Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Sitting vs. Kneeling

Jim Woodroof was the preacher at the College Church in the 1970s.

I can still picture him sitting there on stage, with the other men, in tall wooden chairs.  The chairs were like thrones, solidly-built with padded seats.

And when a man would walk up to the pulpit to lead the opening prayer, or maybe the prayer just before the sermon, Brother Woodruff would leave the comfort of his padded seat and take a knee on the stage.  With his face in his hand, he would bow before the Lord.

Now I know I should have had my eyes closed during this time … but instead, I’d sit in the audience and watch him.  And his action had a profound impact on me.  The reverence.  The respect for God.  The idea that we were talking to Someone who was very important indeed.  All of this was expressed to me … in that kneel.

Other kids were impressed as well.  We’d sometimes imitate Brother Woodruff during prayers at school.  Getting down on one knee.  Placing our face in our hands.  Paying homage to the King of Kings.



  1. Say Mike, there's a Facebook group "You Know You're Church of Christ if ..." and described there are many experiences that you and I encountered. Also, the many comments show that over the years there have been changes in what the different generations have experienced.

  2. You weren't the only one deeply affected by Jim's posture of prayer. As I've grown older -- and after an astinishing study of how frequent kneeling expresses reverence in scripture -- I've adopted it myself. It reminds me who I am, and before Whom I bow.

  3. Thanks, Steve. I checked out the FB page ... Wow ... 281 ways to tell if you're CofC!

    Amen, Keith. There is certainly something that changes in my heart/attitude when I kneel before God.

  4. He made an impression on me with this, too. Perhaps it's not coincidence that he was part of our wedding service, and we knelt for that. I had seen that in Catholic weddings and wanted it as part of ours, but hadn't made the connection with Mr. Woodroof until just now.