Archive for April 22nd, 2011

I was told growing-up the importance of good posture.  Now there are varieties of good postures in the Scriptures. In Christ Jesus we see the various postures.  Tonight’s sermon and tomorrow night’s 3 Good Friday meditations are entitled:  Postures of the Passion. Tonight we reflect on kneeling.

In the Bible kneeling can be for these reasons:  1. Confession of sin, as Peter kneeling before the Lord after the miraculous catch of fish and confessing, Depart from me O Lord, for I am a sinful man.  (BTW:  the Lord did not depart).  2. Confession of praise, as in the first Psalm of Matins, 95:  Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the LORD, our Maker!  But on this Holy Evening, in the night in which He was betrayed, two other types of kneeling are indicated for our focus on His Word:

3. Kneeling to serve;  4.  Kneeling to receive His Body and Blood

This night is entitled Maundy Thursday.  Maundy derived from the Latin, mandatum, mandate or commandment.  We did not read the other appointed Gospel for this first day of the Triduum, the Three Days, John 13, Jesus gave us a new mandatum, commandment, to love one another as He loved us by washing the disciples’ feet.   Then in the same evening the Lord’s blessed command:  Take and eat, This is My Body.  Take and drink, This is My Blood of the new Testament.  Now kneeling is not prescribed in the Scriptures to receive Communion yet as a godly custom it is meet, right and so to do:  see kneeling in confession of praise and adoration for the Gospel’s joyful sound:  you are forgiven.

These two reasons for kneeling are inter-related. The Lord of heaven and earth knelt to wash His disciples’ feet.  He was doing the work of a slave.  He is the Master who is servant and slave for His people.  If He did this, should we not so love?  Just think:  Jesus this evening also washed Judas’ feet and the Lord knew what was transpiring in the dark recesses of Judas’ heart and inJerusalem.  We do not know if Jesus felt like doing this.  If we had to wait for the mood to strike us so to serve and love, then nothing would ever be done. Jesus did not feel like suffering and dying.  He asked this evening of the Father, take this cup away from Me. If He had waited till He felt like it, we would still be in our sins.  To serve in love is not primarily a feeling but a doing. Though it is not by doing are we saved for then we should be so doing non-stop.  But this kneeling flows out of the first:  He knelt to give us His Body and His Blood tomorrow on the Cross. As Mary sat at His feet to be taught by the Lord in His Word, the good portion He said that will not be taken away.

‘My God is too big to fit into any one religion.’ The true God was so big He fit into the very religion through which He loved His people from Abraham to Joseph to Moses to Joshua to Deborah to David and till this day:  His beloved Son was born a Jew to kneel in prayer and service for the life of His people and in love of the fallen world.  ‘My God is too big to fit into a box’.  The Lord is so big, big in heart, in anger and grief toward His wayward children in going after false gods that He came to find them. Even serving without His forgiveness is for sinners to use even service to control others.  My God is too big…yes,  He was placed at birth in a box, in a manger. He never went abroad.  He hardly journeyed more than a 100 miles from His place of birth.  He was boxed in by the sin of the world and was handcuffed this evening after He knelt to wash His disciples’ feet and commune them. He said this evening over simple bread and wine, This is My body and blood, so we are freed, not boxed in by our trespasses and live to serve and kneel in confession of sin, confession of faith, confession of praise to kneel to serve, IN the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

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