The Old Testament is filled with systems and commands for the worship of God. The Bible tells us who could perform sacrificial acts at particular times, what a person should wear, and how often ceremonies must take place. In many ways, it is very rigid. The New Testament, on the other hand, says almost nothing about outward acts of worship, especially in corporate settings. Why?
Without spoiling too much, I believe this is because the teaching of Jesus takes the outward, visible performances of worship and turns them inward on the heart. So, where once God was primarily worshipped in the temple, now the bodies of Christians are temples of the Holy Spirit and God can be worshipped anywhere. Where once the sins of people were transferred to slaughtered animals, now the sins of believers are given to Jesus through repentance and faith and they have been atoned for once and for all. Where once a consecrated priest would ritually wash himself and put on special clothing, now a dirty beggar in tattered clothing can freely approach God through faith in Jesus Christ, the great high priest.
Perhaps this new attitude and access for worship is stated most clearly when Jesus talks to a sinful woman in John 4 and tells her about the true nature of worship. There, He says that those who wish to truly worship God must worship Him “in spirit and truth.” That sounds lofty and sophisticated, but what does it mean? How do I do that every day? What does it look like in my life?
Now I definitely won’t spoil it too much. This Sunday we’re going to be talking about the true nature of worship. What is it to magnify the God of the universe? I hope you can be there. It will be a great Sunday.
For the sake of His name,