I’ve been catching up on the reading for my training in Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. The Catechesis is rich in theology, and it is a great privilege to study this process that gives the greatest truths to even our youngest children. In today’s reading, I came across something that surprised and enlightened (and delighted) me.
The priest at my home parish teaches that the first creedal statement of the earliest Christians is this:
Jesus is Lord.
This makes sense. It is nothing new to Christians. Yes, Jesus is Lord. Duh.
Tonight I came across this passage in The History of the Kingdom of God: From Creation to Parousia:
[Jesus] is the Messiah, the long-awaited one who would bring salvation. He is the Lord, the Kyrios, the title that the Old Testament jealously reserves for God alone.
In many places in the Hebrew Scripture, we encounter the word LORD, spelled with small capitals. This points to the Name of God, so holy it is never pronounced. So in her book, Dr. Cavaletti is saying not just that Jesus is the Lord, but that Jesus is the LORD. And that first, earliest creedal statement of Christianity: Jesus is LORD.
When I realized this, the heavens opened up, and I was bathed in light, and a choir of angels sang in an ineffably sweet twelve-part harmony.
Well, not quite.
But I did have an epiphany. When I hear the statement “Jesus is Lord,” I’ve always thought of “Lord” as a feudal lord, the one who owned the land you lived on, the land you worked, who protected you from other lords, who expected your obedience. But these lords came many centuries after Jesus lived and died. I hadn’t put it together with the LORD God, who created all that is. The first metaphor is a solid one: Jesus is a Lord in this sense. But the real truth is that Jesus really is the LORD. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with the LORD, and the Word was the LORD. The LORD is God, and the LORD is Jesus, and Jesus, the LORD, is God.
As I said, this makes sense; it is nothing new to Christians. And yet, the truth of it was opened up for me in a completely new way. I pray that in the coming days, you also find a truth opened up for you, in a surprising, enlightening, and delighting way.