“Proclaim” is not a word I often use. In fact, it’s not a word I hear much at all. Nevertheless, it’s a word that seems to hold a very powerful and significant meaning in Scripture. To “proclaim” was to announce, declare, extol and call out to; to make something known to everyone, usually something profound and important. In the Old Testament, God commanded Jeremiah and Jonah to courageously and boldly “proclaim” a condemning message to a very powerful foreign land; not an easy task if you grasp what they were actually expected to do. In the Gospels, Jesus’ ministry could be described as one big “proclamation”; an ushering in of a new era, a shift from God’s Holiness to God’s Grace. The rest of the New Testament is the story of how Christ’s followers went about “proclaiming” this Good News, God’s love story of Redemption and Reconciliation. The word is significant throughout Scripture, but what does it mean in our lives today?
What are we currently proclaiming? What are we taking a stand for? What are we announcing to the rest of the world? Let us agree to proclaim first and foremost, through thick and thin, through times of joy and times of sorrow one thing: that Jesus is Lord; Lord of Heaven and Earth, Lord of our communities, Lord of our families, and Lord of our lives. Let us proclaim that “through Him all things are possible,” and it is through Him that we find our deepest joy and delight, a “peace that transcends all understanding.” Let us proclaim that no work situation, economy or illness, and no amount of uncertainty, hardship, fear or skepticism will snatch us from the clutches of our loving Creator, the Alpha and the Omega, the Star-Breather and Sin-Bearer, He who has said “the very hairs on your head are numbered.” Let us proclaim to stand for justice, for peace, and for healing; let us proclaim, as Paul so eloquently writes, to stand for “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, and whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy…” This Advent season, let us declare, let us announce and let us proclaim: Our God was, is, and will forever be an awesome God; a God slow to anger, quick to love and always mighty to save.
All the best to you and yours this Advent season.