Honestly, this weekend, we all should have taken a knee. I write this for all who love this nation; all who honor the sacrifice of those who have fought and given their lives for us, and all who cherish the freedoms of the First Amendment, we missed a crucial moment. A moment where America needed us to take a knee—a knee bowed in repentance.
Church, it seems many have become more impassioned to defend the flag and anthem during a football game than we are to proclaim the gospel to a lost and perishing world. Imagine if all that energy had been properly pointed towards the root of the problem and not the fruit. I dare say we might save more than the flag!
What was accomplished this weekend? How did we move the ball down the field towards national awakening? Who won? Are we more or less divided today than we were one week ago? My friend, the nation is hurting. It needs to be healed!
Yes, like you, I am disturbed to see players disrespect the national anthem and flag by sitting on the sidelines. I truly believe our flag represents, "one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." It is the symbol of a bold idea that all men are created equal. This should bring us together, not tear us apart. It is a shame many cannot see this. The answer they seek is in the very ideal they disrespect.
Likewise, I am equally disturbed to see how the issue was used this week to stir up a voting base. Why? Because our flag represents, "one nation under God, indivisible." We honor the ideal of the flag by seeking unity, not division. If we do not stand together, we will fall alone. This is also a shame.
The flag and more importantly, what it represents is not a prop for a political protest. In this regard, the flag is often dishonored on both sides. Nevertheless, there is no winning here. This is not the fight America needs the church engaged in. America's healing will not come the moment we all rise, hands upon our heart, and sing our beautiful anthem. America's healing will only come when we humble ourselves and turn from our wicked ways.
We find ourselves in a very turbulent time in history. Dive deep down past the trending #TakeAKnee posts and articles and you quickly discover a world that is suffering.
North Korea is threatening nuclear war with America and our President has warned of the total annihilation of the regime. For those cheering this escalating rhetoric, please remember we are talking about the potential extinction of millions of people. If this has not made your daily prayer list, add it immediately. North Korea doesn't need retaliation; it needs revival.
Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria left hundreds of thousands of people in a wake of devastation. I've read some estimates that put the destructive cost of these storms at $1 trillion. As most of the nation has already moved on, there are millions who are still picking up the pieces of their lives. They continue to need our prayers and our help.
Add to this turmoil the West Coast fires and the earthquake in Mexico and you see this past month the earth has been seriously groaning. These are all signs of the times and a reminder that our season here on earth has an expiration date on it that is more immediate than you realize.
This past weekend, my family and I attended church in Rochester, Michigan. It was a rare opportunity for us to take a break from our busy travel schedule and simply go to church as a family. It was extra special since we were with a very significant apostolic father in our lives. He preached a wonderful message entitled, "The Days of Awe."
The Days of Awe is the current 10-day period we are in that begins with Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year and ends at Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. These 10 days are considered High Holy Days in which God's people are instructed to reflect on the past year and repent of sin in preparation for Yom Kippur.
Oh, I saw the irony! At a time when everyone is arguing about people taking a knee, we ourselves are supposed to be on ours. Let that sink in for a moment and let us awaken to the precarious position we are in. America does not need us to come to the defense of her anthem. She needs our intercession
At the close of Sunday's message, our pastor asked four appropriate questions for personal reflection during these Days of Awe. I am still pondering these questions today.
1. Have I done as much as possible during the last year to serve others?
2. Have I used my capabilities to the maximum benefit of myself and others?
3. Have I dealt honestly with my family, friends and peers in personal and business matters?
4. Are there acts of kindness that I should have engaged but let pass by?
I don't know about you, but I see room for improvement on my behalf. By the grace and mercy of God, I will answer those questions differently a year from now.
So today, I encourage you to take a knee. Not in protest, but in repentance. Let us kneel to honor both God and country as we plead for forgiveness over our sins and the sins of our nation. Lord, may we all seek to love and serve others to the best of our abilities. May we offer our hands to bring healing to our land.
It's true, we all missed a moment this weekend to take a knee, but thankfully, that moment is still present. I pray we make every day a day for repentance and, as such, a day for revival.
Daniel K. Norris is an evangelist who worked alongside Steve Hill bringing the message of revival and repentance to the nations. Together, they co-hosted a broadcast called "From the Frontlines." Norris also hosts the Collision Youth Conference that is broadcast all over the world. He can be contacted at danielknorris.com.
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