Wednesday, January 14, 2009

John 4

It's day 4... so this morning I read John 4. A whole bunch of things jumped out at me from this passage, and I want to share a couple of them here.

In John 4:6 it says that Jesus was weary from his journey.

Pastor Nathan has been calling this time a "journey of consecration" in his blog. I like thinking of it as a journey rather than as a sacrifice or ritual... the idea that we're going somewhere is very appealing to me, and that has really been helping me keep my focus in the right place. Ritual is all about what you're doing; but the journey is all about the destination.

Yesterday, I could definitely feel my energy level go way down. On top of that, I didn't sleep very well the night before... so I've definitely been feeling weary. I even went to bed a few hours early last night. But I felt kinda guilty -- some of the old "Word of Faith" teachings and legalistic attitudes were trying to surface... stuff like, "If this is really a God thing, and if you were doing it right, you wouldn't be so tired, you wouldn't be struggling, you wouldn't have headaches..."

So that verse about Jesus being weary from His journey really jumped out at me this morning. If Jesus could be weary, then it isn't a sin to be weary.

The other part that caught my attention is the part where Jesus meets the Samaritan woman at the well. I guess that story always grabs my attention... but today, the part that I'm really thinking about is where Jesus says in verse 24 that "God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth."

When I was Oneness Pentecostal, we believed that we were the only ones who had the truth -- so we were the only ones who could worship in spirit and truth. Even when I moved into some more "mainstream" Pentecostal churches, we believed that you couldn't really "worship in spirit" without tongues or running around the sanctuary or falling down etc... in other words, if the worship experience wasn't extremely emotional, you didn't really "worship in spirit."

So if we must worship in spirit and truth, what does it really mean?

I have a few ideas, but I think I'll focus on that a bit in my "down times" today...

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