Jesus is Lord. As I have been wrestling with and praying about what to say this week, and considering the images and stories that have come through my newsfeed, and weigh all the arguments and opinions I am hearing, this is the phrase I keep coming back to: Jesus is Lord. When the early Christians made this profession, it was more than a statement on the sovereignty of Jesus (though certainly not less). It was also a statement of allegiance. “Jesus is Lord” is a profession that Caesar is not. Caesar is not lord. The king is not lord. No political power or leader is lord. That seat of power is solely reserved for Jesus. So when Jesus says to give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s, He affirms the Lord’s lordship. Jesus teaches that we should submit to governing authorities, and live at peace under their rule (which Paul accordingly teaches in Romans 13). However, make sure your hearts and souls belong to God. Give governing authorities your respect, and submission. But do not give them your soul and heart and ultimate allegiance, which properly belong to God alone. For He alone is Lord. This is why Jesus says in John 18:36; “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.” For Jesus alone is Lord, and His kingdom is not of this world. This is why, when Peter tried to take up arms against the Romans, Jesus shut him down (Luke 22:49-51). Because we serve a different, peacemaking Lord (as we talked about in the advent series). So when we see blatantly evil and shameful acts of rebellion and even apparent insurrection like we saw this week, or violent riots that we have seen elsewhere, let us be reminded that Jesus is Lord. Let us take caution that we not give our heart and allegiance to any worldly leader, lest they lead us away from the heart of Christ and allegiance to Him. And let us be warned for the days ahead. As we may see more acts of evil in cycles of response and retaliation, let us be warned that violence and hate and rebellious spirits are not marks of Christ or the Christian, and have no place in the Lord’s church. And finally let us be encouraged. As our faith and hope and trust are in God, we know that we have hope and peace and joy in Him, and He is our final resting place. So whatever happens, we have nothing to fear if we are in Him and love Him. Because Jesus is Lord.