Bowing, kneeling…humility, reverence

“Every man’s measurement is determined by his responses
when he is on his knees before God.”

J. Otis Yoder, When You Pray

(a woman worships in silence alone, in a small Florentine chapel in Florence, Italy / Julie Cook / 2007)

I grew up in a Christian denomination that included a great deal of kneeling throughout its services—
I became quite comfortable early on, being on my knees when I came before God…
be there a cushioned kneeler or a bare floor.

I was also accustomed to solemnly bowing if I ever crossed in front of the altar.
Bowing was a sign of respect and reverence as the church’s cross was center-point above the altar.
I would also genuflect, a slight kneel, before and after entering or exiting my pew.

Reverence and humility offered to and for God—both deeply ingrained in my being long ago.

I carry that same sense of respect and reverence with me to this day.

I humble myself before God.

I do so because I am reminded of Moses coming before the Great I AM, and being told to remove his
sandals because he was standing on Holy ground. (Exodus 3:5)

Each of our houses of worship, consecrated to the Lord, becomes Holy ground.

It is why I will offer myself as a humble servant when entering a House of Christian Worship.
It is why I will kneel in the quiet of solitude when I pray alone, be it at home or
someplace else, whenever I come before the Lord my maker.

O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our maker.
For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture,
and the sheep of his hand…

Psalm 95:6-7

Yet oddly kneeling and bowing seem to have become quite the hot item as of late.

And it has nothing to do with the worship of God but rather the worship of man.

Last month the in vogue thing was the wearing of masks…
that is now replaced with a demanding that one should kneel or bow…
as a sign of servitude to another human being.

Bowing and or kneeling are now required by the ‘madness mob’ as an act of contrition.
It is demanded by those who deem that you and I are either the wrong skin color
or that we are on the wrong side of their movement—think Seattle and their
new 6 city block zone that is now proclaimed as a “new” independent country
within a country.

I don’t bow or kneel to man.
I bow and kneel to God—plain and simple.

We must respect our fellow man as we strive to serve mankind with our actions and heart…
but our kneeling and bowing…our worship is reserved but for One and for One alone.

During my marriage ceremony, the priest asked that my soon to be husband and myself
would step up to the altar and kneel–this as he proceeded to bless us.

We were kneeling at the altar, before the cross, as a sign
of our respect to God…we knelt, inviting God to please come and be a part of this new journey
that we were about to embark upon….we knelt asking for His blessing of our union–
two becoming one.

I am now deeply perplexed as I watch human beings demanding that other human beings kneel
and bow down before them—and if one does not comply…the result, with the least being ridicule
and the common being bodily harm.

What have we become to one another?

There was a wonderful story this past week about a Georgia State Patrol officer who had
gone to work a protest.
He, as have officers all over our country been told to do, was asked by the crowd to kneel
before them in order to show his contrition and respect.

He stated that he has respect, otherwise he would not have given up vacation time in order to
come oversee a protest in hopes of keeping everyone safe…but that he will only kneel…
to God.

That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven,
and of those on earth, and of those under the earth,
and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

Philippians 2:10-11

11 comments on “Bowing, kneeling…humility, reverence

  1. says:

    Thanks for these words, Julie. When we show the proper respect towards our God, He will bless this land. When we show respect towards God, He will hear our prayers. When we set aside all the madness being fed us by the media and worship the very words they pour into our minds, we have tarnished our respect for God. We can’t continue on like this. Kneeling for a cause is the same as setting the cause up as an idol.

  2. hatrack4 says:

    I have talked to a few black friends in the past. They state it as fact that if they were to be pulled over for speeding that they will be removed from their vehicles and beaten. If this is what they believe, then they will react in an irrational manner. The police are trained to respond with force when such reactions are made, like resisting arrest. We could totally fix the problem with the police force, but the prejudice regarding the police will still be there and we will still have a problem.

    Kneeling is a sign of them having power over us, not a sign of contrition or any of that stuff. And I agree with Kathy, it would be like bowing before idols.

    • I totally agree Mark— their asking for contrition, for apologies for all committed wrongs for the past 300 years, be they real or imagined, has nothing to do with apologies or remorse or forgiveness— it has everything to do with control and instead of a mutual ground, it creates a deeper and more resentful divide— it is the worship of a man made idol!!!!!

  3. Tricia says:

    Yes kneeling seems to be the in thing now and like the masks it’s all about control. I had to stop watching videos of people doing it, cops especially. I can understand why they felt they had no choice but it’s still disturbing. Like Maoist culture purges.

  4. Well said, Julie. If people want to kneel, we have churches for that. If you really like masks, you can actually wear a head covering, too! So church is the place we kneel, bow, cover ourselves, and learn how to live in peace, with love and unity, and heal all our issues with authority, because we have an Authority over us who is perfect.

    That’s what makes all of this rubbish so blasphemous. We kneel to God, not to one another. “Together Alone,” is a total slogan slam, because “together” literally means “to gather,” as in the church.

  5. Pastor Cathy says:

    When I arise from kneeling, I am lighter in action, the same as some one took weight off from the shoulders.

  6. Dawn Marie says:


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