June 14, 2008
But let all who take refuge in You rejoice; let them ever sing for joy, and spread Your protection over them, that those who love Your Name may exult in You. For You bless the righteous, O LORD; You cover him with favor as with a shield. Psalm 5:10-12
In the United States, today is Flag Day.
The symbol of our country, the flag is an emblem many people have died for in wartime... and an insignia most people forget in peacetime.
Of course, the flag is not the only symbol of the U.S. We have another - - the bald eagle. I remember how, several years ago, reports went out that thirteen of those majestic birds were found murdered - - the handiwork of some twisted minds and hearts.
When I heard that news, I could only shake my head in sadness.
How tragic it is for a country when some of its citizens treat her symbols so poorly. The flag is spit upon and burned, National Parks are subject to the insults of vandals, and the eagle is poisoned and shot.
A good country, most certainly. . . but also a country of sin and sinners.
Which is why we need a Savior. We need THE Savior, Jesus Christ. He and He alone can rescue us from ourselves and redeem us from sin, death, and Satan. That is what Jesus did during the days He lived among us.
And now, today, He sends His Holy Spirit to call us to faith, forgiveness, and a future. Describing His work, and without making many changes, the words of another U.S. symbol, the Statue of Liberty, could be put in the mouth of the Savior.
I can almost hear Him say, ""Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
The only change I might make is the last line. Jesus would say, "I am the Lamp of life for those who lived in darkness before."
From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, spread Your protection and blessings over our countries and their people. I pray that we may see Your Light and walk in that Light. Open our hearts so we may be appreciative of the countless blessings You have given us. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries