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Sunday, June 13, 2010


June 14, 2010

George M. Cohen wrote "You’re a Grand Old Flag" in 1906 for his musical, "George Washington, Jr." For most Americans, our glorious flag, flapping her ruby stripes in the breeze, is one of the most beautiful sites they can imagine. Today, Monday, June 14 is Flag Day. I’m sure stores have found a way to commercialize it. Do not let anyone hijack its meaning and twist it into something else. She represents the land we love.
The same is true of the Christian symbols that remind us of whose we are. Some wear gaudy crucifixes around their necks suspended from heavy chains. I won’t pretend to know their motives. I sometimes wear a small cross myself or one I bought shortly before we moved from New Mexico. My favorite is a little gold one my parents gave me when I was about five years old. It represents the sacrifice of our Lord, the love of my mother and daddy, and the continuing grace of God. Some people fight to remove Christian symbols from public view. A few days ago we stopped at the world’s largest cross (198 feet tall), the Cross at the Crossroads, in Effingham, Illinois. We had seen it many times as we passed on I70, but after a legal debate erupted that threatened its existence, we wanted to stop this time.
I enjoy wearing creative pins, some shaped like women, others are seasonal forms, and many are homes, all designed by a woman who was once homeless. They are sold as fund raisers for a mission project in Indianapolis. Many people stop and admire the pins which gives me the opportunity to share the story of the wonderful mission they represent. Each telling can be a testimony which is uniquely my own. Seize the opportunity to use the symbols as visual aids to tell others about our great country, our Risen Savior, or a mission opportunity others can share in. Take Flag Day as an opportunity to tell others the true story of the great country in which we live, the loving God we serve, and the Good Shepherd we follow. Only you can share your story. On the witness stand of life, yours is the only voice that is not hearsay. Let us pray:

“Dear Lord and father of all there, we praise your holy name and thank you for the symbols you generously place on our path, like bread crumbs, showing us the way home. Forgive us if we have worshiped these symbols, for they only represent you. They are not your heart. You have placed beauty and inspiration all around us. Too often we choose to fix our gaze on the ugly rather than drink in the glory of all you have for us. Let us show others the beauty you have given all of us. We ask you to bless this great country in which we live, the heart beat and breath that ripples our flowing flag. May the country our founders left to us as a precious, inspired gift, lift others for generations to come. Give us the courage to speak truth to the history of this land, so that others will see your love behind the symbols. In the name of Jesus Christ we pray. Amen”
Copyright 2010 Doris Gaines Rapp, Ph.D.
“God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine.”

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