Thanks for writing – the lady who walks in late is wrong, and is in fact moved by a wrong spirit.
I’ve seen this many times, (if coming in late isn’t just a matter of disorganization in their lives) people with demonic or emotional or turmoil in their private lives are often influenced this way – they come in late on purpose (whether the spirit makes them do that or some emotional issue that opens the door, but they come in late to draw attention to themselves)
Sometimes there is spiritual pride involving putting a wall up so people see a facade, like they are someone people should see as mature and a leader – when in fact they are more immature than most or all those around. Sometimes it’s for protection so they won’t get hurt, etc…
And in a home meeting, sometimes it’s from a person who likes to be in charge but can’t be, so they draw attention to themselves. Either way, she is being critical and trying to be in charge and have influence, whether there is a demonic root or just immaturity, you would know better.
It also speaks to her lack of basic social graces that she cannot enter a room while others are worshipping and quietly take her place and join in – you need to ask her if when she comes in late, if she can just quietly join in so as not to disrupt others, and when worship is over it’s over, and no commentary is needed.
Either she will be teachable and apologize for disrupting, or she will be offended and not return – her decision and not your fault either way, but basic social skills say you don’t come in late, and if you do you don’t become critical of that which you weren’t a part of at the start…basic social skills learned in kindergarten, which she either lacks or knowingly violates so she can have attention and influence.
In the Greek, the word worship is: ‘proskuneo’. The word ‘pros’ means towards, and the word ‘kuneo’ means kiss. Literally then, worship is (context John 4:23-24) “a kiss towards the Father” in spirit and truth.
‘spirit’ in this setting means from one’s innermost being – from our spirit, our deepest part.
‘truth’ here means ‘purity’, pure motives, singular in focus.
Putting it together if we were there when Jesus first spoke those words to the woman at the well, He said this in John 4:23-24:
“But the hour is coming and now is, when the true covenant kissers in adoration of the Father shall do so from their innermost being, and with pure motives. For the Father seeks such to kiss Him in adoration. God is a Spirit; and they that kiss Him, must do so from their innermost being and with purity of motives.”
Pretty intense isn’t it?
Remember that in their day a kiss between friends was not romantic – like in the Middle East today, or Europe, where a kiss on the cheek is still the practice, in Jesus day it was a sign of being in covenant with one another.
This is why Judas’ kiss during the betrayal of Jesus was noted – it was a covenant kiss yet it was for betrayal, a slap in the face to Jesus in effect, a rejection of all that He stood for, a mockery in fact.
This is also why Paul said to greet one another with a holy kiss – a sign that I will never use you, mis-use you, speak ill of you, harm you – I am in covenant with you so I kiss you on the cheek as a confirmation all is well between us. That’s what it meant back then. In theory in the US, a handshake means that. Not the same though.
So when Jesus uses “to kiss towards” for the word “worship” He is saying it’s a covenant kiss on the cheek to the Father, given from our innermost being with pure motives of love and adoration.
So…the NT obviously then realizes there is a lot of latitude in how one may express themselves in that kiss to the Father. I Corinthians 14:26 says “How is it brethren when you come together? Every one of you has a Psalm…
And Ephesians 5:18-19 where Paul uses a play on words to take it to another level.
“Be not drunk (“saturated” is the word here in the Greek) with wine, which is excess, but be (same word: “saturated”) with the Spirit; speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs (songs you make up out of your spirit or flow out of your spirit), making melody in your heart to the Lord.”
(By definition a psalm is a poem/lyric accompanied by a stringed instrument and a hymn is a song sung without instruments of any kind; organs and church music came along centuries later)
And of course in that culture, worship could also involve kneeling or flat on the floor position, it could mean songs like above, but in actuality it seems to be any expression of that ‘kiss’ to the Father from our innermost being, our spirit, and given with pure motives.
That means – not worshipping because you want him to do something or answer a prayer, or giving thanks because that’s a way to get – it means pureness, as in Revelation 4:8 and 11, from your heart.
I regularly compliment the Father on things in nature. Last night I went outside to sit on our deck close to midnight – the moon was rising, the wind was blowing – and I just worshipped Him and told Him how I loved Him, what a beautiful night it was and thanked Him for making it so…that’s worship.
Two nights earlier we were driving at sunset and there were all sorts of colors and clouds and all, and I complimented and thanked Him for that – I am in the habit of using anything I can to just out of my spirit, express love and adoration and appreciation for all He does in our lives. It’s all a ‘kiss’ from (my) innermost being with purity to Him…that’s worship as much as a psalm or hymn or spiritual song.
Hope that helps!
Please send all personal emails or questions to me at firstname.lastname@example.org