John 4:21-24 “21 Jesus told her, ‘Believe Me, woman, an hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know. We worship what we do know, because salvation is from the Jews. 23 But an hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth. Yes, the Father wants such people to worship Him. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”(HCSB)
In this passage Jesus addresses a common misconception of ours as we view Christian community. For the Samaritan women the pressing issue was where (what location) and what (what kind of stuff do we have to do). Worship was an issue of circumstance an issue of the external and location. Jesus shows the woman that Christian community and all that it entails is not so much about what or where but about who. Who is God and where He is, is …every time our church community changes in what (externals) or where (this place or that time) we are reminded that our community transcends and goes beyond what or where and remains fixed in the great and grand Who!what is all defining! The Father is looking for those who worship Him in spirit and truth. This means that our community is defined by having an intimacy with God, Himself, in a manner consistent with who He is.
So anyway, how does all this relate to our church recently moving to a new location (from conducting services in a house) and now moving to a new time slot on Sunday mornings? Are you just taking us on another theological rant, you ask? The relation to our situation as a church is simply this: every time our church community changes in what (externals) or where (this place or that time) we are reminded that our community transcends and goes beyond what or where and remains fixed in the great and grand Who! You see, times change, ministries change, locations change but our Lord Jesus does not because He does not need to, as He is and always has been all that can be! It’s funny because I think that often times a change can be seen as an opportunity for us to become something and truly get somewhere. How cute is the idea that our Christian community can move forward due to where, what and when. How interesting it is that we can do eternal things in an eternal community based upon a bunch of things that will soon disappear and rot (yes, I am being sarcastic). But what Jesus shows us here and elsewhere as well, is that our community does not go forward based upon what, where, or when but based upon who Jesus is and what He has done on the mountain of Golgotha. And so, rather than seeing the changes as reasons to have hope in changes we see changes as reminders that we live and exist on the forever reliability of the one who is the I AM and not the changeability of the small where we are. So, I encourage you, church, may the changing of the what’s, where’s and when’s of our church bring us deeper into the unchanging eternal glorious perfections of the Who who has given us a building to reside in not made with hands but built with the materials of Christ Crucified Himself!