John 4:24 CEB
God is spirit, and it is necessary to worship God in spirit and truth.”
This really struck me this morning. All these months that we have been having to worship online, many have been calling what we are doing “Virtual worship.” I think we would be more accurate in calling it “worshipping in spirit and truth.”
Although we are not physically together, the act of worship, even on YouTube, brings us together in spirit. It becomes something much bigger than the 30 or 40 people who used to gather on Sunday mornings because it reaches out to persons who do not, for whatever reasons, go to an actual physical church but seek spiritual community. That spiritual community gathering online reminds us that we are not alone, even if we are by ourselves as we sit in front of TVs and computer screens with our candle, bread and cup. When we share the cup with the Elder on the screen, we are sharing not just with Jesus, but also with people we cannot see, but of whose presence we can be assured, if for no other reason than because we can see that there are other devices connected to the service at the same time we are.
We will all be doing worship a bit differently from one another. We might be attending online worship in sweats or pajamas instead of “Sunday Clothes” and lounging on the couch instead of sitting up straight in a wooden pew. We might sing along with the Sanctuary Singers or simply listen to their voices. But however we present ourselves for online worship, in spirit and in truth we are in God’s presence.
When we do return to in person worship, we will continue to offer that online connection to those who cannot be with us physically, so that we may continue to worship in spirit and in truth in a much greater community.
Glorious God, we are so grateful that we are able to come into your presence on Sunday mornings. May we remember that, even though separated by current events, we are all one community at worship, in spirit and in truth. Amen.