Friday, July 4, 2008

I pledge allegiance....

Oh say can you see, by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
Who's broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight
O`er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming
And the rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O`er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

We all recognize these as the words to "The Star-Spangled Banner", which will be sung at many, many fireworks displays and other venues tonight.

How many people will sing this lustily and even get teary-eyed, and yet these same people are afraid to show emotion while singing "Amazing Grace"? And I'm not talking about non-believers.

I tend to feel that such allegiance and devotion belongs only to my Lord anyway.

Kind of like Santa Claus and Christmas.

The flag and the cross.

What has done the most for our country anyway? Really?

The flag just happens to be a tangible and non-controversial symbol of that same devotion (toward different objects).

Many have lived and died for this country and all it stands for.

Many are not afraid to join the leagues of fighting men and women who are daily deployed to fight for what this country stands for.


I'm afraid to show my neighbor Jesus.

Where's your allegiance? And mine.

1 comment:

Lance said...

The flag actually has been controversial in recent months within certain political campaigns.

As for teary-eyed emotion, I hope an outward display of it does not become the litmus test for either authentic worship and devotion directed to God or a grateful sense of patriotism. Some of the visible emotions are due to invisible realities.

I don't tear up every time I hear the National Anthem, even if the soloist is outstanding. But I will respect this country and its flag since we are still one nation under God. And without Him we would simply be one nation under.
I have several people close to me who are serving in the Middle East now, have served there in the past 6+ years, or are preparing to defend us as necessary in the days to come. So it seems natural that I might be deeply moved (whether shown externally or not is immaterial to my point) because of the personal connections I have to those who are putting their lives on the line for me. It's not simply a song to me.

I have never personally met the Christian martyrs I read about who have suffered and are suffering today for the cause of the Gospel, yet I feel a strong emotional and spiritual bond with them that I cannot explain. It's different than the emotion of gratitude to God for the freedom we enjoy in this country.

Neither is Amazing Grace simply another song to me but it strikes a deeper chord of freedom within my soul. The liberty to follow Jesus Christ as Master and Lord, the one who transformed from wretch to adopt me as His own, is more precious each day that I walk with Him and it will eternally outlast any political freedom in this world.