Worship can be confusing at times. People say a lot of things about worship. Some say that worship is what happens at a particular building at a particular time. Some say that worship is what you do: sing, pray, take communion and listen to a sermon. Some say that worship is how you do those things:
- Sing standing up, sing sitting down, sing with arms lifted high, or sing with no outward expression whatsoever.
- Pray short. Pray long. Pray in groups. Pray silently. Pray standing. Pray kneeling.
- Take communion each week. Once a month. Once a quarter. Use crackers and grape juice. Use real bread and real wine.
- The sermon should have stories. The sermons should not have stories. The sermon should be simple. The sermon should sound like you are in a seminary class.
Some say that worship with the church is not necessary. Just do your own thing alone with God. Others say that worship is about community and being with other believers.
Maybe you’ve felt the same. You know you want to connect with God in worship. But you are confused as to how. You’re not alone. She is confused too.
She is a Samaritan. She understands racism.
She is also a woman. She understands degradation in the ancient Middle East.
She is also an outcast. She understands rejection.
And so she shows up at the well at high noon. The proper people came early in the day when it was still cool. People like her waited for a time no one else would be there so she could avoid their whispers and stares. But Jesus is there. And he asks her for a drink.
The real thirst, however, is in her. And as her conversation with Jesus grows her confusion about worship wanes. Living water gave her clarity:
- Worship can happen with anyone. Even an outcast can have an audience with a King.
- Worship can happen anywhere. Jerusalem. Samaria. Church buildings and water wells.
- Worship can happen anytime. Morning. Noon. Or Night.
She discovered that worship had to do with seeing Jesus and finding he knows her—sin stained mistakes and all—and still loves her. You can make the same discovery.
And when you do, you discover one more thing about worship. Worship happens when we leave transformed. The woman put down her jar and picked up joy.
Worship can be confusing because of what people say. Next time you’re confused try following this woman to the well. Listen to what Jesus has to say about worship. You’ll stop concerning yourself with what others are saying. And you’ll find yourself worshiping instead.
— Excerpt from the BELIEVE Study Series by Randy Freeze