"I believe that it is vitally important to have our country's flag in our sanctuary. Many of us put our lives on the line for God and the country that flag represents and we are proud of it whether it is torn, tattered, or stained with our blood."
This statement was made recently by a member of St. Andrew UMC, following my discovery and announcement that the flag in the Sanctuary had come into disrepair, and that it needed to be replaced. I had the intent of rolling the flag up, disposing of it properly, and then replacing the flag when a new one became available. The response of the congregation was wonderful in their ability to pick up this concern and provide for a new flag for the Sanctuary at St. Andrew UMC.
I was struck by this message of passion and pride from this congregant because I have the same feelings about the Scriptures. I am reminded of the many stories of the Torah scrolls in Jewish Synagogues throughout Eastern Europe during the Nazi regime, and the destruction it took upon the scrolls. And yet, the remaining pieces were so sacred as to be held with care, and love. They loved it, for all the sacrifices that had been made, the blood shed, and the pride held.
I am also reminded of a story told several years ago about a Christian enclave, again in Eastern Europe if I remember correctly, that only had a fragment of a page of Scripture from the Gospel of Luke. For nearly 50 years this was all they had, and yet every time they gathered, which was most every Sunday, they would pull this worn page from the pocket of the Elder of the church, read it and meditate on the words therein.
Some things are just that precious. May we learn to treat one another with that same level of respect and care.
Labels: Congregational Care, Discipleship, Emerging Church