Nov 12, 2013

Kneeling Before You

Will you marry me? The question came out slowly and purposefully. I had a ring in my hand and everyone in the restaurant turned to look at us.

Have you ever knelt before someone? It is a symbol of loyalty and allegiance. To kneel before someone is to say that your life is in their hands. A king has a choice when a subject kneels before him. He can take a sword and knight him – thus bestowing honor and glory. Or he can take the sword and lop off his head. In either case, the one kneeling is powerless.

We don't kneel much anymore in American culture. I supposed at some point in time, kneeling seemed to denigrating for self-respecting citizens. After all, we left our king back in England. Some churches still practice kneeling while praying. But many have gone away from that practice. Besides, it's really hard on the knees.

In the Superman movie, General Zod demands that the President of the United States kneel before him. Of course, the leader of the free world is not supposed to kneel before anyone. Unless it is to save mankind from imminent destruction.

But there are times when kneeling is appropriate. For example – when asking your best friend to marry you.

I wonder what Dana Carter was thinking. The Calimesa Elementary School principal implemented a new policy to have his students kneel on one knee before being dismissed at the end of the day. He said he wanted to teach his students respect and did it “...for their safety”. But Americans are not big into kneeling in front of others. The parents strongly objected. I think most parents like the idea of instilling respect in students. But kneeling goes a bit too far. Principal Carter backed off.

One wouldn't expect Jesus to kneel before anyone. He was the most popular person in Galilee. And yet during His last day on earth, He knelt before His disciples and washed their feet. When the disciples objected Jesus was adamant: Let me kneel before you because this is how I want you to be. I think He knew that the human race could do with a bit of humility.

In the restaurant, Jennifer took a long time to reply. She said later it was because it was so unexpected. She had to gather her thoughts. But I don't care. She said, “yes”. And after 27 years I would do it again.

Pastor David

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