My Favorite Float

By Mark Hopper jesus-float

My wife and I always enjoy the Rose Parade.  We have actually attended the parade a few times but most years we watch it on TV.

It is amazing to see the floats close up.  Their size and the colors are amazing.  But, there are some advantages to watching them on TV.  You usually get to see the floats from a variety of angles and perspectives.   And the TV commentators provide the history and the story behind each float.

Each year several judges present different awards for outstanding floats.    There are a variety of categories and I’m sure it is a special honor to be recognized by the distinguished panel.

As we watched the Rose Parade at home this year,  one particular float caught my attention.  The title of the float was “Celebrate Jesus”.  It was a colorful float with an image of Jesus standing at the door of a church.

The float was decorated by volunteers who are called “Petal Pushers”.  This is an organization that sends volunteers from all over the country to help decorate a number of parade floats.

I actually met some of these energetic people near LAX as they were getting ready to leave and return home to Iowa.  They represent a broad age group from teens to senior adults.

The “Celebrate Jesus” float was sponsored by the “Lutheran Hour Ministries”.  It was the only religious float in the parade this year.  The Lutherans have sponsored a float in the Rose Parade since 1951 –  over sixty years!

The float commemorated the 500th anniversary when Martin Luther posted his “95 Theses” on the door of a church in Wittenberg, Germany.  This was the beginning of what became known as the Protestant Reformation.

There were three large bells on the float.  They were beautifully decorated with bright colored flowers.  On each bell was one of these phrases: “Faith Alone”, “Grace Alone”, and “Scripture Alone”.

These three statements summarize what Martin Luther believed and what he began to teach 500 years ago.  They remain the bedrock of the Christian faith today.

I am thankful that the Lutherans continue to sponsor a float in the Rose Parade each year.  I’m glad that the organizers of the Rose Parade include religious floats and that they never have the parade on Sunday.

And, I am thankful for the hundreds of “Petal Pusher” volunteers that help decorate many of the Rose Parade floats.

I don’t know if the Lutherans received an award for their float this year, but it was my favorite float!


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