Felecia Wesley: The hour cometh when the true worshippers shalt….
Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 26, 2020
For the Salisbury Post
Jesus had a conversation with the woman at the well, as it is referred to in St. John chapter 4. When one reads the account, it is tempting not to focus on her sinful life (five husbands and counting); her dirty little secret, that it is possible to be fixated and miss out on the volume of eternal spiritual truths and amazing teachings from our Lord on “discipleship, soul-winning” and the master plan for evangelism. As one reads further, it becomes clear that this woman is also spiritual like most people are, knowing a thing or two about the scriptures. So, when she perceived that Jesus was a prophet, she wanted to let him know that he was not the only one in town as far as religion was concerned — no different from our days. In verse 20, she brought up the subject of worship. Little did she know that the “object” of worship was standing right before her and speaking with her. Jesus, perceiving her ignorance, caringly and lovingly began a teachable moment, giving not only to her but to us all, this divine discourse of true worship: Why we worship, how we worship and whom we worship. In verses 21-24, Jesus gave us the “blueprint,” the format for worship. He admonished us in verse 21 that the “hour” cometh (calamities, unprecedented circumstances, etc), that will make it impossible to congregate at regular places of worship. He further added in verse 23, that this hour is now here upon us (coronavirus pandemic) that the “true worshippers (believers in Christ, the church), will worship the Father in spirit and in truth for he seeks such to worship him.
In verse 24, lest we forget and ask how can we worship without coming to our places of worship? Jesus reminds us that God is a spirit and thus, can be worshipped anywhere at any time. So, no excuse.
We all are feeling the pinch of this “hour” (COVID-19, coronavirus) and its global impact on all sectors of our lives. However, Jesus’ teachings in these verses go far deeper in this chapter; God is not a train to be stopped by any pandemic or epidemic, he is in full control. And like the psalmist David said in Psalm 57:1, “in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be over past.” Beloved in Christ, this too shall pass. Let us keep worshiping and trusting despite of our present calamity. God knew this day was coming, that is why he aforetime gave the knowledge for technological advancements for this season. Let us harness it and use our available technology for his glory. Accordingly, churches across the globe are meeting for worship and services; be it tele-church (we ourselves had this gone Sunday), web-church, online virtual church and so forth. As we continue to lift our Lord in the face of coronavirus, the devil is terrified, the believers are edified and God is glorified.
Felecia Wesley is associate pastor of Rowan International Church in Salisbury.