I am just finishing up some new songs, actually communion settings. Being a conscientious modern song writer I intentionally use inclusive language when I write my songs. Besides focusing on musical sounds and expressions, I pine over each word of my creations. Usually I have met the challenges of re-wording into modern language’s cultural context with ease. For example, dropping the “he’s and she’s”, change “Father to Creator”, etc.
One of the words I’m a bit stuck on is the term “Lord”. Where did we get this term from? Is it really even a biblical term? I believe Lord is one of those “translational” words we’ve picked up that has stuck around with us, like ‘Kingdom”. It comes from the days of the feudal system in medieval times. In the middle ages, the lord was the ruler of an area, the person who oversaw the livelihood of the tenants, and the one all tenants must answer to. Therefore in the social mindset of the times when bibles were translating into English, the term ‘Lord’, for Christ, as ruler of our lives, just made sense to use. It fit the times.
Now a days, most of us don’t come from areas with kingdoms, and the term lord and its usage has become a bit derogatory as in ‘lording it over someone, a bad land lord, or someone is acting all ‘lordly’, etc. Is this a distracting term to use in a worship song? Will this term be a barrier to the enjoyment, praise and inspirational feelings the song is intended to create?
Give us some feedback. What term would you use instead of “Lord”?