I’m not really a fan of some of those common sermon gimmicks. You know, there’s the alliteration approach, where each sermon point starts with a “B.” Or a “V.” Or, if you’re really good, a “GH.” Or there’s what I call the “mad lib” sermon, where the preacher leaves a blank on your sermon outline and fills it in as they go. Is it a noun? A verb? An adverb? Amy and I always make it a game and try to guess the blanks before the sermon starts.
But when it came time for me to articulate what I think the right response to Jesus’ Lordship ought to be, I couldn’t help myself. I went the rhyming route.
So here’s what it means for men to surrender their male privilege to Jesus’ Lordship:
Admit, Submit and Commit.
That’ll preach, eh?!?
First, we must admit that male privilege exists and that it has a real impact on how we do life in this culture. Because by its nature male privilege is systemic, it’s hard to identify. For men, male privilege can be like air. With air, we experience it all the time but we can’t see it. In fact, we only become aware of it when there’s a problem and we can’t breathe. In the same way, male privilege lurks in the culture. Men, we are benefiting from it even though we are often unaware of it.
The first step in responding to Jesus’ Lordship in this area is admitting that it exists and that as men we benefit.
Next, men must submit their privilege to Jesus. Remember Peter from Luke 5? Facedown in our spiritual pile of fish, like Peter we acknowledge that Jesus is more qualified than we are to run our lives. Further, we invite him to direct us to deploy our resources how he would like us to. This includes our material possessions, our finances, our time, our agendas, and it includes our privilege.
Surrendering to Jesus’ Lordship means willfully and joyfully laying down our privilege and asking Jesus to use it how he will.
Finally, we commit to use our privilege to advance the Kingdom. As we’ll see, Jesus lived this process out in the incarnation. Responding to his Lordship, then, means we put our privilege to work to bless those around us. Specifically, this will involve empowering and advocating for women around us.
In the coming weeks, I’ll work to further define and illustrate each of these points. For now, enjoy your rhymes!
What about you? What resonates for you in this post?
I grew up in a really great church. The preaching was inspired, the people were wonderful and we had some gnarly stained glass in our sanctuary. More importantly for me, through the ministry of our church I met Jesus. Remarkable Jesus. Savior of my life. One night at 6th grade summer camp, in a manufactured teepee of all places, I asked Jesus to save me from my sins.
Mission accomplished, right? Done and locked in for all time?
Sorta. When I hit college, I learned about Jesus’ other title. Because while Jesus is indeed our Savior, he’s also our Lord. In fact, the New Testament calls Jesus Savior 24 times and calls him Lord 694 times. That’s right, if we’re scoring at home, Jesus is more 29 times more Lord than Savior.
To be sure, the term “Lord” in today’s vernacular has some baggage associated with it. Calling someone “Lord” conjures up images of carriages and manor houses, stodgy Brits and, worse, tyrannical rulers.
But the Lord I met in college is a far cry from our human version. Jesus as Lord is at once ruler, leader and guide. But he’s also servant, healer and shepherd. He’s complex, our Jesus. Following him as Lord guarantees a life full of deep joy, worthy struggle and all-around adventure.
I love the text in Luke 5:1-11, the one where Simon and his buddies are washing their nets after a fruitless night of fishing. Jesus, teaching nearby, gets into Simon’s boat and has him head back out to fish. It’s really preposterous. In Simon’s professional judgement, and remember, he’s fished that lake since he was a boy, there are no fish.
What happens next is staggering. Not only are there fish, there’s a deadly amount of fish. Nets start to break and boats start to sink. And in the middle of this miraculous chaos, Simon realizes something: Jesus, this Rabbi, knows more about fishing then he does. Like way more. And, convicted that he’s no longer the most qualified person in his boat to run his own life, Simon gets on his knees and confesses to Jesus’ Lordship.
Here, then, is the lesson from Simon:
Everything I’ve got belongs to the Lord Jesus.
More to the point, Jesus gets to decide what happens with everything that I’ve got in my life. Everything.
The list includes material possessions: my food, my car, my iPad, my house. It also includes my time, my relationships, even my plans for the future. Who I hang out with, where I live, what I study, which movies I go to, how I parent and how I spend my money. Each of these things belongs to Jesus and as Lord he deserves and demands a say in how I use what I have.
You know what else makes the list? Male privilege.
So what’s the link between the Lordship of Jesus and this concept of male privilege? I think it’s this:
Men, as we follow Jesus, our joyful task is to discern what it looks like to surrender our socially-granted male privilege for Jesus to do with what he will.
Intrigued? I’ll fill out the “what it looks like” and “what he will with it” parts on Monday.
What about you? What does following Jesus as Lord look like in your life?