Christmas Eve: Spirit and Truth

By R. York Moore

Advent Devotional | December 24, 2022

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. 

—John 4:23 (Read John 4)

The sun broke loud that morning; budding trees and whistling birds echoed across The Ohio State University. 

Spring had arrived with passion, and our team of volunteers, students, pastors, and staff gathered to finalize our check-in after a week of events for the “Price of Life” anti-trafficking campaign. Hundreds had come to faith over the week that brought dozens of churches and organizations together, and we felt a moment of holiness still our souls as we gathered one final time to share reports. 

When I called the meeting to order, the room erupted into spontaneous praise. Loud and passionate prayers echoed through the space, a whistling in our souls like the birds darting across the campus—announcing the coming of spring.

Our unprompted worship came with a good weary, with an ache-in-our-bones kind that comes when you give it your all, leaving nothing on the table.

Over 6,000 volunteers had been “all in” for 18 months of passionate preparation. Now that the events were over, the fruit had been attested and we had borne witness to a harvest like nothing we’ve ever seen. 

Our aches and sleepy eyes could not hold back the song in our hearts, a song that refracted the sun of spring and the whistling birds heralding the end of winter. As we stood in awe, nobody had to instruct us to turn to a page in a hymnal, nobody had to lead our prayers—they burst forth from hearts that were ragged and full.

And I remembered—the Father is seeking worshipers who will worship Him in spirit and truth. 

The Greek word for seeking has some elasticity in it. It includes the metaphor of craving, wanting something so badly that you get up and take action to find it. Seeking also includes the concept of insisting or demanding, settling for nothing less. 

What our Heavenly Father is craving is for women and men who will so authentically pour themselves out in worship that what comes out of them is like the sun and song of spring. 

You can taste authentic worship when you are in its presence. While it takes many forms, it has some unifying threads. Tones of gratitude, highlights of joy, a deep sense of unworthiness, and a unifying chorus of awe. To be a witness to such things changes our perception of God Himself and the work of the Kingdom in and through our lives.

As we cheered at one another’s reports and spontaneously praised God, we had a sense of this kind of joyous worship. We felt the pleasure of the Father. 

When God finds what He is looking for in us—sincere and present worship—we can sense His nearness in a powerful way. We feel His pleasure coursing through our soul. We hear His whistle and feel the warmth of His light. 

This Christmas Eve, release your soul to God-hope again, lay bare all your burdens and joys, and worship Him in spirit and truth. 

Enter into His song and the light of His joy as He satisfies His cravings not simply in the work that you do, but in you. God is seeking worshippers—true, authentic worshippers who will bring their whole selves to Him.

Father, release my soul to be fully present to You this Christmas Eve. I worship You now in spirit and truth. May You find what You’re looking for in me and may I feel Your pleasure as we celebrate Your great love tomorrow. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

—R. York Moore serves the CCO as President, CEO, and National Evangelist.