Each year our congregation turns the auditorium red, white, and blue for the month of July. While I absolutely love the decorations our worship folks create the rest of the year, I must admit that I am uncomfortable with this month's patriotic motif.
Why? Simply, because God is not an American. When the church comes together to worship on Sunday our sole focus should be on God and on him alone. While it is certain that God has blessed America, it is less clear that we, as Americans, have blessed Him.
This was especially keen in my thinking this past Sunday. My missionary sister was in the congregation and I couldn't help wonder if she saw the juxtaposition of old glory and "glory to God" as a bit anachronistic. I wondered: "Do they have Guinean flag backgrounds in Guinea?" When my sis lived in France was there a blending of French patriotism and Father-worship? Or what about her Venezuelan friends. Do they as easily blend faith and national fervor?
I love our country. I get teary-eyed when I watch our soldiers marching on the battlefield. I don't for a second take for granted the sacrifice of so many who have made our freedom a reality.
I know I am not alone in these feelings. Britons, no doubt, get a lump in their throat when they reflect on Dunkirk. Still, I can't imagine they use the Union Jack as the background for their worship choruses. If they did, frankly, I would be more than a little offended by them so doing.
I wonder, are they offended by my flag-waving worship?