THURSDAY 26 FEBRUARY 2015
A Worship of God That is Complete
Romans 12:1-2 is indeed one of Paul’s intense theological reflections on our Christian calling. It undoubtedly had a far reaching impact not only in the spiritual lives of the Roman converts of his time, but also in the promotion of truly Christian life in the Church.
Today during the 2015 lent observance, is an opportunity for us as members of Christian communities to pay attention to Paul’s call to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice to God, to undergo the renewal of mind and heart and shun the attractions of the contemporary world. That is a state of mind influenced by the Spirit of God; it is something more powerful and meaningful than the sacrificial offerings of animals in the temple of Jerusalem. The Christian community as a locus of worship where a Christian can offer his/her own body to God rather than on a mountain (Ps. 2:6b, 40:8c) shows the highest development in the human understanding of God’s will about true worship. During the exodus Mount Sinai where Moses encountered God was the venue of worship. Then, during the period of kings, Solomon built and dedicated the temple of Jerusalem as a place of worship. However, at Jacob’s well the Samaritan woman argued with Jesus that her ancestors had built a rival venue for worship on Mount Gerizm. This prompted Jesus to give his unique teaching about the right place of worship:
“Believe me woman, the hour has come
when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in
Jerusalem. Indeed the hour is already here when true worshippers will
worship the Father in spirit and truth” (John 4:21, 23).
Certainly in our times, there are no more burnt offerings or scapegoats to hide behind. A Christian has to come forward and boldly offer oneself to God completely and without reserve. That is the meaning of fasting, charity and prayer during lent. A Christian worshipper should allow his/her spiritual and sacramental life bear meaning to the concrete experiences of life and human relationships.
+Bishop Mlungisi Pius Dlungwane
Diocese of Mariannhill