Of all the times not to have my camera with me! The local fire department had brought its large ladder truck to the cemetery for the annual Memorial Day Service. Attached to the sky-high ladder was an enormous American flag, hanging listlessly in the hot, breeze-free air. A row of firemen in their dress blues, were standing at attention by the firetruck. Crossing the road in front of them, I found an unoccupied space of grass for my lawn chair.
The ceremony soon started with our national anthem. As we neared the end of it, I heard a swish-flap-flap. Instinctively, I looked up and gasped. A gentle breeze had picked up and was blowing that enormous American flag so that it extended directly over my head. It remained like that through the Pledge of Allegiance and the invocation, while I spent much of that time looking up, mesmerized by the sight.
The banner of freedom that brave men and women fought and died for was covering me at that moment, just as it has covered Americans for over 200 years. What a beautiful reminder of why we celebrate days like Memorial Day. Or the upcoming Flag Day.
It also reminded me of another banner. One that remains unfurled over us ALL our lives. God gave us that banner—HIS banner of LOVE. Jesus Christ.
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Just as the American flag reminds us of our freedom and those who fought for it, the banner of God’s love reminds us of our freedom in Christ, won for us by Christ’s dying on the cross and rising again to live forever. God’s banner over us is one of forgiveness. Protection. Security. Hope. Joy. Comfort. Strength. Peace. Love.
Flag Day, June 14th, is a time to remember the symbol of freedom for our country. May we also remember God’s banner of love over us, the symbol of our freedom in Christ.