Make me an instrument of Thy Peace; where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; and where there is sadness, joy. O Divine Master, Grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console; to be understood, as to understand; to be loved, as to love. For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.
(This prayer is attributed to Saint Francis. He was born in 1181 or 1182 into a wealthy family in Assisi, Umbria. He grew up in comfort, turned into a rowdy youth, and eventually looked for glory on the battlefield. His life plan altered when he encountered God. In prayer, he heard God tell him to rebuild the church. He devoted himself to a life of prayer, poverty and service. He is the founder of the Order of Friars Minor (OFM), usually called the Franciscans. He died in 1226 after a life of prayer, poverty, and service. His life, work, and words have inspired countless numbers of people.)
I don’t use this term much outside of A Song of Ice and Fire and Lord of the Rings conversations. It’s an antique word that evokes images of knights, castles, queens, and serfs. Outside British royalty, real or fictional, the only Lord I’ve heard of recently is Lord Voldemort – not a great credit to the title.
The only other place I use Lord is in prayer. Lord Jesus, Gracious Lord, Lord God. When I say and pray Lord, I’m admitting and accepting that someone else is in charge. I am serving someone other than myself. I am not the ruler of the universe, just a servant in the kingdom that is this creation. Sometimes I am at peace with this, and sometimes I’m not.
Jesus says that “no one can serve two masters,” that I “cannot serve God and wealth”(Mt.6:23) The underlying assumption is that I am serving someone or something. It might be money or fame; it could be a worthy cause or a particular country. Knowingly or not, I serve something or someone. I suspect this is true. If it is, then I’d better choose my Lord carefully…