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 (ἀλλὰ) the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for such the Father seeks to worship him.” (Jn 4: 21-23)

We” worship what “we know” (οἴδαμεν), says our Lord to the not-Orthodox, Samaritan woman, while you worship what you “do not know” (οὐκ οἴδατε). Because salvation is “from” us, the Orthodox who “know” the truth. However, neither you, nor we, are yet “true worshipers.” Thus Jesus goes on to say, “But,” – and please note this “but,” – the Father still seeks “true worshipers,” who will worship Him not only in truth, but “in spirit and truth.”

Worship “in spirit” is not something I can conjure up from inside me, nor “master,” as I might a course in theology or liturgy. The governing Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life “breathes where He will,” and comes and goes in ways we “do not know” (cf. Jn 3: 8). So let me remember this on yet another Sunday, as I prepare for worship, and humbly ask Him to “come, and abide in us.” For such the Father “seeks” to worship Him.

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