Hint: for this post, you might like to scroll down and start the video so the music plays as you read the article.
Even though the 4th of July has come and gone, it’s still a good time to be patriotic. Last week I experienced a new appreciation for the beauty of our country’s flag and what it stands for. At the same time, I discovered how easy it is to find God in the history of the American flag and its meaning.
I have to admit that I didn’t always grasp how privileged I am to live in the United States. As a college student, I felt rebellious when everyone stood during a public event when the National Anthem was played. To me, it felt as though I was being forced to do something against my will. Now my perspective has changed. The older I get, the more I understand the great sacrifices that have been made to preserve the freedoms we enjoy every day.
Several days ago, I sat down in my living room with Bible in hand for my prayer time. Gazing out the window, my eyes rested on the large American flag that flies next to the model home in our still-being-developed subdivision. The beauty of the red, white, and blue fabric rippling in the wind struck me so deeply, it seemed like I was seeing our flag for the first time.
I also noticed something else for the first time. I realized that our flag can actually be thought of as a depiction of Jesus if we remember a couple of Bible verses. The red and white stripes reminded me of a verse from Isaiah—
But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed. Isaiah 53:5 (NKJV)
Before He was crucified, Jesus endured humiliation, beating, and a lashing with a cruel Roman whip with metal tips that tore away chunks of His flesh. Why did He willingly suffer such abuse and a horrible death? To set us free. Free from slavery to sin and free from the penalty for our sin. His sacrifice made it possible for us to look forward to eternal life with Him someday.
When I looked at the white stars in the flag, I thought of one of the names that the Bible gives Jesus.
But when you consider the wonderful truth of the prophets’ words, then the light will dawn in your souls and Christ the Morning Star will shine in your hearts. 2 Peter 1:19 (TLB)
In the closing verses of the Bible, Jesus said,
“I am both the source of David and the heir to his throne. I am the bright morning star.” Revelation 22:16 (NLT)
He promised that if we accept the sacrifice He made, then we can live with Him forever in heaven.
When we look at the American flag, we can rejoice that we are blessed to live in a country that offers such freedom. If we let the stars and stripes remind us of the spiritual freedom we’ve found in Jesus, we will rejoice all the more.
Want to read about the unique history of the American flag? Visit here: usa-flag-site.org.
Watch this moving video of Michael W. Smith’s song, “There She Stands”, but have tissues handy: