Friday, January 22, 2010

Spirit and Truth

"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.” The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things.” Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am he.” John 4:23-26

I have had the privilege to visit many beautiful houses of worship in my time. I have even been asked to preach in some great cathedrals and participate in some incredible liturgies. I am always amazed by the beauty and elegance that is visible. There is an awe that is tangible when visiting these places, especially those in Europe which are ancient buildings by American standards. Generations of the faithful have offered their wealth and their poverty to the glory of God and the buildings which are set apart for worship. And yet I can't help but think of the times when I have worshiped in simple little spaces, in simple little towns and villages overlooked by most of the world. Some of the most magnificent worship experiences have happened when I was in a humble little place. Worshiping in a large and glamorous place can be distracting. Worshiping in a small gathering all voices can be heard. Spirit and truth demand a transparent honesty of need, an open and available heart.

Jesus continues the incredible theological conversation with the woman. He has demanded she go to her husband and it is revealed that she has had many. Her life is laid bare before him, and aches to be known by God in complete honesty and with an open heart. She wants a relationship with God that can transform her inside and out, not dazzle her eyes and leave her broken and scarred.

Today, I want to live as honestly and openly as I can. I want to rejoice in the intimacy of my community, and the transparency by which we live. I am so grateful for the openness of heart, and I want to keep my heart open for the spirit of God moving in my life today. May we all have the courgae to continue the dialogue of the heart with Christ, so that we might ache to be known completely and honestly by God. And may we know God's healing love today, transforming all the places and relationships we have hidden, glossed over and cover with pretty veils which mask terrible scars. May we know God today.

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