Jesus is Lord
“At the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.” – Philippians 2:9-11
“Lord” language for Jesus has been out of vogue for a while, at least among a certain swath of progressive Christians. Some of us have been Lorded over too much, for too long, by too many people in secular and sacred power.
Then, too, there is religious pluralism and the problem of Christian triumphalism: how can we say that Jesus is Lord when we also believe that our Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, agnostic, atheist & company siblings will never make that claim, and yet are no less beloved by God?
Here’s a quick workaround: if Jesus is God, and God is Love, then when we say “Jesus is Lord,” we’re saying “Love is Lord.”
This mantra really helps when it comes time to read the morning news.
Rev. Lynice Pinkard reminded us that to say “Jesus is Lord” means a lot of other things are NOT Lord.
POTUS is not Lord.
Congress is not Lord.
The National Security advisors are not Lord.
Wall Street is not Lord.
The NRA is not Lord.
The fossil fuel lobby is not Lord.
Institutional racism and white supremacy is not Lord.
Mass incarceration is not Lord.
Executive Orders are not Lord.
Homophobia, transphobia, misogyny and wars of convenience are not Lord.
Jesus is Lord. Only Jesus. If it seems otherwise, that sleight-of-hand is temporary.
Names matter. Speaking names aloud gives them power and play. And speaking that name above all names into the Universe, the Lord of Love as lord over all others powers and principalities, makes it reality.
Jesus, may your Lordship of Love make itself plain in all the people and systems of our world.
Molly Baskette is Senior Minister of the First Church of Berkeley, California, and the author of the best-selling Real Good Church and Standing Naked Before God.