Any time. Any place.
Normally those are ‘fighting words.’ Not for Jesus, for Jesus they are ‘worshiping words.’
We are are in day 4 of our Journey Through John (and in chapter 4 of John’s account of Jesus’ life). This chapter tells the famous story of Jesus’ encounter with the woman at the well. She is a broken and tired woman. A bit of an outcast. We know that because she is at the well in the middle of the day. Jesus strikes up a conversation with her. She realizes that Jesus is unique and so she takes the opportunity to ask Jesus a burning theological question that her people (the Samaritans) must have been wrestling with.
Listen to what she asks in John 4:19-20:
The woman said to him, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.”
She wants to know about worship. She wants Jesus to explain tw right way to approach and adore god. Maybe more than the how of worship, this woman (and the Samaritan people) were concerned with the ‘where‘ of worship. Where was the right place? Where was Gods presence most real and tangible?
Listen to Jesus’ response in John4:23-24:
21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”
Essentially Jesus says, “True worship can happen any time, any place!” It can happen in Jerusalem or in Mt Gerizim. It can happen in your car or in the mountains. It can happen in a church building or at your workplace. Jesus claims that place matters far less than our approach.
He explained that the heart determines worship. It’s the gaze of the soul. He claims true worship happens when we engage God in both spirit and truth. Spirit in this case is the human spirit within us. It’s our emotion and our soul. He also says that we worship only in truth. When we understand reality of who god is and what he has done on our behalf. Jesus teaches this woman that worship can happen any time we engage God with both our intellect and our emotion.
Any time, any place.
How might god be inviting you to worship and spirit and truth today?
Regardless of where you are it what your day looks like, the invitation is real and the invitation is for YOU!