Wednesday, September 01, 2010
Today’s Topic: The Rallying Point
Today’s Text: Isaiah 11:10 In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his place of rest will be glorious.
I wish there was a greater patriotic spirit in our land today. I remember as a child the pride we had in our country. We were not all that far removed from the end of World War 2, and there was a sense of national pride and unity that permeated our country. I can’t remember ever seeing a single person sitting while a flag would be carried by in a parade. I also can’t remember anyone ever standing without having their hand over their heart in a personal salute to what the flag represents.
Not so today, is it? There is a disrespectful disregard for patriotism. Some would say it is because we have drifted so far from what our founding fathers designed, so they are excused from honoring what currently stands. I believe that the reason we are where we are today is because we, the generations since those days of honor and respect, have failed to live it and teach it as we should. We became complacent. We stopped rallying around a common banner and hope, and the resulting disrespect for our Republic and changing philosophies of our leaders is what we should have seen coming.
William Arthur Ward (his biography) wrote these moving words:
“I believe in America.
“I believe it became great because of its faith in God, its hope for independence, and its love for freedom.
“I am grateful for America’s glorious past; I am awed by its unbelievable present; I am confident of its limitless future.
“I am not ashamed to take my hat off and to stand at attention when Old Glory passes by. I do not apologize for the lump in my throat when I repeat the Pledge of Allegiance. I am not embarrassed by the tears in my eyes when I hear ‘The Star Spangled Banner.’
“Like millions of Americans, I want a free choice, not a free handout. I prefer an opportunity to prove my abilities on the job rather than a license to demonstrate my frustrations in the street.
“I am an old-fashioned American with a new-found determination to do my part to make democracy work.”
Like Ward, I too still get tears in my eyes when I sing the Star Spangled Banner. Just think of what that song meant to the people of that day, and what it should still mean to us. In the midst of a predictably unwinnable war against a vastly superior army from a long-established country, our troops were fighting to preserve our young Republic. During the bombardment of Fort McHenry by the British Royal Navy ships in Chesapeake in the War of 1812, the rockets red glare and the bombs bursting in air gave proof through the night that our flag was still there. The flag was the rallying point for the army. It was the signal to all around that there was still fight left in the troops. The flag is our symbol of liberty, and it should be held high and in high regard.
As Christians we belong to a spiritual Kingdom. The Ruler of this Kingdom has also established a flag – a banner – that flies over us as our rallying point. It is the cross on which He died for our sins. One day, maybe very soon the way things are going, the banner of the cross will be replaced by the One who hung on the cross. The day is coming when a new Ruler will rise, or rather descend, to power. He will become the new banner for the people of the world. He will be the One to bring true world peace. He will be the One to unite the world again. All nations will bow before Him. All nations will be united in Him. He will bring peace that is glorious.
His name is Jesus, and His banner is to be lifted high and held in high regard.