Can someone please explain to me what the expression “in the Lord” actually means?
I’ve heard it all my life, usually in church. In fact, pretty much always in church, or among church people. I can’t think of a single time at, say, a Dodger game I’ve heard someone say, “And now, batting for the Dodgers IN THE LORD,…” But seriously, it’s one of those Christian expressions that has no clear meaning.
I thought of this because this little “Six Quirky Things” thing that’s going around on blogs now made its way to my friend Rich (aka “Father Rich”). The phrase “in the Lord” found its way into two of his Six Quirky Things.
So, I’m just asking for a simple answer – what the heck does that phrase mean? I’ve been alive for 49 years, in church for 49 years, a believer for about 43 years, I have a degree from a respected Christian university, I’ve been a pastor and other church stuff – but for the life of me, when our associate pastor tells us on Sundays to “greet one another IN THE LORD,” I have no idea what he’s talking about, other than the fact that it’s time to go say hi to people for a few minutes.
I don’t have a problem with saying hi to people on Sundays (although I think we should just call it the “say hi to people time”). But I’m just concerned about this whole “in the Lord” part of it. If there’s something I need to do in the process of “saying hi to people” that elevates it to “in the Lord” status, then by all means, I want to do that.
Thanks for your responses.