It’s a Boy! For Whom Jesus is Lord!

Sweet Baby Wesley GRAHAM RichardsonWesley Graham Richardson was born Saturday evening the 24that 11:35 pm. He weighed 6 pounds and 11 ounces. He was 19¼ inches long. He is healthy and handsome and mom is only a little worse for the wear and tear. The delivery was uneventful as deliveries go. You might even say it was classic.

Classic in that the first words spoken to Wesley Graham were the first works spoken to three other children in years past. “Jesus is Lord Wesley Graham. May He walk with and you with Him all the days of your life.” With emphasis upon the first three, ‘Jesus is Lord.” Mary Elizabeth, Dow and Whit (unfortunately I was not there for Madison’s birth – though I blessed her within hours) all heard these three words just as Graham did Saturday night. In each case they were the first words they heard me speak, the first words from anyone for the boys (Mary Elizabeth is adopted. I spoke these words to her as I picked her up out of a bassinette at Lifeline). And they are the last three words each is meant to speak to me.

Mary Elizabeth is well versed in what she should do. The boys and Madison will be told as they develop. As I am laid to rest, many years hence I pray, they are to speak over me “Jesus is Lord.” These three words are the literal farewell after all other farewells. They mark the beginning and end of each temporal life.

The tradition is not mine, or least it was not originally. It came to me by way of a kindly old Episcopal priest. He impacted me greatly in my 20’s and I never forgot that tradition he had begun with his kids. He also had a dog named Otey which suffered from selective deafness. Otey always heard the dog food hit the bowl but he never heard “get off the couch.” Funny it is how Otey mirrors human existence. We hear what we want.

And thus is why it is so helpful to enter life and leave life being reminded that “Jesus is Lord.” It is not as if hearing or not hearing, compliance or rebellion, living under your father’s roof or squandering your inheritance will ever change that reality. The kindly priest never gave his own biblical underpinning for the tradition. Romans 10:9 is most likely. However, I find it developed fully in the great Christ hymn Colossians 1 beginning at verse 15 as follows:

15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

“So that in everything he might have the supremacy.” In everything supreme! How often we live Godly lives and yet do not yield to this reality, Jesus is Lord. Let me say it again, “How often we live Godly lives and yet do not yield to this reality, Jesus is Lord.” We might be great missionaries, used powerfully to win the lost. But had we listened we might have been country doctors providing healthcare for those who would otherwise drive a hundred miles for it. We might be renowned doctors who practiced medicine skillfully and with unparalleled integrity. Had we listened and yielded to the one who is Lord we might have played professional golf and given 90% of our earnings to Kingdom work.

If it means anything, Jesus is Lord means asking God what he would have us do with our lives. Routinely I meet people living lives scripted for them as if they were Truman in the Truman Show. My youth was like that. I wore generally what others wore. I broke out occasionally. I wish I could excise the memories of the red and kelly green painter’s pants with topsiders. Fashion is risky. I pursued accounting because accounting was valued and therefore lucrative. The world taught me that and I was happy to comply. Honestly, I didn’t think about it much. I certainly didn’t run my plans by Jesus. I did however ask him to bless my plans quite boldly when I took time to pray.

And all the while, Jesus is Lord. My failure to consult didn’t change his supremacy. Had I consulted there may have been a different path for me, but likewise it would not have altered this objective reality, Jesus is Lord.

So we should begin life and end life acknowledging the reality with the hope we might be aided by the Holy Spirit to consult more often and listen a bit more. Mary Elizabeth wants to be discovered, the Lizzie Mcguire of her day. Madison a vet. Dow wants to fight fires (only yesterday he was content to be Buzz). All of these things are fine things. And one can follow Jesus within each field. However, they will not know the abundance of life meant for them if they don’t begin in the desired field, the field desired by Jesus. We choose good, maybe even better, but without thinking sacrifice best, His best. And he has some thoughts about it. After all, Jesus is Lord, in all things supreme.

So here I am blessed with another boy, Wesley Graham. God is restoring the years the locusts have consumed. I would like to think the quiver is full.  After all, my life is now filled with praying behind the pronouncement. May “Jesus is Lord” become reality for them that their lives would be ordered in harmony with the unchanging truth, that in all things He is Supreme. Whatever best is that is where it is found. In Him!

2 Responses to “It’s a Boy! For Whom Jesus is Lord!”

  • Robert Smith Says:

    Congratulations, Richardson family!

    It was good to be reminded this morning that Jesus is Lord! How often we forget…and how great that, even in our forgetting, the reality remains true. Truth is a beautiful thing in our shifting world and drifting hearts.

    I am reminded also of the early Christian confession, from which the Christian symbol of the fish came: Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior. It is all about him.

    May we joyfully bow the knee to Jesus Christ every day. That is my prayer for you and your family and your ministry.

  • Doug Warren Says:

    Beautiful! My two boys are the
    greatest blessing in my life. I hope I am
    the Godly father you seem to be.

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