Love this story of the Samaritan woman at the well as told by Eugene Peterson in The Message:
“Oh, so you’re a prophet! Well, tell me this: Our ancestors worshiped God at this mountain, but you Jews insist that Jerusalem is the only place for worship, right?”
“Believe me, woman, the time is coming when you Samaritans will worship the Father neither here at this mountain nor there in Jerusalem. You worship guessing in the dark; we Jews worship in the clear light of day. God’s way of salvation is made available through the Jews. But the time is coming—it has, in fact, come—when what you’re called will not matter and where you go to worship will not matter.
It’s who you are and the way you live that count before God. Your worship must engage your spirit in the pursuit of truth.”
It seems to me that the problem here was the woman’s limited view of worship. She saw worship as a certain thing that you do in a certain place. (Of course, we would never view worship that way today, would we?!?!)
But the answer Jesus gives blows her definition of worship completely out of the water. “Who you are and the way you live…” is now worship, according to Jesus! Well, that certainly gets in the way of our compartmentalizing of our worship into being nothing more than a few songs we sing every week. In fact, it would seem to follow that living selfishly, in fear, and desiring the created more than the Creator is actively choosing NOT to worship God, regardless of what we do in a service once a week.
I’m actively trying to live worship out in “who I am and the way I live” today and I invite you to join me. I believe that when we do that, what happens in services will be different, incredibly powerful and fulfilling. Thanks for reading.