Over the past month at Delaware Grace, we have been talking about kneeling. As part of our “KNEEL” message series, we’ve looked at kneeling in worship, kneeling in awe, kneeling submission, and kneeling in prayer. This coming Sunday, we talk about kneeling in silence. Being still. That is increasingly difficult to do in our noisy, fast-paced, busyness-is-a-virtue culture.
I have been struck by a couple things as we have walked through this series. The first is that we all worship something or someone. Worship simply means to ascribe worth, ultimate worth, to something or someone. Every decision we make clues us in to who/what it is that we worship. For some of us it’s God. For some of us it’s money. For some of us it’s comfort. For some … safety, pleasure, entertainment … and the list goes on and on. However, I would suspect that at various times for all of us, we simply worship ourselves.
I believe that we are all looking for significance, love, acceptance, joy, peace and purpose. The issue becomes that we all look for it in different places. Check your calendar, your bank account, your internet history, and various other indicators, and you’ll begin to come to realize who or what it is that you are worshiping with your life.
The second thing I have been struck by is how carelessly we throw around the word “awesome.” I’m sure we’ve all done it (my hand is raised as well). “That pizza was awesome.” Disclaimer: I used to live in the Chicago area. No offense intended to any of our fine pizza joints around here (and there are some good ones), but I was ruined for pizza by living in Chicago. The famous deep-dish places were great, and every corner mom and pop place had great pizza as well.
Awe is a feeling of reverential respect mixed with fear or wonder. Have you honestly ever thought about a pizza with reverence, respect, fear and wonder? The Grand Canyon, Mt. Everest, the Pacific Ocean, and many other wonders this world has to offer are all good candidates for awe. The best candidate, however, is the God who made them all. He spoke and planets were formed. His breath created stars. Did you know that around 1.3 million earths could fit inside the sun? How about the largest star, Canis Majoris? Almost 4 quadrillion earths could fit inside Canis Majoris.
Friends, the earth is simply awe-inspiring and yet it is dwarfed by several planets in our own solar system, definitely by the sun, and is so tiny and minuscule when compared to many stars in space. How much more awe-inspiring are the sizes of those heavenly bodies than earth? And how much more awesome is the One who created them?
I have come out of this series of messages feeling very small … in a good way. Many times, we think, talk, act, and live like we are the awesome ones. Life is all about us. That’s what our culture pounds into us every day. It’s all about me. I am self-sufficient. I deserve this or that. Everybody owes me. I. Me. I. Me.
I could go on about how impactful this last month has been, but as you think about kneeling, think about bowing. Who/what do you bend your knee for? I think if we’re honest, many of us would admit that we bend the knee to ourselves. We worship us. I worship me. You worship you. We are what we give our lives for. The ironic thing about that is in Luke 9, Jesus said “whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.”
We must choose wisely to whom our lives will kneel. Don’t be lured by counterfeits. We make terrible and ultimately powerless gods. Jesus is the only One worthy.
Dave Pacheco is pastor at Delaware Grace.