Learning to Kneel-One

Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker;*

imageIf you have ever paddled the quiet waters of a remote lake, gently placing the blades into the water so as not to churn the stillness around you…

If you have ever chanced upon the grandeur of a mountain vista or a verdant valley or the deep crimson of a desert sunset and found yourself quietly absorbing the beauty…

If you have ever held a newborn, warm and taking his first few breaths, and had no words to utter…

… you are familiar with the feelings that overtake you as you truly enter the presence of the Living God.

Many a sanctuary this coming Sunday will be filled, not with awful, prayerful silence overwhelmed by the presence of God, but the noise of a hundred casual conversations that grow slowly louder as more of the brethren enter the room. Bibles will remain closed, guitars will be tuned, and children will play.

As if God will appear at the appointed hour, like the train from Bakersfield, and all we need to do is to be there to meet Him.

Reverence is the first lesson in learning to kneel. This requires a change of attitude and a soul attuned to the Omnipresent God rather than the culturally popular Compartmentalized God. My next post will begin here, unpacking the twin threads of omnipresence and reverence and noting how a heightened awareness of both can radically change our times of worship. This coming Sunday however, enter your sanctuary or meeting room and try sitting quietly, making yourself aware of His enveloping presence. Pray for the service. Pray for the visiting family sitting behind you. Pray a Psalm. See if others follow your lead as the moments tick by toward the first notes of a song. See if your preparation hasn’t brought minutely closer to the throne.

Grace and peace to you.

*Psalm 95:6

image Joshua Conley

2 thoughts on “Learning to Kneel-One”

  1. I remember when Sunday morning worship used to be this way 30 years ago. I have been searching to experience that reverence ever since. Too often, Sunday services begin and end like the Friday Night Social, and the reverent approach to God’s throne is found alone in quiet places. The intent and value of corporate worship is degraded or lost. How do we turn a Christian culture back to real corporate worship as intended?

    1. The Christian culture has allowed itself to be guided by the larger culture which, in its postmodern reasoning, encourages a values-free, judgment-free, free-to-be-you-and-me casualness towards everything. This is abetted in the Church by a misunderstanding and misapplication of the seeker-friendly model that says we must make it easy and comfortable for people to approach the throne. Unlike Isaiah (ch 6) who feared coming near because his corrupted character made him fear for his life, we take a more casual approach to the holiness of God like the sons of Aaron (Lev 10). We are Uzzah’s (2 Sam 6) saved by grace.

      How do we turn it back? It begins with leaders who worship as you do. Leaders whose model of reverence brings a weight upon the cackling and carrying on. It begins with the first step into a silently murmuring sanctuary, one where the heads of the people are bowed in prayer or bent toward the scriptures. It is a sense of reverence so great that one is tempted to remove their shoes because they are on hallowed ground.

      God bless you and keep you.

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