Written by Megan Burns. Media by Taylor Harpster.
Whether you feel it is important to take a knee during the national anthem or not, there is one place we can all agree to take a knee. Despite the saddening unrest in our country, we, as Christians, are called to cling to each other and kneel before the cross.
It is hard to miss the articles, news stories, and angry posts about people kneeling during the national anthem. Some Americans are kneeling during the national anthem, not in protest of our country, but to bring attention to discrimination, police brutality, and social injustice. These situations start fights between friends and even cause tension in families. Our society is building itself on debate and argument. Out of all this, comes so much hatred.
The command to love one another is repeated in the Bible over ten times. Mark 12:31 says, “The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” 1 Peter 4:8 reads, “Above all, love each other deeply because love covers over a multitude of sins.” Another, Ephesians 4:2-3, says “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” We as a people, as the Christian body, are called to love one another, regardless of what others think, do, or say. The passage in Ephesians points out that not only are we called to love, but we are called to be humble, gentle, and patient as well. Most importantly, however, the scripture calls us to keep unity in peacefulness. Even if we do not agree with what our fellow brother or sister may have to say, that does not change the fact that we are all called to live in peace with one another.
In banding together, we can all choose to kneel. Not necessarily during the anthem, but before the cross, the one place of unity for all Christians. Psalm 95:6 calls us to kneel in adoration before our Lord. “Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.” To kneel is to show submission to someone or something. So, let us kneel before the Lord, and show submission to Him.
“Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before (Daniel 6:10).”
In this time of unrest in Babylon, Daniel continued to kneel before the Lord and pray to Him, even when facing punishment. As Christians, we should be kneeling before our Lord, begging for His hand in the peace and healing of our country.
Whether you choose to kneel or stand, we are called to come together in unity, setting hatred aside, to kneel before the cross. Instead of fueling the fire, I challenge you to kneel before our God, praying for peace, love, and healing. This could look like simply getting on your knees in prayer before you go to bed. You could kneel in worship during chapel or vespers. The point is not solely to kneel, but to give yourself to God in worship and prayer. Take five minutes of your day, the five that you might spend reading or responding to articles filled with hatred, and instead, pray for peace in our broken country.