One nation under God
What does the American flag and God have in common? It’s a stretch but these are my thoughts. As a kid in school, we always stood at attention in our classroom as the Principal led us in the Pledge of Allegiance to our nation’s flag. At an early age I sensed there was a connection. Too young to totally understand. But I knew there was something. Then, we would have a prayer over the loudspeaker. (Those were the days!)
As we are pledging our allegiance to the American flag, we are stating that we are “One nation under God, Indivisible”. The flag represents all we are as a nation, and at the same time, acknowledging that we are a people under the authority of one God and that our nation and God are indivisible. Take a look around you today. The division is at the forefront. God seems to have taken a back seat to our self-interests.
As I was reflecting on this comparison, I was reminded of the proper display for our flag. Among many other respectful rules honoring the meaning of the flag, one allows the flag to be flown at night. In the daytime it is unlit, but at night, one must place a flood or spotlight on the flag. So, in the darkest night, the flag may be seen in all its glory.
Light brings hope
Same with God. Jesus said; “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (Jn. 8.12 ESV). In the darkest of nights, stars are the brightest. In these times of fear and stress, that is when his light, through his word, is most visible. Light brings hope. It’s the first thing God created when they began the creation of the universe. In difficult times, that is when you can ‘see’ more clearly if you are looking into the light of the word. It’s a lamp to your feet.
We fly a flag every day and night at our house. Yes, we have a floodlight on it. As you can see, there is a Dogwood near the flag. Another strong semblance is represented by both. Millions of men and women have made sacrifices over our country’s history, even shedding their blood that the future generations might live and prosper in this great country. The Dogwood blossom depicts the sacrifice of Jesus, even the cruel shedding of his innocent blood for the world. So that future generations and even current and past generations might receive the joy of eternal salvation.
High and lifted up
God and our flag have a lot in common. Both are to be loved and served. One for the temporal health of our nation and the world, the other for the eternal. The last thing I noticed is when Old Glory is flying on a flagpole with another city, county or state flags, the American flag must fly above, with the others below. The same with our God. He was high and lifted up so that he might draw men and women to himself. His name is above every name, in heaven, on earth, and under the earth.
As we approach Easter this year, be mindful that God created this great nation to serve his purpose for the world. But glory in the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ, and place your eternal hope of glory in the Resurrection. That’s the plain and simple gospel by which we are saved.
Salute the flag—but worship the King, who is seated above the heavens at the right hand of the Father. O, God has his own flag, it’s the banner of his love. “He has brought me to his banqueting place, and his banner over me is love” (waving overhead to protect and comfort me*) (S. of Sol. 2.4).