One day last week I was feeling especially grateful for all the blessings of the day and responded to an urge to drop to my knees for my bedtime prayers.
Following my fervent “Amen,” my joints were stiff and sore when I pulled myself up and I thought how nice it would be to have a cushy padded kneeler beside my bed in case I decided to again assume a posture of obeisance.
Before I drifted off to sleep, I considered all the reasons people in various cultures have lowered themselves before those in power and why, even today, many people kneel in prayer and worship.
Comparing the genuflection of the early church, a humbling act acknowledging Christ’s lordship and His followers’ fealty, with modern Christian church goers who either spend brief moments on padded cushions or merely nod the head to acknowledge prayers, I thought about the physical differences in these demonstrations of faith.
I had found kneeling in prayer for less than thirty minutes on a carpeted floor uncomfortable. I wouldn’t want to attempt it on a harder surface. Does that mean my faith is weak? That I am not fully devoted to Christ?
Early Christians knew real physical discomfort in their daily lives. They had no air conditioning to keep them cool, no bathroom cabinet filled with medications for every ache and pain. They walked for miles on non-orthotic sandals. They were often dusty, dirty and their feet hurt. They knew hunger. These were the disciples who risked, not only their comfort, but their very lives to worship Christ.
The Bible tells us His yoke is easy and His burden light, because He helps us to carry it. But it is still a yoke that links us to Christ.
Am I willing to experience even the mildest chaffing of this collar which binds me to Jesus?