The Stars and Stripes
2 Timothy 1:9-10 “He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.”
Senator John McCain shared that Mike Christian from Selma, Alabama, had a very deep appreciation for the opportunities the United States Navy had afforded him. He loved America so much that when he had gathered enough handkerchiefs, scarves and other pieces of clothing from care packages that were allowed in their cell as a POW in Vietnam, Mike created an American flag. He secretly sewed it on the inside of his shirt using a bamboo needle. It took him about two months to create. Every day before they ate their soup, Mike would hang his shirt on the wall of the cell and they would say the Pledge of Allegiance together. It became the most important and meaningful part of their day. Then one afternoon, the Vietnamese searched their cell and found Mike’s shirt with the makeshift flag sewn inside. They immediately removed it and when they returned later that day, they severely beat Mike.
For Mike Christian and his fellow prisoners, the American flag held profound symbolism. It represented much more than a mere piece of cloth; it embodied hope, liberty, and the comforting embrace of home. Similarly, the cross of Jesus carries a powerful meaning for us all. It represents our ultimate source of hope, offering freedom from the shackles of sin and a promising future in the eternal presence of Jesus. Just as the American flag stirs patriotic sentiments, the cross evokes a deep sense of spiritual significance and the promise of everlasting fellowship with our Savior.
Take time to thank God for our freedom and for those who have fought for it. Remember the cross and look toward our future.
Father, we thank you for the freedom we enjoy in this country, and we ask that you bless the men and women in uniform. Thank you for the cross, and the hope and assurance it gives me. In Jesus' name, Amen.