I grew up worshiping at Belle Meade United Methodist in Nashville. Every Sunday, we shared communion. After receiving the bread and grape juice, we had the option to kneel at the front altar and pray.
Every week, my dad—who stands at a solid 6 feet, 5 inches—bent down and kneeled, head bowed, hands open to receive from God. When I kneeled next to him, he pulled me close and prayed for me and for those around us. After I got up, he often lingered and prayed for what seemed to the 11-year-old me like a very long time.
As a kid, I saw my dad kneeling a lot. Then I heard him sing with all his might and watched as he stood and shared announcements. Some Sundays, an excited tone filled the prayers, like Dad could sense God’s grace and truth. At other times, a heaviness or an ordinariness dominated the prayers.
As an adult, I’ve pondered the profoundness of seeing my dad—my hero who physically towers over the world—bend down in front of God and our church community. His leadership didn’t end with kneeling; it seemed to begin with it.
Leading by taking a knee
What if we live 2019 with an intention to kneel?
Sometimes we kneel physically. At other times, we kneel with our heart, mind and will.
This physical or mental act of kneeling deepens our devotion to God and moves us to serve others. There is a calm humility associated with kneeling, and I wonder what we could learn, receive or do as a result of this heart posture.
I wonder what redemptive work we can join God in this year, whether on the border, in our schools, on our streets or in our homes.
In his poem, “Morning Reflections,” Enuma Okoro writes:
What is this breaking, this hopeful
re-making, shifting stones, addressing dry bones,
dizzying me with blessings,
intercepting my grieving
and raising the dead all around me?
What if, by God’s grace, kneeling stirs miracles in us and in the world?
Ali Corona is the Hunger & Care Ministries Specialist for the Texas Baptist Christian Life Commission and is a member of First Baptist Church in Marble Falls.