When “Take a Knee” Meant Adoring our Lord

If we would consistently take a knee for the right reason, there would be no need to take it for any other reason.

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It's a big deal now. 

Ever since San Francisco 49ers Quarterback Colin Kapaernick refused to stand during the United States national anthem last year, more and more NFL players have joined the bandwagon. Kapaernick sat, but the new “thing” is to kneel rather than stand during the anthem. Those who “take a knee” do so in protest of what they see as police brutality and racial inequality. 

A whole hullabaloo has stirred up, with more and more protests, counter-protests, NFL boycotts, and even a row between President Trump and NFL coaches and other personnel. 

It's yet another means by which our country finds itself in the throes of discord.

I don't for one second deny the right of the NFL players - or anybody in this country — to express their opinion, peacefully demonstrate their beliefs, or charitably voice opposition. We do, at least according to our laws, have the right to freedom of speech in this country. 

But this debacle hurts me. 

As the daughter and mother of United States Armed Forces veterans, it hurts me to see anyone dishonor the song and symbol of the country for which my dad and son risked their lives.

As a U.S. citizen, I love my country. Every member of my family loves and contributes to this country. I've been grateful to raise my children in this country. We are part of this country, and proud to be such. When anyone, NFL player or other, chooses to dishonor the flag or national anthem, I feel as though judgment is being passed on my family and myself as well as the rest of the country. Do things happen in the U.S. that are unfair and need fixing? Absolutely. But please don't lump us all together, insult us, and write us off by dishonoring the symbols that represent us.

That hurts.

I know that “take a knee” is an old football term for when the quarterback drops to his knee to end the play and/or let the clock run down. Perhaps that's why the protesting players choose to do that.

There's another kind of “take a knee” that dates back much, much further than any sport. It dates back to Biblical times when one would kneel before the Lord in praise, worship, and adoration.

Do you remember what the Psalmist wrote?

Enter, let us bow down in worship;
let us kneel before the LORD who made us.

For he is our God,
we are the people he shepherds,
the sheep in his hands. (Ps 95:6-7)

Or, as St. Paul wrote to the Philippians:

Because of this, God greatly exalted him
and bestowed on him the name*
that is above every name,

that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bend,
of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

and every tongue confess that
Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father. (Phil 2:9-11)

Scripture tells us that the only time anyone should take a knee is before God.

Can you imagine how different things would be if people of influence would take a knee for Christ? What would happen if we take a knee before our Lord in Adoration in order to pray for ourselves, our families, our government officials, and our country? How would it be if, rather than taking a knee in a gesture of divisiveness, we fall to our knees at the mere mention of the name of Jesus? 

If we would consistently take a knee for the right reason, there would be no need to take it for any other reason.

By myself I swear,
uttering my just decree,
a word that will not return:
To me every knee shall bend;
by me every tongue shall swear. (Is 45:23)