Psalm 119:45 I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out your precepts.
The Confederate Flag will be taken down in Charleston, South Carolina today, which will be a good thing. As much as I love the South and living among Southern people, racism is still a blight which tarnishes the brightness of this beautiful region.
For some people, the flag is a symbol of heritage and history. For others, it is an emblem of segregation and injustice. Whatever it was, there is no doubt in my mind as to what it has become: an icon of white privilege and racial oppression.
Freedom is a fragile gift, given to us by God. It is a blessing that we are meant to share. Liberty, equality, and justice are the three fundamental bedrocks of true freedom, just as hope, faith, and love are at the heart of real and authentic Christianity. Hatred and bigotry, as well as racism and prejudice, threaten our freedom; they are the cruel channels of fear and tyranny, as well as being the devil’s instruments of social and moral terrorism.
Taking down the Confederate Flag in Charleston signifies the beginning of a long and laborious process of actively ensuring that all people, who are created equal, are treated, respected, and accepted as equals all across this beautiful land. It will take years of courage and commitment, as well as tears of fortitude and faith, to make our nation what we claim and sing it to be: a home of the brave, and a land of the free!
Questions for personal reflection
Am I willing to accept the challenge to truly walk in freedom? Am I ready to make changes in my life that will help to actively create a nation and world that is free?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, we live in challenging and changing times. Be the Rock of our salvation, as well as the Foundation of our freedom. Challenge our ways and change us, too. In Your Holy Name, we freely pray. Amen.
John Stuart is the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. If you would like to ask questions or make comments about today’s message, please send him an email to Traqair@aol.com.
Today’s image is one of John’s latest drawings called “Candle for America.” If you would like to view a larger version, please click the following link: Candle.