Sunday, February 3, 2013

Reverently Standing?

Have you ever wondered why we are asked, in churches, to stand while the scriptures are being read? I know I have wondered this.

I'm told that we stand to honor God, but I know that my attitude is throwing sighs around as I stand up.

I'm told that it's a scripture thing (check out Nehemiah 8:1-18-especially verse 5). This wasn't a tradition thing or a requested thing. It was a decision made by the people present.

Who were the people? The Jews
What were they doing? Rebuilding the city.
When were the people there? After they were released from the Babylonian captivity.
Where were the people? In the rebuilt city of Jerusalem.
Ezra brought out the Torah and read it out-loud for 6+ hours (daybreak until noon).

The people stood (they weren't told to) when Ezra opened the Torah.
Ezra praised God and the people worshiped too (Amen!) and bowed down before God.
In 2nd Kings 22:1-23:31, it was a HUGE deal when the Torah was rediscovered.

As a side tangent, when was the last time that I got excited about the Bible? That I viewed reading the Bible as a privilege, not a thing to check off my to do list?

The part of me that loves consistency says, "If we are to stand in reverence to the reading of the word, we need to show this reverence every single service. We should not stay sitting on longer readings or sit in the evening services. Consistency is good."

If standing during the scripture doesn't mean anything to you, then standing isn't necessary. Stand, sit, kneel, bow down. Whatever makes you pay reverence to God.

I don't think standing while scripture is being read is a salvation thing or the foundation of Christianity, but it can be an act of worship.

Standing, responding (Amen, Amen), and kneeling before God can be acts of worship, but only if my heart is in the right place.

(Standing while praying is also a Biblical instruction. Check out Mark 11:25-WHEN you STAND praying...)