What is the usefulness and relevance of movement and posture in corporate worship? This is the Sixth in a series on this topic inspired by a chapter in “Participating in Worship” by Craig Douglas Erickson.

Today we look at the issue of Bowing. 

Yes, bowing. I know, and seems a bit strange. Why do we bow? As an expression of honour and reverence. Psalm 94:6-7 reminds us of the value of bowing as a gesture of reverence.

What does bowing do for us? A number of things:

  1. An expression of thankfulness (Psalm 137:2).
  2. An acknowledgement of the presence of the holy (Psalm 21:9; 44:11).
  3. An attitude for worship and adoration (Genesis 24:26; Exodus 12:27; 34:8; 1 Chronicles 29:20; 2 Chronicles 29:29; Nehemiah 8:6).
  4. Posture of lament (Psalm 34:14;).
  5. Gesture of supplication (Exodus 11:8).
  6. Reverential greeting (Genesis 33:3, seven; 43:28).

Ultimately, Jesus bows his head on the cross, John 19:30.

To quote Erickson, “The bow is a reverential gesture that acknowledges the presence of God as mediated through objects and people.”

Is there a place for the bow in our corporate church settings? Bowing before God in prayer, bowing before the word? I’m not so sure about this particular gesture, but I’d be interested in your take.

Please add your comments on this week’s topic. We learn best when we learn in community. 

Do you have a question about teaching the Bible? Is it theological, technical, practical? Send me your questions or suggestions. Here’s the email: malcolm@malcolmcox.org.

If you’d like a copy of my free eBook on spiritual disciplines, “How God grows His people”, sign up at my website: http://www.malcolmcox.org.

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“Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.” (Psalms 100:2 NIV11)

God bless, Malcolm

PS: You might also be interested in my book: “An elephant’s swimming pool”, a devotional look at the Gospel of John