God has truly blessed our church family throughout this year of COVID. On June 27th we officially moved back to our regular gathering place in the sanctuary. As most of us know by now there have been some meaningful changes to the physical room. One of those changes has encompassed the spaces on the platform. If you have not received the "From My Heart To Yours" brochure, please pick up a copy this Sunday. In it you will find a self-guided tour of the changes that have been made and what they aim to communicate to all of our hearts.
Before I explain our position on the display of the American flag in the sanctuary, I would like to take a few moments to expound on the Biblical purposes of our corporate gatherings each Lord's Day.
First, we aim to express that "the Most High rules the kingdom of man and gives it to whom he will and sets over it the lowliest of men."~Daniel 4:17 Jesus Christ is the Most High Ruler and we bow to His supreme authority in all matters of faith, life and practice.
Second, we aim to express that the worship service is a gathering of the Kingdom of God. Each Lord's Day as we gather together, we do so in a microcosmic display of the future gathering of all creation on earth and around the throne of Heaven!~Revelation 4-5. We pray that the Lord will continue to build His church, the "called out" ones, in a multi-generational and multi-cultural local assembly, representative of His heart's design and purpose! He truly wants us to be a "house of prayer for all peoples (nations and people groups)."~Isaiah 56:6-8
Third, we boldly declare that Jesus Christ is our King and His banner over us is love, which He has given freely to us through His sacrifice upon the cross.~Song of Solomon 2:4; 1 Corinthians 2:1-5, 12
The American flag is a precious symbol of our nation's freedom! It pains my heart to see the disrespect so prevalent in our nation today. We must give honor to those who have sacrificed so much, even their own lives, that we may enjoy these God given blessings! From time to time, as our nation celebrates its liberties and freedoms, we will display our nation's flag in thanksgiving, remembrance, and honor of those to whom it is due.~Psalm 3:27; Romans 13:7-8
Especially in this tumultuous and wicked generation, I believe the church must boldly and winsomely declare the Truth, which is God's Word, and wisely discern what is the will of the Lord in communicating these Biblical beliefs. Our focus must be on the Lord Jesus Christ and His Word. For these reasons the American flag is not displayed within the sanctuary every Sunday. However, with humility and honor, we joyfully fly our nations flag every day outside our building. Throughout the night she flies under a beam of light in display of respect and honor. And to this end, I pray we will be unified in the Spirit and continue to move forward together as one in the Gospel!