When Jesus told the Samaritan woman at the well in Sychar that He knew her relationship history, she was astonished. “Sir,” she said, “I can see that you are a prophet!”
But, not put off by the fact that He knew all about her, she seized the opportunity to ask Him a question about worship. “Why do you Jews say that Jerusalem is the only place to worship? From our ancestors until now, we Samaritans have worshipped on this mountain, Mount Gerizim.”
Jesus replied, “Believe Me, dear woman, the time is coming when it will no longer matter whether you worship the Father on this mountain, or in Jerusalem. You Samaritans know very little about the One you worship, while we Jews know all about Him; for salvation comes through the Jews. But the time is coming– indeed, it’s here now– when true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who worship Him that way. For God is Spirit, so those who worship Him must worship in spirit, and in truth.” John 4:21-24 NLT
God, our Father, can truly be worshipped anywhere. He is worshipped in churches all over the world, in quiet places in the home or outdoors, in the city streets, in the country fields, on mountain tops or in the river valleys. He is worshipped by some in the halls of government, and by others in lonely prison cells. At any time and at any place, He delights in the adoration of those who worship Him in spirit and in truth.
Jesus said that the Jews knew all about God, for salvation comes through the Jews. He Himself came to reveal God, His Father, first to the Jews among whom He walked, but also to the whole world. It is because of Him that we can first be reconciled to God, and then can come to know Him, to worship Him truly from our innermost beings.
Religious ceremony can be either a vehicle for true worship, or an empty performance, according to the sincerity and love of those involved. No task is so lowly that it cannot become an act of worship to the Father. At work and at play, we can worship Him in spirit and in truth– He is looking for those who will do this!