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Homily by Rev. Mason T. Beecroft, 08/15/2010

Submission. The word alone makes us cringe. As modern, enlightened, prideful people, the idea of submission is reserved for dog training. Dogs submit to their masters. We do not submit to other people. Submission is not an appropriate word for our relationships. At least not for progressive, educated people. Some six years ago, when I presided at my sister’s wedding in Virginia Beach, I based my homily on Ephesians chapter five, where St. Paul writes, submit “to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.” For ten minutes, I attempted to encourage my sister and brother-in-law to submit to one another as Christ submitted Himself for us. Our Lord Jesus Christ, being in the very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, and yet He submitted Himself to death for our sake, even death on the cross. The submission of Christ for sinners was a submission of love and service, it was not an authoritarian, autocratic, dog-training submission. No. Christian submission is one of love for the sake of neighbor. Still, the word “submission” plugged the ears of my sister’s friends. After the wedding, they approached my sister and brother-in-law, shocked that her brother would use such antiquated, pre-historic language and categories. I was a woman-hating, low brow caveman. I was an unenlightened, dull, imbecile. Never mind the inseparable connection of submission with the love of Christ for sinners. Utter the word, and the modern, prideful, arrogant, evolved person shrink back in horror. Submission belongs to dogs.

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