Honor, Respect, and Glory. What do you think of when you hear those words?
Many of us think of that faithful fabric that has flown proudly as our symbol of independence, strength, and freedom. First flown on June 14, 1777, Old Glory has gone through 27 revisions, has a very detailed etiquette, and represents our nation from the nation's capital to some of your checkbooks and your smart-phone cases.
The Flag and Our National Anthem are symbols of this land. We love them, honor them, and respect them because they've given us much. We rightly chide at the open disrespect of these.
But think with me for a moment of the power they hold. This fabric and that song call us to something, right? But they don't call all to something. To some, from other nations, the flag and the song are just that a flag and a song of a nation not their own.
But, we who are Christians know there are greater songs than the one penned on September 14, 1814 by burgeoning poet and upstart lawyer Francis Scott Key. This anthem, no matter how well loved, how fondly remembered will fade into the annals of history as the great song of the nations picks up tempo and builds to an everlasting crescendo.
Our nations will fade into obscurity, our standards will lower in the presence of the Divine Banner, our songs will cease and His praise will ring out from all corners of eternity.
Listen to the words of the Psalm 96:
Oh sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth! Sing to the Lord, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples! For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; he is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols, but the Lord made the heavens. Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and beauty are in his sanctuary. Ascribe to the Lord, O families of the peoples, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength! Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering, and come into his courts! Worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness; tremble before him, all the earth! Say among the nations, “The Lord reigns! Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved; he will judge the peoples with equity.” Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; let the sea roar, and all that fills it; let the field exult, and everything in it! Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy before the Lord, for he comes, for he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness, and the peoples in his faithfulness.
This Psalm, more than any I'm aware of is our international anthem. This is what we were made for! We were made for a global purpose and we were made to sing for glory!
This post corresponds with Pastor Jacob Atchley's sermon "Our International Anthem" from August 13, 2017.