What does it mean to call Jesus Christ Lord?
It’s subversive at its heart. It implies a continuation, to say “Jesus Christ is Lord,” and that continuation is, “…and Caesar is not.”
And who is Caesar? Why the Empire, of course.
And you may say to me there is no Empire, but there is. There is oligarchy. There is the status quo. There is discrimination and powers and principalities and institutions and spin-zones and supremacy and fragility and recolored flags flying trying to invoke a country that’s theoretical.
Caesar does not need more worship. We must repent for that. Caesar does not care for the individual; Caesar is not here among us. Christ needs not ascend or descend or even be invited to be present.
Full and fair disclosure, friends: I am mulling four separate sermon texts (Hosea and John, Revelation and Mark 7) in the same week, as I prepare for a concentrated week of doctoral classes, and then a week of vacation. I am not writing all of these sermons in a week… probably… but if these seem more clipped than normal, perhaps that is why.