By Timothy Coman
Corinth First United Methodist Church
I must admit, this is one of the hardest articles I have ever written for I am grieved in my soul, I am shocked by a level of frustration I see, and I think, if I am grieved, how much more is our Father grieved when He sees not only the human race at odds, but His own Church at times.
Proverbs 6 speaks directly to things God hates, and one of those is dissension.
As believers, we are called to a higher understanding of character and integrity, but it would seem these days, we are forever being challenged to take sides, to lean one way or the other and while the Word does say, we should be hot or cold, we are to be held as the standard bearer to the faith, a message of hope and grace should always be our first response, and yet even as believers, we are deeply troubled by a division that seeks to destroy rather than unite.
Recently, Hurricane Harvey made landfall in the city of Houston and for several days, the city and the surrounding areas were drenched with rain, but how much of it was healing rain? How much of it showed that people from all faiths, backgrounds, and ethnicities could put down their opinions, their feelings long enough to love their neighbor as they love themselves.
A few days ago, a deranged man stood on the 32nd floor of a hotel in Las Vegas and openly fired on the crowd below, killing nearly 60 and wounding more than 500, and yet, we watched neighbor cover neighbor, we watched people of every background grab a friend, grab another person and find cover and then after the situation, people by the hundreds were working to donate blood, to comfort, to love, and to offer words of hope and support.
In both of the recent events, other than politicians, pundits and celebrities, no one was asking the questions (How do you feel about statues, the NFL, the Flag? No, they were living out their purpose, they were caring for one another.) At that moment, none of the rest mattered.
What has any of this to do with the title “A Believer’s Response to a Bended Knee?”
When I consider a bended knee, I am reminded of the scripture that one day, every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall confess, Jesus is Lord. I am reminded as I approach the throne of grace, I still do so with boldness but also with a heart of repentance, on my knees before the only One who can change my heart.
See, I don’t need to tear down a statue, I don’t need to burn an NFL Jersey, I don’t need to take up a protest, but I do need to take a knee as found in 2 Chronicles 7:14, which states, If my people, which are called by my name will humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, then will I hear from Heaven and heal their land.
God is saying to us, humble yourselves! I recall nothing in the passage that says, humble only after your opinion is heard; however it does state further in the Word to humble yourselves and you will be honored.
I truly believe God is trying to get our attention, and recent tragedies have proven that we can come together. We can put an end to the dissension which seeks to drive a wedge of hate, intolerance and indifference.
This dissension has attempted to pit best friends at odds, and it is further fueled by those who would rather see the world burn in chaos than allow the unity of love to unite.
In the past couple of months, I have been asking the question “What if?”
What if I loved people first, and asked questions second?
What if I actually saw people with grace-filled eyes?
What if as believers, people knew us for what we stood for rather than what we stood against?
What if I talked to people, rather than at them?
What if I truly humbled myself, and prayed, believed the Word that God changes the heart, that God has called me to be a peacemaker?
What if I quit trying to get people to see my opinion and have them see God’s?
And lastly, what if we took to bended knee, not out of protest, but out of prayer, and earnestly prayed, not my will, but Yours be done?
There will likely always be hurricanes, people who seek to do horrendous things to one another, there is always going to be the cancer of racism, and there will always be protests, so it begs the question, “What should our response as believers be?”
On bended knee before our Father in Heaven, we pray, God please lead us, order our steps, let us be used by You to bring hope, healing and restoration to a desperately hurting world.
What if the church lived out Acts 2, which says when all people of all nations came together, there was unity… just imagine, what if?