Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain or in Jerusalem will you worship the Father.”

John 4: 21

 

The people of Samaria believed that God had directed them to worship Him on Mount Gerizim, and despite the fact that their temple on that mountain had been destroyed almost 200 years earlier, they were still traveling there to make sacrifices and to engage in other acts of worship. This practice and the tradition behind it were no less important and central to the conduct of religious life than was the Jewish one of going to the temple on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem. Jesus is stating a radical proposition by saying that in the future worship will have an entirely new location and focus. In proclaiming this change, Christ is announcing the presence of God’s new kingdom come here on earth.

 

In the Kingdom of God as inaugurated by Jesus’ death and resurrection, the journey that people need to take to encounter God in no longer measured in miles and in hours of travel. Now it is both easier and far more challenging to undertake as now it involves the surrender of our hearts, minds, and souls to the lordship of Christ. In this new era of kingdom dwelling God calls upon His people to live in the expression of our transformed selves all of the time. There is no longer a separation between the sacred and secular for followers of Christ. Everything that we do, say, and think is a part of our personal liturgy of worship. Thus, all of our outward expressions of that worship are on full view for the world to see and to judge.

 

Although Christ eliminated the need for a holy mountain, He did not end the reality of holy ground in our world. However, in this new kingdom age followers of Christ carry with us the holy presence of Christ that makes holy ground of all that we touch. We should treat every step that we take as one that lands upon God’s select and precious turf. As every breath that we breathe is a gift from God, so also every word that we speak should be a gift of God’s love, grace, and righteousness to the world. This place where we live is filled with violence, trouble, hurt, and grief; so, Christ sends His people into it to bless all that we encounter with the peace of worship to His holy name.