“O come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!” (Ps. 95:6)
“He said to me: ‘O mortal, stand up on your feet, and I will speak to you.’” (Ez. 2:1)
I don’t trust a person who doesn’t get on their knees. I also don’t respect a person who doesn’t stand up. There is a time to kneel before God—in adoration, confession, need, or humility, as we are invited to do in today’s first lesson. And there is also a time to stand before God, as God commands Ezekiel to do in today’s second lesson.
As I have thought about these two postures—kneeling and standing—during these recent days, how I wish that the races would do both together.
Just think of all the healing, understanding, and strength that would happen if people of all colors, all creeds, all nationalities would kneel before God together, while asking God to heal all that divides us. Just think of all the healing, understanding, and strength that would happen if all races stood together, while also pledging to raise up all those who had been brought to their knees because of injustice, racism, or prejudice.
I believe that if we don’t kneel and stand together, we will fall together. All races need to kneel together before our awesome God because there are things we can only hear in adoration and praise, in grief and surrender. All races need to stand together because there are things we can only hear as we stand in the full stature of being made in God’s image.
People who refuse to kneel are either worshipping themselves or some other idol, and not the God who stands over all creation. People who refuse to stand up for what is right and to stand against what is wrong, are squandering the grace that Jesus won for us on the cross.
If all races knelt and stood together, justice would reign in our land and bigotry and racism would evaporate. If we knelt and stood together, no-one would ever lose their life by someone kneeling on their neck. If we knelt and stood together, we would—finally—be living into the hope and vision that God had for us when He breathed life into us. When we take away someone’s breath, we are working against God’s purpose and intentions for how He wants His children to honor each other.
- What brings you to your knees before God?
- What prompts you to stand on your feet before God?
- What do you think would help the races to kneel and stand together? And if we did, what difference would that make?