Of Masters And Lords

Having rebelled against a king, the United States, at its founding, did away with royalty. No more dukes and duchesses, lords and ladies. Instead, the concept of egalitarianism reigned. For a segment of society, at least.

Over the years, that concept spread, until today most people in the US would say, No one can order me around. No one. I’m free to do as I please, and if you force me to do what you want, you’re being abusive, either emotionally or physically.

Of course there’s a great problem with this idea. My freedom may impinge on yours, so we have government regulations that serve as a referee over us.

Sadly, we still cling to the notion that we are free. I’m reminded of the Jews telling Jesus that they’d never been enslaved by anyone. This would be the Jews that were at that very time under Rome’s thumb. The same Jews who had been exiled in Babylon and before the exodus, enslaved by Egypt.

So here’s the majority of US citizens, feeling free and in control. Empowered. We are captains of our own fate, after all, masters of our own souls.

But of course we aren’t.

If we were, we’d be free from sin and death and taxes.

Yet it seems we’ve lost the understanding of what it means to be subservient. Hence we don’t recognize what it is that masters us. We talk as if each person is his own boss, and many, if not most, believe it.

Sinful little tyrants, we set up the kingdom of self. We will rule, even if we must be slaves to our own passions.

Others are beholden to their jobs or spouses or drug of choice or sin habit or stuff they own.

Yet through it all, Jesus gently calls us. He’s the one master who will never abuse us, who has only our good at heart, who promises a light burden and a constant provision of unending strength.

But we’ve thrown off the shackles of servitude, we think. We will have no other lord before us but ourselves. To yield my will to another? Unthinkable. To turn over the reins of my life to someone else? Frightening.

After all, we are all doing such a good job of running our little worlds, aren’t we.

Published in: on June 28, 2011 at 1:16 pm  Comments (5)  
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