IN SPIRIT AND TRUTH
(Thursday, May 18)
Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” (Jn 4:21-24)
It’s not enough, to worship God “in truth.” We can profess the right Creed, we can be baptized in the water of the right Church, calling ourselves “Ortho-dox” (“right” worship-ers), and we can “know what we worship,” if we also study the meaning(s) of Orthodox liturgy and theology. All this is within our power, if we want all-of-the-above. However, it is not within our power to worship God “in Spirit,” nor to be born of water “and the Spirit” (Jn 3:5), because only God, Who *is* Spirit, as the Lord says to the Samaritan Woman, can fill us with His grace, if *He* wants. “The Spirit breathes where He wishes,” as Christ tells Nikodemus, “and you hear His sound, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
We know that God does “want” to fill us with His Spirit, because “the Father is seeking such to worship Him,” such “true worshippers” who worship Him in both “Spirit and truth.” But I’m reminded today of the obvious fact that *we* can’t control Him. We can only clear away the obstacles to receiving His “living water,” like our resentments against Him, ourselves and others, as best we can. And we need to be willing to receive His grace, because He does not force Himself upon us. But we also need patience and faith, when we have “dry spells,” because God is God, and He knows what to do with us and when to do it. “The hour is coming, and now is,” He says, – because for some of us it is “coming,” at any given time, and for others of us it is “now,” at that same time. Thy will not mine be done with me today, Lord, and thank You for all of it.