Monday, June 18, 2018
John 4:23-24: [Jesus is saying,] "But a time is coming, and now is here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such people to be His worshipers."
Jesus is sitting at Jacob's Well with a Samaritan woman, discussing theology. This part of the discussion is based upon the question, "Where is the appropriate place in order to worship?" The woman was observing the exclusionary practice of worship when she said, "We worship on this mountain. You Jews say that worship only happens in the Temple in Jerusalem." Jesus replies, "At some point in time, people will not worship on this mountain or Jerusalem. True worship comes from the Jews because it is based upon salvation from God through the Jews." Then our passage.
So what does Jesus mean? Simply put, we worship Jesus by means of the Holy Spirit working through the Word of God with our faith in truth. And what is truth? Truth is God's Word. It is contained in the inspired by the Holy Spirit truth that contains no errors. Truth is in the revealed Word of God. Truth is not relative. Truth is not, "What's true for you may not be true for me." Truth is summarized and presented in both God's Law and God's Gospel. Truth is, there are absolutes. There are ten words, or Commandments, from God that are non-negotiable. The truth tells us that we don't and won't do them all perfectly. That leads us to realize that we're "not as good as we think we are." That leads to confession, "I have done something I shouldn't have." That leads to contrition, "I'm sorry." That leads to repentance, "Please forgive me." That leads to God say, "I forgive you of those sins. Start over. You are a new person." That's worship in spirit and truth.
And that is not the limitation on our worship. We serve God as well. We put our faith into practice. We love one another as God loves us. We serve God and each other because we are S.H.A.P.E.'d for it. That also is worship in spirit and truth.
So we Lutheran Christians worship God here in Huntsville, Texas in spirit and in truth. Everything that we do is not listed here. There is more that can be said. And maybe we can get into the more through discussion. In the mean time, God, we are sinners in need of forgiveness. Continue to pour it on us because of what Jesus did. Lead us to serve You and for You in righteousness and blessedness. We pray in Jesus' name, Amen!
Pastor Robert Hemsath joined Faith Lutheran Church and School as the Senior Pastor in January 2017. Pastor Hemsath comes to FLC from Christ the King Lutheran Church in Waxahachie, TX. He has also served congregations in Aberdeen, ID and Pocatello, ID. He has been a Lutheran pastor for the past 20 years.