Spiritual view: We can’t fake our worship

PUBLISHED: 08:30 25 October 2020

Ilford Salvation Army Captain John Clifton has been watching football with 'fake crowds'.

Ilford Salvation Army Captain John Clifton has been watching football with 'fake crowds'.


In the midst of the uncertainty and confusion of the pandemic, it has been reassuring to have the sure and definite highs and lows of the emotions of following a football team.

I love football and enjoy watching my team, even if that is confined to my sofa rather than the stadium.

An anomaly of lockdown TV football coverage has been we can choose if want to have fake crowd noises or the sound of the empty stadium.

While the simulated sound is not a bad effort, you can definitely tell it’s fake. The “crowd” reactions are delayed and the chants that bit too repetitive. You just can’t fake it.

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During lockdown, our congregation at The Salvation Army has been broadcasting our Sunday morning meetings on Facebook Live.

Preparation for worship is different. We don’t have our usual routines that we had pre-pandemic.

It might be tempting to “fake it” by maybe catching up later in the day, fast forwarding, and not really being there as we bring ourselves before God as a community, being together before Him in that moment.

John 4:23-24 says: “Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshippers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshippers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshippers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”

You can’t fake the crowd noise, and we can’t fake our worship either. Let us worship in the Spirit and in truth even during these bewildering times.

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