From Pauses for Pentecost
For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in Heaven and on Earth derives its name.
Think about your knees for a moment. Like our ankles, they are important hinge joints in our bodies, but they are far more complicated. People who know about the body tell me that they provide articulation between bones held together by ten ligaments. As you may know from your own experience, when we damage any of these ligaments, it is immensely painful. Our knees make it possible for us to bend our legs.
Today we find Paul bending his knees in humble worship and adoration. What is it that prompts Paul to pay homage like this? Much of the answer to this question lies in the content of the first two chapters of Ephesians. There we come across repeated references to the ministry of the risen and ascended Christ. (See Ephesians 1:3; 1:20-23; 2:6.) Certainly, for Paul, “God exalted Jesus to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in Heaven and on Earth and under the Earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father,” (Philippians 2:9-11). When last did we bend our knees in adoration and homage? Has our sense of awe and reverence deepened or waned? Are there other hidden idols in our hearts to which we offer our sacrifice of worship?
We kneel in confession and ask for God’s mercy in those many times we have broken the heart of God. The Holy Spirit invites us to scan our hearts and to bring our attention to those attitudes and attachments that underlie our unloving, disobedient actions.
Is the Spirit inviting you to bend your knees in renewed love and praise? As you do so, may you realize that the Holy One before whom you bow is your “Abba, father.” You can kneel knowing that you are loved, accepted, and forgiven!
Take time to kneel before the Father today. It may be a time to bend your knees in worship and submission or in confession and penitence.