I am not sure that Nike is so thrilled that this older lady proudly wears their famous “swoosh.” Their image is one of athletic excellence, which does not quite fit my reality! Like many recognizable name brands, there is a certain message to be conveyed by wearing their product. The message may have to do with chic style, youth, sports or music. We identify with that message when we proudly display the brand name. However, I cannot help but feel that they profit from our free advertising!
Our verse for today talks about proudly displaying a name. It is a name that is above all other names. But it is also a name that could provoke hostility from others. The word, “Christian,” was first used in Antioch and was a pejorative term (Acts 11:26). Being a Christ follower carries the risk of being scorned, mocked and even persecuted. How polarizing the name of Jesus is! The names of other religious leaders do not get the same reaction.
We wear the name of Jesus when we live like He did. We wear the name of Jesus when we speak of Him to others. And we wear His name when we exemplify His character through His Spirit. Wearing His name identifies us as belonging to Him. Even if it draws negative attention, we are not to be ashamed. Suffering for His name is a privilege. I wonder if my label is showing? I wonder if I am identified so closely with Christ that people see a difference in me. I hope so. I pray so.
Thank you Lord, for the privilege of bearing Your name!
(Look familiar? This is a re-post due to summer ministry schedule.)