Rev. Linda O’Neal
What is a good American to think of “every knee shall bow”? Americans did away with bowing to people in authority and we are all sure it’s a good thing. Philippians 2:5-11 is thought by many scholars to be the earliest creed used in church services. Most of the people in early church services were probably new to the faith and illiterate, so repeating these liturgical set pieces was instructive. So this means that the most important thing church leaders thought early Christians needed to know about Jesus was that he “took the form of a servant” and “humbled himself and became obedient unto death.” Whew! That must have seemed like a very strange thing for the Son of God to do to people who had known only the pagan religions. In ancient times one bowed to one’s master if one were a slave, and it is estimated about the half the people were slaves. One bowed to the kings, queens, and royal family. One bowed before the statues of the gods and the statues of the emperor. In short, one bowed to people with power over one, and one had better be careful to do it or the consequences would be dire. One never ever bowed to a servant. That was unthinkable. One bowed to the gods in an effort to curry their favor, but the idea of a god being a servant also was unthinkable. That “every knee shall bow” to the true God precisely because he humbled himself and became a servant – that would boggle the ancient mind. At the heart of our faith is the belief that only humility and servanthood is worthy of honor. Doesn’t that still boggle the mind?
The Lexington Ministerial Alliance is coordinating these
Ministers Messeges. Any pastor in the Alliance may submit an article. Please email your artical to Rev. Linda
O’Neal, the Alliance secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org.