In spirit and truth…
We’ve been talking about spiritual practices for a few weeks now as a series for Lent. We’ve heard that a spiritual practice is something like prayer, seeking God’s will, fasting, and worship. It’s something we do intentionally to make space to keep company with Jesus and learn to know him better. Or, if you prefer, spiritual practices help us to get to age 70 or 50 or 30 without succumbing to crippling cynicism or to terminal grumpiness.
Today, we’re talking about worship as a spiritual practice. Worship as making room for Jesus in our life together here and now.
What is Christian worship? Christian worship is firstly God’s gift to us. As we worship God through his Son Jesus Christ, we are drawn by the Spirit to share the intimate spiritual communion of the three Persons of the Trinity. We learn to know God in his love, which is freely extended from Father to Son to Spirit and all around the circle of the Holy Trinity. We learn to know and feel that love within us and among us. Friends, Christian worship aims high.
What is Christian worship? It is also our response to God. We offer our service to God, in praise and thanksgiving, and in service to others. In this way, the life of God flows through us into the world, in Jesus’ name. Christian worship is linked to our witness and service out in the world.
Christian worship may be God’s gift to us. It may also be our response to God. But sometimes it feels like neither one nor the other. Isn’t that so?
These are the three things I want to look at today: worship as God’s gift; worship as our response; worship that is in spirit and in truth, as Jesus said:
God is spirit,
and those who worship God must worship
in spirit and truth.