As I pray and prepare for the Christmas Eve festivities I find great irony in the fact my Bible reading plan has brought me to the Passion account as John shares it. Here we are about to celebrate the coming of Christ, and I am reading, interacting, with the fulfillment of that coming. As I was reading the person of Joseph of Arimathea, struck my interest. John comments he was a secret follower of Jesus because he was afraid of the religious leaders. After claiming the body of Christ, Joe is joined by another infamous secret follower Nicodemus. Two people who were too afraid to stand up to the religious leaders, possibly they felt they had too much to lose, are now the ones caring for the lifeless body of Christ.
This caused further reflection. I wonder how many people are secret followers of Jesus? Is it possible to be a secret follower of Jesus? I understand many through the years for various reasons have been secret followers of Jesus, but I wonder if that is truly following Jesus. There was not much about Jesus ministry which was done in secret. From the moment of His birth Jesus was sought after, and did very little without being noticed.
Further this caused me to look to the church. There are many churches being lead by secret followers of Jesus. They are not real sure they want everyone to know how deeply they follow Jesus. It could be fear of the ramifications. It could be fear of the changes in their own lives. It could be a whole host of things. The rest is the same. Secret followers of Jesus end up caring for the lifeless body of Christ.
Interestingly, the non-secret followers of Jesus were in fear as well, locked in the upper room. Once Jesus appears to them and gives them instructions they are off and moving. Soon we have the sending of the Holy Spirit and the followers are tending the living body of Christ, the church on mission.
This Christmas, will Christ be your best kept secret?