“But the time is coming—and is here!—
when true worshipers will worship in spirit and in truth.
God is spirit, and it is necessary to worship God in spirit and in truth.”
In John 4, Jesus encounters an astute theologian: a Samaritan woman, whom he meets at Jacob’s well. Their conversation touches on a wide range of topics, among them the difference between the worship of the Jews and the Samaritans. Jesus reveals himself to her as the Messiah of Israel and announces that through him, worship of God has undergone both a renewal and a transformation.
Jesus is not only concerned with the fervor and passion of our worship; he is also concerned with the subject of worship. Jesus instructs us that “it is necessary to worship God in spirit and in truth,” a puzzling phrase that grabs our attention. What does it mean? Jesus calls us to know God as God, thus worshiping truthfully. We are also to experience God as God truly is, resting our spirit upon our heart’s true home.
True worship engages the whole person, enabling us to increase in our knowledge of God and our love for God. We are then sent into the world to serve God with our hands, putting what we have received on display, pointing others back to Christ.
Holy Spirit, renew both my mind and my heart,
so that I might worship you in spirit and in truth. Amen.