Last week in our local 4th of July parade, our church’s float (which consisted of a tight three-piece band, including myself, playing Johnny Cash tunes) was followed by a large number of people wearing red shirts with the words “March for Jesus” on them. What does that mean? What might it mean to the onlookers? Why march for Jesus? Does he need us to march for Him? Is He like the victims of multiple sclerosis or childhood diabetes? Is He that weak that He needs people to do stuff for Him? Is He sad because He isn’t that ‘popular’ anymore?
It reminded me of the movie “God’s not dead” where the hero says something like, “God needs someone to defend Him.” If God is God, He doesn’t need anyone to defend Him. Nor does He need anyone to march for Him.
Marching for Jesus. Sticking up for God. Stand up, stand up for Jesus, He must not suffer loss! (Who paid money to get that hymn past the guard?!)
Do people perceive the church as some March of Dimes non-profit organization? If so, it makes God look weak and maybe even a little conniving as He manipulates people to do His will. And it makes Christians look like pompous you-know-whats.
Peter boldly bragged that he would march for Jesus. “I'll never leave you,” He promised. 5 minutes later, “Jesus? Never heard of Him.”
And Jesus didn’t need Peter to stand by Him either. None of us can. We all will fail Him. We all will sleep while He prays. We all will wander away. So alone, Jesus went and won it all on the cross for us. Alone, He conquered sin and death. Alone, God gives it to us. Forgiveness and eternal life, spoon fed in baptism and body and blood.
We don’t march for Jesus. He marched for us. To the cross, through the grave and to us. No, the church marches for sinners, to sinners, with Good News! Jesus marches for us—right to our door, our darkened rooms full of inwardness and fears, our stiff dead souls laying in self-dug graves.
We don’t defend God. He defends us. By His Word He crushes our accuser and declares us forgiven. By His resurrected promise He leads through the shadow of death.
Don’t worry about God. He’s quite fine.