March 12, 2023: Third Sunday in Lent

open hands

Third Sunday in Lent

“Let us kneel before the LORD, our Maker!”

Growing up at the Emmaus Moravian Church, I remember following very rigidly the rubrics of the service. Standing. Sitting. Kneeling. We observed these instructions as orders, not invitations. The kneelers at the Emmaus Moravian Church slid with gentle ease up and down. I’m sure it was someone’s job to keep them noiseless. I have always associated kneeling and prayer, thanks to those kneelers.

I have tried and discovered a great number of prayer postures. Walking. Sitting in my office chair with my feet and face up. Sitting at a vesper site (pick your own vesper site), head down, eyes closed, aware of the sound of each falling leaf. Holding outstretched hands in gratitude and sorrow. Arms reaching out to hold and be held.

It would be fun to find out how many of our congregations still have kneelers, how many of those congregations still use the kneelers, and which creaks louder, the knees or the kneelers? I have a greater concern for people unable to right themselves from the kneeling position.

Perhaps that is the invitation to come, worship, bow down, and kneel before the Lord, our Maker. In a vulnerable posture, in a position of submission, we may not be able to straighten ourselves, or right our wrongs, or offer perfection as praise. We may just be before the Lord without the strain of humility or remorse. The invitation to kneel is an invitation to be, to breathe, and to share the holy space of God.

Come, worship, bow down, kneel (or stand or walk or do yoga). Rejoice in the invitation to be, and to breathe with the Christ. Be careful. You may discover you can’t straighten yourself out, but that’s the point.

Kerry Krause, pastor
Sister Bay Moravian Church
Sister Bay, Wisconsin