March for Jesus:
Churches Publicly Celebrating
the Supremacy of Christ
in the Streets of America
May 30, 2020. In cities and communities across America and beyond, churches will unite to parade through their downtowns, singing the praises of Jesus as Lord and King of all.
Maybe this will take place where YOU live!
In the 1990s, hundreds of these “Marches for Jesus” unfolded across the nation. Now—right in the middle of a sobering presidential election year—believers of all stripes and denominations will visibly unite to conduct a sort of “worship parade” focused on the Redeemer who claims to be “the ruler of the kings of the earth” (Revelation 1).
If you look at this two-minute video, you’ll quickly learn what’s being planned and how you can get involved.
In Los Angeles at the end of September, I addressed a “March for Jesus Summit” involving leaders who have already come online for May 30, representing cities such as New York and Houston. The Summit asked me to bring these two messages (which we filmed and will soon be available to you):
(1) WHY Do We Celebrate the Supremacy of Christ?
(2) HOW Do We Celebrate the Supremacy of Christ?
In the rest of this blog post, I want to share with you a synopsis of my answers to those two vital questions—answers that are not just for Marches for Jesus but for every Jesus follower, anytime, anywhere.
What is a March for Jesus?
TIME magazine reported that this past summer, before some of the protests turned violent, the millions of Hong Kong citizens marching through their city to stand against the Chinese government and for democracy had a theme song that they sang as they protested day after day. They chose a chorus from the “Jesus Movement” in the 1970s. You can hear them for yourself here. There are three verses to the familiar tune:
“Sing hallelujah to the Lord”;
“Jesus has risen from the dead”;
“Jesus is Lord of Heaven and earth.”
A March for Jesus is a similarly public demonstration, also marked by unity and praise, except that in a true March for JESUS the focus of the two-hour event is not on democracy but rather totally on supremacy—the glory and greatness of the King of Glory who is reigning right now over Hong Kong as well as all the cities of the earth.
March for Jesus brings together the whole Body of Christ in a community to fill their streets with worshipful rejoicing in Jesus as Lord, in unison singing hymns and songs of praise to Jesus about his lordship over all, with brass bands and banners that proclaim the majesty of our Master.
The group marching might be 5000 strong, or it might be 50. This year the March for Jesus in San Paulo, Brazil, gathered millions in praise to the Savior!
But whatever the size of the march, it is the PERSON being celebrated by his followers with one heart and one voice that brings about a Kingdom impact. It pushes back the powers of darkness. It calls unbelievers to the gospel. It fills the throne room of heaven with the kind of worship that is found only where redeemed sinners gather to make much of the spectacular supremacy of Christ.
The theme Scripture passage for the 2020 March for Jesus is Philippians 2:9-11, which The Message paraphrases this way:
God lifted Jesus high and honored him
far beyond anyone or anything, ever,
so that all created beings in heaven and on earth—
even those long ago dead and buried—
will bow in worship before this Jesus Christ,
and call out in praise that he is the Master of all,
to the glorious honor of God the Father.
That means that every March for Jesus is like a foretaste or an enactment of the Consummation when the entire creation will be celebrating the supremacy of the Son forever. We can call each event a kind of “dress rehearsal” for the ages to come!
WHY Do We Celebrate the Supremacy of Christ?
At the March for Jesus Summit last month, I gave the leaders FOUR REASONS why we must celebrate the magnificent reality of Philippians 2:9-11. For now, I can only summarize them. Later, you will be able to view the video of my talk if you want to enjoy the entire teaching.
(1) We celebrate because Jesus is WORTHY of such celebration. That should be reason enough! It is God the Father who has given him the position of preeminence in the universe. Should we not do the same, both alone and with others? It is the Father who is so passionate for manifesting before everyone—past, present, future—the wonders of the Reigning Son. Should we be any less passionate for Jesus—privately and publicly—than the Father is?
(2) We celebrate because such a celebration is our DESTINY. Passages like Revelation 5, 21, and 22 make it clear that the eternal ages will be saturated with the worship of Jesus as redeeming Lord, as the “lamp of the city,” as the “Lamb upon the throne.” Whatever else that involves, surely there will be countless experiences of God’s people coming together around their Savior to join their voices in inexhaustible praises.
(3) We celebrate because this is the best way to confront our EMERGENCY. What emergency? It’s what many are calling the Church’s “crisis of Christology”—how we have settled for a “Christless Christology” (Michael Horton) for all practical purposes; for a “puny Christ” (John Stott) that has left us with a “puny” walk with him. A March for Jesus enlarges the vision of Jesus for his own followers in order to totally transform their daily life in him long after the parade is over.
(4) We celebrate because it’s time to join the INSURGENCY. There’s a groundswell throughout the Body of Christ in our nation. It is the beginnings of a reformation—the reforming of how we see the exalted Savior and his reign among us.
We might call it an “Ascension Reformation”—a revolution that comes about as implications of the ascension of Christ (the most neglected doctrine among many believers today) transform how we see, seek, savor, and speak of his supremacy.
This holy, Spirit-inspired insurgency has been manifested for years in the national prayer movement, of which March for Jesus is a part. As a multitude of Christians parades in praise through cities in May 2020, they will become one more step in the insurgency that is leading our generation toward a powerful awakening to the spectacular supremacy of Christ.
HOW Do We Celebrate the Supremacy of Christ?
