Raise Your Flag
“Moses built an altar and called it The Lord is my Banner.”- Exodus 17:15
This is a highly important and meaningful week in the life of our nation. This Saturday will be the 20th Anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on our nation. Most certainly, all of us can recall the moment we discovered the news of the attacks and the devastating first images displayed of the Twin Towers falling in New York City. As we come to this time of remembrance, we honor the 2,996 lives lost on that day (and their surviving family members), along with the countless brave first responders. One of the miracles that came from such an evil event, was seeing our country highly unified. In my lifetime I cannot remember another time with such solidarity, a sense of national pride, and being on the same page despite so many differences. For a moment in time, we were truly, “One Nation Under God”.
In recent days, I was taken back by the number of homes displaying an American Flag on my street. As I witnessed so many flying the beautiful stars and stripes, a thought/question came to me: How many people have flags raised for the right reasons? I began wondering, without judging others, the many different motives and messages that go with waving the flag. My guess is that some are doing it because of their deep love and pride for the country; others are making a statement of defiance towards current mandates/perceived infringements; some are bemoaning the state of our nation, in comparison with yesteryear; while others are doing it to honor the people in many facets who serve to uphold our freedoms.
As we come to remember what happened twenty years ago on 9/11, perhaps our greatest display would be a RETURN TO AND RAISING UP of unity, honor, and life of sacrifice. Where some flags right now are raised based on disagreements and disapproval, let’s become a people that choose unity over division, humility over pride, and loving others over personal freedoms. Let’s remove the barriers and battle lines that have been created by political views, social issues, current mandates, and even moral beliefs. Paul reminds us to not be embattled with others, when the true enemy is out there trying to destroy us all. Ephesians 6:12 says, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
When Moses built the altar and named the place, JEHOVAH NISSI (“The Lord is My Banner”), it was based on God delivering Israel from the Amalekites. God was the source of their pride, strength, and victory. Yes, it is fine to have an American Flag on your house, but let’s be sure the message is still all about God’s foundation of love, call to service/honoring others, and hope for true freedom. In the midst of our 9/11 observance and as we map out living in today’s conflicted and corrupt culture, let’s lift up Jesus in all we say and do. As our Savior says in John 12:32, “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” Our Savior delivered the greatest victory, over sin and death, so we would display the greatest banner, one of love and eternal life!