A rose by any other name…
“Sir,” the woman said, “you must be a prophet. So tell me, why is that you Jews insist that Jerusalem is the only place of worship, while we Samaritans claim it is here at Mount Gerizim where our ancestors worshipped?”
There’s a girl who gets what we need to get. Her name is Juliet. Shakespeare’s heroine is not allowed to associate with Romeo because he is a Montague. Juliet ponders this. It’s only his name that’s the enemy. She figures he is what he is, even though he may be a Montague. What is so special about a name? Juliet knows that a rose, even if it were called something else, would smell just as sweet. So Romeo would still have the perfection she sees, even if he were not called Romeo.
There’s another girl who gets it, too. She doesn’t have a name, but is known as the woman at the well. I bet she truly sees perfection in Jesus. She asks Him a question He must have loved to answer.
“Sir,” she wonders in the midday sun, “You must be a prophet, so does it really matter WHERE we worship?”
“No,” Jesus replies. He tells her—and, in turn, all of us—that the location of worship is not as important as the attitude of worship.
What Christians need to take from this is that we, like Jesus, need to get to where the people are. We have all heard, “My husband won’t go to church,” or “I can’t my kids to worship.”
Then bring worship to your loved ones. Jesus met the woman midday at the well. Those who only worship—or claim to worship—on tree stumps or on sandy beaches need us to go to them. SHOW them worship. TEACH them worship. EXPERIENCE worship in their company.
Or keep nagging them to come to church. But aren’t you tired of that? Aren’t they tired of hearing you?
Meet them where they are. Take Jesus with you. He’ll be there.
PRAYER: Lord, help me use roses (or nature, science, music, art, baseball practice, traffic, mud puddles, winding roads…) to show those I love how much I love to worship You. Amen.A Rose by any other name…