Do you remember the last time you knelt down on one or both knees? I notice I kneel to pet Joy, our dog, tie my shoe laces, build the Christmas puzzle, and find the missing Tupperware lid hiding in the back of the cabinet. When I get down on my knees, the posture forces me to slow down, to pause, to let go. Kneeling places me in a position of vulnerability and submission; my body settles into a place of weakness and dependency. In order to get moving again, I have to stand, rise, and get balanced before stepping toward a specific direction.

Kneel – be in or assume a position in which the body is supported by a knee or the knees, as when praying, worshipping, and showing submission. To bow down.

Matthew 2:11 – On coming to the house, they [the Magi] saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

The celebration of Epiphany, which takes place 12 days after Christmas, ushers in the new year of the church calendar. Traditionally, this festival day on January 6 commemorates the arrival of the Magi with their gifts to baby Jesus. The approach of the visiting kings before Jesus strikes me.

We learn from those first visitors of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.They bowed before God born in human flesh. In that moment, the affections of the Magi were rightly ordered as they knelt down to Jesus. But what about today? I ponder those persons and things for which society kneels: prestige, wealth, recognition, privilege, suffering, influence, sports, possessions, health, education, power, and sacrifice. Take a moment to consider your posture toward these attitudes, actions, and accumulations esteemed by the world.

The Magi fell down; they knelt before the Savior of the world within infant form. Their posture communicated reverence and awe with a decided slowing and submission to the Christ-child. In kneeling down, these kings let go of all else to focus on Jesus. In what ways might you slow as you enter 2021? Where is your focus? Why does a posture of weakness become an exchange for strength? How can you live with a vulnerable and submissive will to the King of the Universe in this coming year?

Kneel – be in or assume a position in which the body is supported by a knee or the knees, as when praying, worshipping, and showing submission. To bow down.

After bowing before Jesus, the kings worshipped Him. They adored and showed reverence to Jesus. I imagine song and scripture bursting from their lips in humble adoration and praise. Perhaps David’s song of praise in Psalm 95 bubbled from the souls of these visitors: “Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker” (vs. 6). I wonder if the prophesies from Isaiah and stories foretold arose within to their minds: “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14). How do scripture and song lead you to worship the King of Kings? Could 2021 be a year overflowing with worship through music and truths from the Bible? In what ways might these evoke within your soul the kneeling worship posture before God?

From their kneeling position, the Magi opened their treasure chests to present Jesus with special gifts. How are you putting to work the unique gifts God has given you? Through submission we offer all that we are and all that we have to the Lord of our lives. We lay down pride, power, and position in order to follow God who is present with us every moment of every day. From this posture of vulnerability we serve the Lord from our authentic, free, true self. In this way, serving God with our whole being flows from the unpretentious condition of knowing we are safe and secure as His children. Think about the ways serving with Jesus amplifies your total dependence and trust upon Him. Are you willing to surrender your service to God?

Fall on your knees like the Magi. Come before the Lord in a posture of slowing. Resist the temptation to run past Jesus, but instead stop, kneel, and savor space with your Savior. Play worship music, read through the Bible or even a Psalm each day, or burst forth with your own song of worship to the Lord, your God, your Maker. Share the unique gifts and talents bestowed upon you by God in humble submission and authentic service. The King of Kings and Lord of Lords provides ultimate protection and care of your soul.

Kneel – be in or assume a position in which the body is supported by a knee or the knees, as when praying, worshipping, and showing submission. To bow down.

Whenever you discover yourself kneeling in the midst of daily living, remember to kneel before God in vulnerability and awe, letting go of all else to receive His presence and peace into the depths of your soul which sustains you by His mighty power.

Drips from the Word: Muse about these Bible verses. Let these truths impact your living.

1 Chronicles 29:20 –   Then David said to the whole assembly, “Praise the Lord your God.” So they all praised the Lord, the God of their fathers; they bowed down, prostrating themselves before the Lord and the king.

Revelation 4:9-11 –  Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say: “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.

Splashes from the Spigot: Drink from deep wells. Read these recommended books to fill your soul.

An Unknown Christain. The Kneeling Christian. New Kingston, PA. 2013.

Dr. Patrick Kee. Living In God’s Loving Embrace: by Remembering God, Examining our hearts, Submitting to God, Trusting God   Maitland, FL. 2020.

Sprinklings of Truth: Soak in meaningful songs. Check out these music videos to lift up your spirit.

CRC Worship. Come, Let Us Worship and Bow Down.

Go Fish. Little Drummer Boy.