Torch, Spring 1992

not this the Christ?" No heavenly host proclaimed Him that day, but we behold His glory . With his simple request for a drink of water the barriers she perceived between them-race and gender– disintegrated . No trumpet fanfare was heard by human ears , but angels watched as the stranger bridged heaven and earth. Divinity , genuinely thirsty , reached out to humanity. The Good Shepherd asked a favor of one of the sheep- and to this little lost lamb he expressed the truth that forever liberates Christianity of man-made barriers . "God is Spirit , and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth." The story would be beautiful no matter whose life Christ touched . Other scripture passages praise women God has blessed .. .women such as Lydia, the successful businesswoman who helped establish the Philippian church . And women such as Eunice , the faithful mother who raised Timothy to serve God wholeheartedly . But, as much as I share in praising these virtuous women , I must confess to incredible gratitude that the appointment at the well was with "the woman" -spiritually starved , lonely, disillusioned , a mess. The woman whose life he salvaged that day could have been me . To her Christ explained true worship. To one who had absolutely nothing to offer He mapped the way ; not to "this synagogue or that mountain ," but to the very throne room of God! "Worship ," he taught , "in truth ." Being called to worship " in spirit" has helped me understand why my Sunday participation has , at times , been more painful than glorious. "In body" worship looks right.. .but I remember moments of desperately wondering how a crowded pew could be so empty , why dropping my offering in the plate seemed hypocritical , why every song was out of tune. Those were times, I now believe , that I had come to church , but bypassed the well. I had come hoping tradition would bring me face-to-face with truth , expecting a few religious activities to fill a void I had created ...created by living Monday through Saturday empty of wonder , adoration , gratitude - worship "in spirit." "Worship .. .in truth." Surely this nameless woman who suddenly discovered that she was looking into the eyes of the Messiah understood "Worship is seeing Him!" How ironic in the light of the religious leaders back in Jerusalem, dutifully carrying on the work of praying and parading for all to admire . Rewarded were they with human accolades , but they missed the Savior. We can miss Him, too , if our heart-of-heart definition of worship is "to impress ." Impress whom? True worship focuses not on our credentials but on His crucifixion , not on the strength of our resume but on the power of His resun-ection . Our "amazing greatness" has been and ever will be a tragically fatal substitution for Christ' s "amazing grace ." The woman came to the well the very picture of emptiness . She left overflowing with the message which brought many of her Samaritan townspeople to the Messiah . What quiet miracle occurred in between? The woman at the well met the Living Water. She saw all that she was not in the glorious perspective of all that He is . And He called her to come ...beyond Jerusalem , above the mountain come and worship in spirit and in truth. Rebecca Baker, adjunct professor in the Department of Communication Arts at Cedarville College, directs drama productions and coaches speech recitalists. She has appeared in several Christian films and is involved with community drama through the Ohio Lyric Theatre and the Springfield Arts Council. She contributes to her local church ministry through drama. ;.