Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.
When my children are growing up, I stress the importance of being truthful.
"One lie always leads to another," I admonish. "It's a bad habit that's hard to break once you start."
"Even a little lie?" they ask.
"Yes, even a little one. Lies are nothing but trouble. I always expect the truth from both of you."
But, no matter how much I preach it, nothing drives this point home to them better than when we watch the movie, "The Sound of Music", together.
The Von Trapp children have just returned home from an attempted visit with Maria, their governess, who has retreated to the abbey. When their father, Captain Von Trapp, questions where they have been and what they've been up to, they do not want to tell him the truth. Afraid he will be angry with them.
If memory serves, the scene plays out like this:
"We went berry picking," Kurt announces.
"Berry picking? Well, where are they?" the Captain asks. "Show me the berries."
"Uh, we don't have them . . ."
"Don't have them?"
"Because, we ate them all!"
Oh, I see, you ate every one? What kind of berries were they?"
"Blueberries, sir," Friedrich says.
"Blueberries? Isn't it a bit early in the year for blueberries?"
"They were strawberries! It's been so cold lately, they turned blue!"
Says the knowing Captain, "Well, since you've stuffed yourselves with delicious berries, you must be full. I'll simply ask Cook to cancel your dinners."
Much to their chagrin and dismay.
If they had only told the truth in the first place, they wouldn't be in this predicament.
I pause the film and address my children.
"Now, what do you think about telling lies?"
"Bad idea," Daniel says with utmost seriousness.
"Very bad," Sarah agrees.
"You can expect us to tell the truth, Mom. Right, Sarah?"
Has telling a lie ever gotten you in hot water?
Will you pray with me?
We are so thankful, Father, to be able to worship You in Spirit and in truth. When we are tempted to tell a lie, even a "white" one, stop us before we speak. Help us to always be truthful with You, with ourselves, and with others. Amen.
Psalms 118 or 145
Acts 4:18-21, 23-33