Of course, I had a lot more to say at the Summit about “WHY?”—but those four points give you starting points to answer the question. Now, let’s turn briefly to the HOW question.
First of all, many of us need to undergo what I call a “re-conversion” to Christ for ALL he is so that we become so captivated with the majesty of our Savior and his supremacy that celebrating it finally becomes for us a way of life. This is precisely what 1 Peter 1 declares should be our daily experience:
What a God we have! And how fortunate we are to have him, this Father of our Master Jesus! Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we’ve been given a brand-new life and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven—and the future starts now! . . . You never saw [Jesus], yet you love him. You still don’t see him, yet you trust him—with laughter and singing. Because you kept on believing, you’ll get what you’re looking forward to: total salvation (The Message).
Then I told the leaders in Los Angeles that we also celebrate the wonders of our King by how we experience lives of:
(1) Humility. The whole context of Philippians 2:9-11—the verses both before and after—is about humility among God’s people. We are to have “the mind of Christ” who humbled himself all the way to the cross. We display this “mind” (according to the opening verse of chapter 2) by
- Sharing with one another in the Spirit with tenderness and compassion
- Being like-minded with the same love
- Being one in spirit and of one mind
- Doing nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit
- Valuing others above ourselves in humility
In context, the three verses about Jesus’ ascension and exaltation are written to reassure us that, like it was for Jesus, out of our humility, we too will be lifted up and victorious in him—because of him and with him.
Ultimately, of course, our greatest demonstration of humility will be when we fall to our knees on the day his supremacy is manifested to the whole universe, as we worship him as the Lord of all that he is.
(2) Fervency. As I said before, we need to become as passionate for Jesus as the Father is for him. We need to become “Person-driven” so that we consume Christ and all he offers us and are also consumed with him as our highest treasure.
Like Paul puts it in Philippians 1:21, fervency for Christ means that for us to live IS Christ and dying is welcomed because it simply means we get more of him. Or as Paul reveals his own fervency in Philippians 3, we count everything as nothing in contrast to being found in Christ and knowing him in both suffering and resurrection, as we lay hold of all of that for which he first laid hold of us.
(3) Expectancy. We are to exult in the greatness of Jesus by how we’re always looking for MORE from him and in him and through him. “Seeking the Lord” is, in itself, an act of worship because it declares that God is so glorious there always are more of his promises to be fulfilled in Christ; more of his riches to be discovered in Christ; more of his purposes to share with Christ; more of his power to receive from Christ.
As Scripture says in Romans 5:2—we are to “REJOICE in the hope of the glory of God” (that is, in anticipation of more of God’s glory to be revealed to us and through us in our Savior)— knowing that our hope in him will never leave us ashamed because God’s love for us saturates our hearts by the power of the Holy Spirit.
(4) Intimacy. When Paul writes in Colossians 1:27 that Christ dwells among his people as the hope of all the glorious things to come, note that he proclaims that the living, reigning Son of God is not only sitting on God’s throne but, by the Spirit of God, he also comes among his people. He lives within us, drawing us into intimacy with himself in the full light of his supremacy. He invites us to march TOWARD him before we try to go out to march FOR him. We celebrate how wonderful he is by every step we take to go DEEPER into him before we seek to go WIDER in serving him.
March for Jesus: Forward!
For 14 years, my family lived in Madison, the capital of Wisconsin. The state capital building is on the rise of a hill in the middle of the city. On top of its dome is a large gold-plated statue of a woman in ancient Grecian clothing with her arm outstretched toward the West and her pointing index finger extended. You can see her from every part of center-city Madison.
She is called “Miss Forward” because the state motto of Wisconsin is quite simply “Forward!” In other words, it is as if she is reminding all of her citizens day after day that they need to be a community that is always moving forward—in business, in education, in government, in the arts, in social services.
In a far, far more dramatic fashion, our Lord Jesus Christ rises in the midst of each of our congregations and among all of the churches in our cities calling us to go FORWARD together. He invites us to advance into the courts of heaven, bringing the praises of Jesus to the triune God. But he also calls us to advance into our communities to proclaim the unbounded worthiness of the crowned and anointed Lamb who was slain for them (Revelation 5)—doing so first of all in acts of unified worship and celebration.
What a testimony any such public gathering can be!
And it is to this experience that the Spirit of God is calling many to join in a March for Jesus on May 30, 2020.
After all, Scripture tells us that every Jesus follower is already marching behind him right now—as a way of life:
In the Messiah, in Christ, God leads us from place to place
in one perpetual victory parade.
Through us, he brings knowledge of Christ.
Everywhere we go, people breathe in the exquisite fragrance.
Because of Christ, we give off a sweet scent rising to God,
which is recognized by those on the way of salvation—
an aroma redolent with life.
(2 Corinthians 2, The Message)
Do YOU hear his voice saying “Forward!” to you as you begin each day?
And would you like to see a March for Jesus on May 30 in your city or community? Then contact the national offices here.
About the Author
Over the past 40 years, David Bryant has been defined by many as a “messenger of hope” and a “Christ proclaimer” to the Church throughout the world. Formerly a minister-at-large with the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, president of Concerts of Prayer International (COPI), and chairman of America’s National Prayer Committee, David now provides leadership to ChristNow.com and Proclaim Hope!, whose mission is to foster and serve Christ-awakening movements. Order his widely read books at DavidBryantBooks.com.
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