Growing up, I was allowed to watch cartoons on a Saturday morning while waiting for Dad to fix French toast for breakfast. (Just a glimpse into my childhood; it was the only thing Dad could make!)  As I enjoyed the moments of laughter that would accompany “Bugs Bunny” and “The Road Runner,” the ABC network would also squeeze into this time frame some teaching moments.  One of these snippets was called, “Conjunction Junction!” (Remember, “What’s your function?”) It was in front of the television where I learned more about conjunctions than in Mrs. Thompson’s class. How to use these short, simple words and the difference they made.  As I got older, I realized that God’s Word was filled with incredibly important conjunctions.  “For the wages of sin is death, BUT the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Rom. 6:23, KJV). That may be the most important conjunction ever written.  Unfortunately, many believers are choosing to use “or” when God desires for us to use “and”.

One passage where this takes place is in the story of Jesus and the Samaritan woman.  As the discussion turns towards the difference in the Worship practices of Jews and Samaritans, Jesus says, “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” (John 4:23, HCSB).  The Truth is found in the person of Christ. The Spirit is the Holy Spirit who combines with our own essence to truly ignite worship.  John Piper says, “The fuel of truth in the furnace of our spirit does not automatically produce the heat of worship.  There must be ignition and fire.  That is the Holy Spirit.” [1]

There are churches too numerous to count that are choosing whether to Worship in Spirit, or to Worship in Truth, but not taking advantage of the opportunity that Christ gives us to Worship freely in and through both!  This kind of Worship allows us to do so with a greater understanding of the truth that Worship is coming before a Holy God in reverence.  The Hebrew definition says, “to prostrate oneself.” [2]   Author Kelly Kapic reminds us that “the path of pride burdens us with defensiveness, while the way of humility frees us to receive teaching and correction.”[3] Yet we also can come to Worship with the Spirit of excitement and confidence that being a child of God reflects. (Ignition and Fire!)  “Rock of Ages” has great Biblical truth, but sung with the enthusiasm of a funeral dirge is it really incorporating the “Spirit” of Worship that Jesus was describing.  At the same time, just because we modulate up one more half step on the last chorus of “Your Grace is Enough” doesn’t mean we have achieved anything outside of a nice musical embellishment.  However, when we come to worship in the sense of both Spirit and Truth, it is then an outward expression of inward living and loving.

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.  Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (Romans 12:1-2 NIV) Offering ourselves throughout the week as living sacrifices to God, in everything we do is our true Worship. This does away with another false dichotomy of “Secular vs. Sacred,” when we realize that everything we do, we do to the Glory of God. (Colossians 3:17) We can then come together for a corporate Worship experience where we are doing so in Spirit AND in Truth!

[1] John Piper, Desiring God – Meditations of a Christian Hedonist (Colorado Springs; Multnomah Books,2011), 82

[2] NAS Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible with Hebrew-Aramaic and Greek Dictionaries (La Habra: 1998)

[3] Kelly Kapic, A Little Book for New Theologians (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2012)  Kindle 615, 626