July 12, 2008 Matthew

The Church is the People and Can be Anywhere

The Church is the people and can be anywhere

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.” Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 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. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.

John 4:16-24

Three places of worship are brought up in this discussion between Jesus and the Samaritan woman. There was the spot on the hill where the Samaritans worshiped, the temple in Jerusalem where the Jews worshiped, and then a secret place within our hearts where true worshipers worship. Jesus said that the Father is looking for the third kind. Not only that, the temple and the hill are obsolete; they are not sacred. You are obligated to worship in the place of your heart. It is the only true worship. Those who will worship God the Father must worship in spirit and truth. A temple, chapel, or cathedral, etc., might be a place to find quietness or solitude (or a lot of other things), but the idea that you need to go there to worship God is false for “the Most High does not dwell in houses made by hands, as the prophet says: ‘Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. What kind of house will you build for me, says the Lord, or what is the place of my rest? Did not my hand make all these things?’” (Acts 7:48-50)