Summary: This sermon shows that we must make ourselves vulnerable in order to worship God.
Bowing is the act of lowering the head, or sometimes the entire upper body from the waist, as a social gesture. It exists now and has existed in various cultures at various periods in history. Different cultures have placed varying degrees of importance on bowing, and have used bowing in a variety of ways. In European cultures, bowing is an exclusively male practice - females perform a related gesture called a "curtsey" or "curtsy." As in Japan, the depth of the bow expresses degree of respect or gratitude. In European courtly circles, males were expected to "bow and scrape" (hence the term "bowing and scraping" for what appears to be excessive ceremony). "Scraping" refers to the drawing back of the right leg as one bows, such that the right foot scrapes the floor or earth. Typically, while executing such a bow, the man’s left hand is pressed horizontally across the abdomen while the right is held out from the body.
Bowing originated as a gesture of subordination, as lowering the head leaves the bower vulnerable. This was particularly the case in the samurai era in Japan. Samurai were at the top of a highly stratified society; they had the right to kill anyone who did not show them the proper respect.
Let me say this: you cannot fully receive the anointing of the Lord unless you are vulnerable to him. You need to come to the desperate realization that although he would not, he has the right to kill you if you don’t show him the proper respect! And the reason he would not, is because he’s already given his life for our sins. There was already enough blood shed for our sins! Why does he need to kill millions upon millions when the blood of one is efficient! The blood of the one is sufficient! That’s why we barauch!
Barauch is translated "to kneel or bow as an act of adoration." In other words, we kneel or bow as an expression of our fervent and devoted love for the Father. When we kneel or bow we are humbling ourselves. We are making ourselves vulnerable! What does vulnerable mean? It comes from the Latin verb vulnerare which means to wound! It has the Indo-European base of wel meaning to tear, to wound, to injure! Lord, I understand that for you to bless me, you have to break me! I’m vulnerable to your break! I understand that for you put me together again, you got to tear me apart! I understand that for you to heal me you have to injure me! Lord, take me through the fire! Take me through troubled waters! Make me walk through the valley of the shadow of death! But Lord, I would that you impart your grace! You see, James 4:6-7 say: God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Therefore submit yourselves to God! Resist the devil and he will flee from you!"
When we humble ourselves we are submitting. To submit is to humble ourselves. Humble is from the Latin word humilis meaning low, small, slight, akin to humus, soil, earth. You can’t be low on your high horse! You can’t be small with a big head! You can’t be like soil and earth if your head is in the clouds! But Lord increase as I decrease! More of you, less of me! Make me feel like a little because little becomes much when you place it in God’s hands! God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Therefore 1 Peter 5:5-7, humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your cares upon Him, for He cares for you." To humble myself is to cast all my cares upon the Father. To submit all my concerns to Him. Trusting that He will work out all things for good. Barauch then, is to express an attitude of love, submission and trust through the act of kneeling or bowing.