PASTOR'S PEN: Fly your flag high

Last week was all about various flags and this coming weekend we will celebrate our country's independence with flags. They will be flying in parades, from houses, flag poles, trucks and on little sticks in the hands of children. We love to wave our flags.

Hanging above the stairs as I go down to my basement is a big NASCAR flag. Flags are made of material, yet they stand for so much more. They represent something we hold as important to us and something we love. You won’t ever see a Jeff Gordon or Jimmy Johnson flag on my truck, but Kyle Busch is a different story. Despite its athletic prowess and difficulty, you probably won’t see me holding a flag representing ice-skating; but a flag with a big bass on it could easily find its way into my hands. Those are things I enjoy and would proudly display for everyone to see. They’re an ingrained part of my life.

In Exodus 17, the Israelites are attacked by the Amalekites. The Israelites go out the next day prepared for battle. Moses, their more than 80-year old leader, stands on top of a hill while Joshua leads the army. Every times Moses lifts his arms into the air, the Israelites are winning. Whenever he lowers his arms, they are overtaken. Eventually, due to how tiring this would be, Aaron and Hur hold Moses’ arms in the air and the Israelites are victorious. Amazing!

After such and odd victory, Moses and all Israel knew their strength and military prowess wasn’t the main factor in their success. So Moses built and altar to the Lord and called it, “The LORD is my Banner” or my flag. Moses knew the flag he was to wave wasn’t the stars and stripes or numbers from a car, but that of the Lord. Christ emphasizes this in Luke 14:26 when He says, “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters — yes, even their own life — such a person cannot be my disciple.” Christ says in many other places that we are to love these people, so what does He mean? He means that more important than anyone, even our own lives, is Christ. The flag that should fly above every other flag and should determine what flags we fly below it is that of Christ.

Is your life a banner that, no matter when they look to it, others will always see Christ displayed above all? Fly high the flag of Christ.