The Journey 26: Transformation In My Parish
Read: John 4: 1-20
The auditions of the American Idol is going on in full swing. Today I believe the audition is going to take place in Texas. There are so many contestants who come and sing and try to impress the judges Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler and Randy Jackson so that their dreams take shape. When the judges pronounce the verdict the “You are going to Hollywood” the contestants shout with joy while others who are not fortunate to hear these words whimper and leave the hall desperate and sad. There are times when I as a clergy also goes through this motion. When you lead the worship as the celebrant, there are times where you feel through the comments and criticism that people make at the fellowship hour, after the worship service, that at least some are only interested grading your worship service, or your sermon, thus forgetting what the true essence of worship is all about.
Why do we come to church or attend the worship service?
On Thursday’s our themes is on “ transformation in our parish” where we meditate on John 4, on the encounter that the Samaritan woman had with Jesus. The Samaritan woman and Jesus exchange views ranging from drinking water from the well [ John 4:5-9], about living water [ v: 10], about her personal life [ v:16-18], and about her understanding of the true essence of worship [ v: 20-24]. In all these topics that she discussed, we find that through these interactions, Jesus confronted her understanding in all these aspects. One of the positive aspects that I find in the Samaritan woman is that through the interaction that she had with Jesus she goes back to her village, but with an entirely different understanding about herself and also about the essence of worship. What is unique about the Samaritan woman is the willingness to listen to the Lord, leave out her distorted understanding of life and worship and then depart from the company of the saviour with a new understanding about her life and worship. Coming to the church for worship is all about what Samaritan woman did. Come to the presence of the Lord, let Him confront you, listen to his Words, and we need to go back with a fresh understanding about our life, our call rather than sitting in the worship service with a closed mind and a stiff neck and at the end standing as a judge and evaluating the whole worship service. We are making a mockery of the true essence of worship.
Next time you attend a worship service think whether you are attending the worship service as a spectator, participant or a judge?
For Further Study: Galatians 1, 1 Thessalonians 5: 16-28
Let us Pray: Dear Lord we confess that our attitude while we worship you is sometimes not right. Give us the grace to sit at your feet to listen rather than to judge others while we are in worship. Amen