“Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things.” Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am he.”” (John 4:21–26, ESV)
Jesus does not dismiss this woman's religious questions and gives her an answer that she does not fully understand yet. He does not disparage the worship of Mt. Gerizim or Jerusalem, but he announces its obsolescence. However, he indirectly explains that Samaritan worship is not complete due to the scriptures that they held as legitimate. Jesus decisively sided with the Jews on this issue but not in a demeaning way. Jesus is the place where man and God meet, not the temple in Jerusalem or any mountain. The true worshipers will not be identified by their liturgy, but they will be characterized by spirit and truth. The Father is seeking them as Jesus seeks to save those who are lost. God is invisible and divine. Therefore, he must reveal himself for his creation to know him. This woman tells Jesus that she is looking for the Messiah that will teach them all things as the true prophet. Jesus stunning response is to identify himself as the promised one for whom she hopes.
Where do we get our liturgy? Why do we practice our worship the way we do? How do we navigate personal preference? There is much discussion about worship, and there have been times where people have mistakenly fought over style in what some call "worship wars." We must not seek to establish doctrine through our personal preferences, nor should we fail to engage in gatherings due to our desires not being met. In other words, we don't worship because there is a cool band or lights. We don't worship because they are sticking with good old fashioned hymns. This is not to say that we should not carefully think through what we are doing and why. It also does not mean that we should introduce just any old thing into our gatherings. We worship because our God is worthy and demands it. The determination of what is appropriate must come only from the Bible. It is our rule for faith and practice. We must worship in spirit and truth.