Lord Buddha. I was stunned to see the sign engraved with these words.
We had several hours to wait in the very large and busy Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok, Thailand. Construction was taking place in the center of the main terminal. I observed a number of people busily painting, laying marble walkway and carefully preparing various aspects of what appeared to be a very large and ornate shrine.
As I walked by, my eye caught the beautiful signage characteristic of most spaces dedicated to Thailand’s dominant religion. For the first time, I noticed that it was “Lord Buddha” not just “Buddha.” I was stunned. We had visited many Buddhist temples and seen hundreds of Buddhist statues throughout our travels in Asia, but I had never seen a sign like this before.
My gut reaction was outrage. I pray in the name of my Lord Jesus Christ. How did they dare use the word “Lord” in connection with any other god?
I felt offended.
On further reflection, I realized that my initial response had perhaps been overdone. Looking up the dictionary meaning of “Lord” I read that it has several meanings, including someone having power, authority or influence.
Observing people bowing before the numerous Buddha statues found throughout this area of the world, I see their sincerity and devotion. They truly view this image as having much power and authority, and it definitely influences their lives and worldview.
Lord God, Creator of the universe, please give us greater understanding of how to reach the hearts of these sincerely deceived idol worshipers. Help them to recognize you as the Lord of their lives, for “Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen” (Matt. 6:1).