Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart: http://sothrichfield.podbean.com
John 4:19-26 (NIV)
19 “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. 20 Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.” 21 “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 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. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” 25 The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.” 26 Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.”
Can you imagine having a worship debate with Jesus? Today we are reading just a snippet of Jesus’ conversation with this perceptive and bold woman from Samaria. As Jesus was so knowledgeable, she wanted him to settle their version of the worship wars: where do true worshipers worship? Today, this would be rephrased as, ‘What style of worship is most holy: traditional or contemporary?’ The answer would likely be close to the same, “true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him”. (John 4:23) This is our call, in all areas of life – especially in congregational worship – to keep our eyes focused on Jesus, everything else is simply a supporting character. As we gather for worship tomorrow night, and again on Sunday, notice those things that you love and praise God for them! For all the things that are not your favorite, praise God for your brothers and sisters in Christ who love them!