"God is spirit, and His worshippers must worship in
spirit and truth". (John 4:24)
When Jesus met a woman from another religion as recorded in
John 4, he didn't insult her, mock her, or tell her she was wrong, he just
pointed out that there was more. That more, was a relationship with the living
God. "You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know,
for salvation is from the Jews".
Jesus went on to say - "Yet a time is coming and has now
come when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and
truth, for they are the kind of worshippers the Father seeks". In other
words, this is something from the heart based on love, not something out of
man-made-rules based on fear.
By the end of the story this woman is a believer, as is the
whole village - "we know that this man really is the Saviour of the world". How
did this happen? Through the woman's testimony - "He told me everything I ever
did". This woman had some history behind her! It sounded like she ate men for
breakfast. She was on her sixth man, but her heart was aching inside from
loneliness and guilt. Jesus comes along and reveals the state of her heart,
takes her burden and forgives her. She is transformed and becomes a
worshipper. Her heart has been dealt with; the overflow of sin has been
dealt with; out of her heart now, comes an overflow of love.
So many people are bound in fear, in rules and regulations,
trying to appease a distant god who, if we don't get it right, will strike us
down. We put these gods on our mantle pieces or pay money to have our future
told by them. We wear charms or amulets, or put them on our walls or in our
cars. Good luck charms and cross fingered superstition governs our lives. We
fast or tithe or go on pilgrimage hoping to please this god of ours. Often the
colour red is associated with this appeasing of the gods.
But the way has already been opened into a love
relationship with God through the blood-red colour of the life-blood of Jesus,
who, as with the woman from Sychar in Samaria, has taken our burden of sin and
guilt and borne it in his body on the cross. All we have to do is come and bow
the knee at the cross, receive His forgiveness and become a worshipper
out of a heart full of love, for the One who would do this for us.
Which religion? The choice is yours, but I would rather
worship out of love, not fear, and out of a heart forgiven. Then like the woman
from Sychar in Samaria, I can begin to get to know this wonderful God of love.
Then the relationship can begin -----------