute wonder of what the Creator of all things must be the ‘vision’ we can sometimes develop in our minds can become overwhelming!
The other word Jesus used was ‘truth.’ The ultimate source of all that is genuinely true is only found in God’s word – the Bible. Paul in his final letter, the 2nd one addressed to Timothy, told him, “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.” [2 v.15] Let us make sure we do the same – for it is the only sure guide – and inspiration – for us – a light in a dark place – and our world is getting darker and darker. By David Caudery