A news story from the past about a town’s “Christmas” parade was a study in contradictions.

There was a possibility that the town would change the name of the parade to something like “holiday” parade, but the Christian community raised a loud protest, wrote letters, and otherwise worked to force a return to the traditional name. They won.

On the day of the parade, things went off without a hitch. Car clubs showed off their pride and joys. High school bands marched proudly down the street. A dance troupe resurrected an ancient pagan dance style, and Santa Claus brought up the rear.

Some wondered why there was such a fuss over the name of the parade. Most of the floats that came down Main Street had little or nothing on them that would have reminded an onlooker of Christmas or Jesus.

The Bible doesn’t make a big deal of the birth of Jesus. If it weren’t for Matthew and Luke’s gospels, we’d know nothing about it. Much more is made of the resurrection because that is where the real power of Jesus life was. Birth was the gateway into this life, but it was how he faced sin and death victoriously that won God’s approval.

Parades don’t seem to be very important when you consider that death and resurrection are the big news. Without that the birth is just another sweet childbirth story with no particular point. And it doesn’t matter what you call the parade.