“Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death– even death on a cross. Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:5-11 NRS).
I was just starting my day in the office, looking forward to the start of an exciting, new Bible Study, and I wanted to get pumped up for all I was going to be doing. So I turned on a Modern Christian music station, and set about grooving to the music while I worked. Song after song came on referencing “the name,” but rarely, if ever, did the artist say any name. I started to grow a little frustrated. Why aren’t we saying the name of Jesus Christ? At least use some of the biblical titles: King of kings, Lord of Lords, Prince of peace, Emmanuel, etc. It was like, in an effort to move away from Traditional hymns which heavily emphasize the name of Christ, modern Christian song writers started to allude to the name rather than explicitly say it. The problem is that we need to say Christ’s name.
Saying Christ’s name is to give glory to God. It is to invoke the name that brought salvation to all, embodying God’s love for humanity. Therefore, it is also to testify to the truth of the Gospel, and our love of our Lord. Christ calls us by name to take up our cross and follow him, leaving sin and death behind as we move towards eternity with God. We cannot be afraid to say Christ’s name, because to stay silent in that case leads to silence in others. Jesus Christ is our Lord, and we who claim his name as our central identity of Christ must never waver from proclaiming that truth. “Why are you so happy?” Christ, my Lord, is good to me. “What are you doing this weekend?” First, I’m doing some missions so others will know Christ loves them, and then I’m going to worship on Sunday to give thanks to God for my many blessings. Want to join me? Christ is not something we utter silently in the recesses of our hearts. It is the breath and animation of the disciple, and just saying the name of Christ has power and authority to overcome all trials and tribulations. With Christ’s name on our lips, we are armed with the ability to resist temptation and spread hope to the desperate. To keep his name silent is to give the wrong impression that we are embarrassed, not fully committed, or ungrateful. How can we be any of those things considering who we were before we were saved by the grace born of the blood of the cross thanks to Jesus Christ?
Christ, my God and Lord of all,
Forgive me when I have not proclaimed you.
When my lips have been sealed against uttering your name,
I failed to fulfill the Scriptures and give glory to you.
All that I have,
All that I am,
And all the good that I could ever do,
Is because of you.
You know it, and I know it.
Now may others come to know,
Because I say your name with honor and conviction.
Do not allow me to be silent any longer.
Christ, hear my prayer.
World, hear the name that alone can save:
Jesus Christ who died, rose, and lives forever is Lord.
We are his beloved;
He bore our sin, so we speak his name.