Daily Lectionary: Jeremiah 1:1-19; Matthew 21:23-46

Oh come let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker! (From the Introit for the 24th Sunday after Trinity)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. In karate, a student bows as she enters the dojo. In many cultures, bowing is a form of greeting or goodbye. In the days of kings and castles, knights would bow, offering their service (or perhaps their neck) at the mercy of the king. Bowing and kneeling are physical signs or symbols of reverence and respect.

Holy Scripture is full of examples of bowing and kneeling. The First Commandment instructs and warns us against bowing down to false gods. As we learn in the Small Catechism, we should fear, love, and trust in God above all things.

Isaiah bowed before the Lord’s presence in Isaiah 6, as he confessed his sin before God and received the Lord’s absolution and atonement from the altar.

Psalm 95, the same psalm we hear in Matins, and in Divine Service tomorrow, invites us to join the faithful saints of God in worshiping and bowing down before the Lord, our Maker. For He is our God. We are His beloved, baptized people.

And Jesus, too, bowed His head on the cross, and gave up His spirit for you. Jesus bowed His head for all the times we’ve bowed our heads, hearts, and hands inwardly on ourselves. Jesus knelt under the weight of our sin for all the times we’ve failed to kneel before Him. Jesus perfectly feared, loved, and trusted the Father for you.

And now, in Christian freedom, we come to Divine Service and bow, kneel as we receive Him who bows down and descends to us in His Body and Blood to feed and forgive us in body and soul. We kneel, stand, sing, pray, praise, and give thanks to our Lord who bowed and kneeled down to save us. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. -Rev. Samuel Schuldheisz

At the name of Jesus Ev’ry knee shall bow, Ev’ry tongue confess Him King of Glory now. ‘Tis the Father’s pleasure We should call Him Lord, Who from the beginning Was the mighty Word. (At the Name of Jesus, LSB 512:1)

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