ECCLESIOLOGICAL ETCHINGS February 8, 2023 In a conversation Jesus had with a woman at a well, he said:
But the time is coming—and is here!—when true worshippers will worship in spirit and truth. The Father looks for those who worship him this way. God is spirit, and it is necessary to worship God in spirit and truth.
For many people, they read words like "truth" and "spirit," and they feel pretty confident that they are doing worship properly because they are doing it exactly the way their parents taught them to do it or the way their tradition has been doing it forever. I just don’t know how "confident" I feel around words like "truth" and "spirit." To say, "I know exactly what truth is," is like saying, "I know exactly what infinity is." Theoretically, we can sort of wrap a definition around it, but a definition that is embarrassingly insufficient. And the spirit, as I think about it, is the untamable and uncontainable energy of the divine. To worship in truth and spirit, one must recognize that the act will never fit into a single hour of worship in a single sanctuary. There is an unpredictability if truth and spirit are involved, including an occasional shock to our preconceived expectations of what should happen in worship. Some of my best-laid worship plans have fallen apart right before my eyes, and on occasion, they fell apart in just the right way so as to make room for some truth and spirit.
Good and Gracious God, thank you for always being more than our best-laid plans and for being untamed by our arrogance that sometimes has us believing we can do this worship without you. Amen.