Proclaim the Name

I went to my very first Santa Claus parade last night. It felt strange. After all, I grew up in this town and don't remember going to a parade either here or anywhere else. It was quite enjoyable. Moms and dads were out with their kids all bundled up against the cold. Some people had brought their dogs and insulated mugs of coffee or hot chocolate. As the floats went by I looked for a sign of Christ in Christmas. I confess I didn't see all of the fifty floats in the parade, I saw most of them, and with the exception of one, there was no mention of the real reason we celebrate the season. That I could see, not a single church was represented in the parade though I know our church has participated in years past.

Whatever you believe about Santa Claus and the mega-shift that a Christian celebration has taken away from its roots, it seems to me that believers aren't making much of an effort to take a stand for the Christ of Christmas.

John records that the Jewish leaders came to the conclusion that they had to put a stop to Jesus because they would get into trouble if they didn't. "Here is a man performing many miraculous signs. If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and then the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation" —John 11:47, 48, NIV. We aren't surprised that there are those who want to remove Christ from every segment of society because they fear his influence and the impact that influence might have on them.

But the scarier part of the picture is our own fear to stand up and proclaim the name of Christ to the world. John also writes: "…at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not confess their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue, for they loved the praise from men more than the praise from God" —John 12:42, 43, NIV.

That last phrase is pretty condemning. It wasn't as though these people were in fear for their lives because of this faith they had supposedly confessed. They were afraid of ridicule, of losing a place among society.

I don't expect perfect strangers to celebrate my birthday, but it's not a pleasant thing to be ignored by my friends on that special date. And I'm not sure how good I would feel about getting a card or a gift marked "To X, many happy returns." I have a name. No one should be afraid to say it.

Christ has a name. No believer should be ashamed or afraid to say it—loudly—especially on the day on which we celebrate his birthday.


  1. Amen. I'd never thought of it quite that way, but you're so right.


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