advent | day four.

It’s #samjyogaadvent day 4 and the theme I chose for today is WORSHIP.

Jesus tells us in John 4, “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such to worship Him.” (v.23).

Borrowing from the internet (I’ll cite at the end), “worship of God is not to be confined to a single geographical location or necessarily regulated by the temporary provisions of Old Testament law. With the coming of Christ, the separation between Jew and Gentile was no longer relevant, nor was the centrality of the temple in worship. With the coming of Christ, all of God’s children gained equal access to God through Him. Worship became a matter of the heart, not external actions, and directed by truth rather than ceremony.

In Deuteronomy 6:4, Moses sets down for the Israelites how they are to love their God: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” Our worship of God is directed by our love for Him; as we love, so we worship. Because the idea of “might” in Hebrew indicates totality, Jesus expanded this expression to “mind” and “strength” (Mark 12:30; Luke 10:27). To worship God in spirit and truth necessarily involves loving Him with heart, soul, mind and strength.

True worship must be “in spirit,” that is, engaging the whole heart. Unless there’s a real passion for God, there is no worship in spirit. At the same time, worship must be “in truth,” that is, properly informed. Unless we have knowledge of the God we worship, there is no worship in truth. Both are necessary for satisfying and God-honoring worship. Spirit without truth leads to a shallow, overly emotional experience that could be compared to a high. As soon as the emotion is over, when the fervor cools, so does the worship. Truth without spirit can result in a dry, passionless encounter that can easily lead to a form of joyless legalism. The best combination of both aspects of worship results in a joyous appreciation of God informed by Scripture.

The more we know about God, the more we appreciate Him. The more we appreciate, the deeper our worship. The deeper our worship, the more God is glorified.

This melding of spirit and truth in worship is best summed up by Jonathan Edwards, the 18th-century American pastor and theologian. He said, “I should think myself in the way of my duty to raise the affections [emotions] of my hearers as high as possibly I can, provided that they are affected with nothing but truth.” Edwards recognized that truth and only truth can properly influence the emotions in a way that brings honor to God. The truth of God, being of infinite value, is worthy of infinite passion.”

I love this particular explanation of worshipping in spirit and truth because it touches on why yoga can be and is a part of my personal worship.

In Deuteronomy 6:4, Mark 12:30, and Luke 10:27, we’re told to worship with out strength and our might; our actual BODIES and our physical strength are a part of our worship. And yoga is my expression.

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