The title Lord clangs off the American ear and caroms off the zeitgeist of the day. To bow the knee is anathema to the western ethic of individualism and diversity. I am glad of many of the fruits of the enlightenment. I am glad that we no longer are quite so easy with racism and sexism and imperialism. However, the enlightenment project that was in its childhood in Wesley #39’s day has come to dotage in our own. In the same bin as the good fruits of the Enlightenment are also the poison apples of materialism, nihilism, and psychic despair. If we are to stop the postmodern senility of the present day, we had best turn back to the lordship of something other than the self.
Opening the door
Whether it feels comfortable or not, the statement Jesus Christ is Lord is the only form of address that will do. The title Lord is the only word that conveys properly the place humanity occupies in relationship to Jesus. Until we are comfortable with that word, the title Christ cannot be actuated in our lives. The anointed one is sent into our lives, He knocks, but He cannot work in our house until we open the door, and we cannot open the door until we acknowledge his relationship to us. He is our friend and our guide and our servant and our redeemer. He is many things, but the first thing he must and ever be is the Lord of our life. He must be the one who we look to for everything. He must be the one in whom our thoughts dwell and on whom we wait, rely and give over to.
The sad truth is that the enlightenment sold us a bill of goods. In freeing us from the tyranny of aristocratic political forms and the manacles of social convention, it did not free the will, it only bound it more tightly to the self and despair. We all worship something: the ego, goods, others; all of us have a lord of something, but all these somethings are lords leading to the Slough of Despond. Only the lordship of Jesus leads to freedom. As he so eloquently put it: To gain your life you must lose it. It is only in submitting to the Lordship of Christ that true freedom begins.
Rev. Chris Jones