The scene is a mountain in Samaria, a well, and a woman fetching water. You know the one? Sure you do. She’s rather taken aback that a Jewish man is asking her for a drink.
The part of the conversation I’ve been reflecting during these days of lockdown is the part where she asks Jesus about living waters. His responses shifts her to comment on the correct place to worship, “Our fathers worshipped on this mountain though you say that Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.”
I find Jesus’ response to this is comforting during this season of closed churches. Especially, these holy days. Jesus says, “Believe me, woman, the hour is coming when you will worship God neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. The hour is coming – indeed it is already here – when true worshippers will worship (God) in spirit and truth; that is the kind of worshipper (God) seeks. God is spirit and those who worship must worship in spirit and truth.”
It seems to me that Jesus is saying that the place of worship does not need to be inside brick buildings, that it needs to be in that inner space of our human bodies. Yet, those brick spaces offers us the gifts of Eucharist and community. This pandemic time is depriving us of these gifts. Or, is it?
These words of Jesus are pure gift to us in our current time. Actually, at any time. As we reflect on his words, we find solace in that we are God’s temples of flesh. We are the church. We are the true worshipers who worship in spirit and truth. Jesus’ words are not empty words. We can trust that as we worship in spirit and truth that we will be nourished – pressed down and overflowing! We shall not find ourselves lacking in God’s abundant grace and nourishment.
Normally, this grace would send us out to communities. Social distancing has gotten in our way, for the most part. I hope that you are finding creative ways to reach out. If not, it is enough to relax in the abundance of God’s goodness – pressed down and overflowing! It’s a kind of worship that God seeks.