Wednesday, November 8, 2006


I was thinking today about banners.

Strange thing to think about, I know. It's just that I drive past this quaint country church every morning and am puzzled by the building's lack of identification, save this sign: His banner over me is love. That's all it says. No "First Political Baptist". Or "First Un-United Methodist". Or "We-Hate-Instruments Church of Christ". Nothing. Nothing except, His banner over me is love.

What a curious thing to spell out on the front of a church, I always think.

But this morning, I didn't have time to dwell. I was speeding off to work, listening to election coverage/results. Yawn. Sounded to me like everyone hates everyone else, and took turns today criticizing and labeling everyone else. I even heard some donkey (democrat) on NPR say he would march through the street with a banner declaring the "culture of corruption" was over.

Banner. There was that word again. It was bugging me.

I looked it up. Banners, that is. I found that the earliest mention of banners occurred in the Old Testament, where Exodus 17:15 refers to them as a rallying point in a battle. Then I read that the Japanese used them in the 15th and 16th centuries. They were apparently big in the Crusades, too, and even made an appearance in our own Civil War. I guess in battle a banner is a clear indication of whose side you're on. Of what you stand for. In the midst of battle, or in the dead of night, a banner is a visual reminder of what you're willing to do for the cause for which you stand.

Huh. Song of Solomon 2:4 says, His banner over me is love. Take Song of Solomon as an allegory for the love God has for us - His children - and what you get is a visual picture of God marching with a banner that simply says...


I nearly cried at the thought that if God were to organize a parade and invite us to march alongside Him, the only thing that blowing banner above our heads would read is: love. That if God were to organize a modern day rally, the only sign He'd be holding would say: love. That if a reporter were to ask God to spell out His platform... His agenda... He'd smile into the camera and pat His campaign button, which would simply read: love.

And when that same reporter asked about His record in office, He'd point to the cross...


I'm going through a really difficult time. My marriage is ending, and the remains are not pretty. The marriage wasn't either. It has been, and will likely continue to be, a hard-fought battle.

I suppose that's why the message on this little church sign followed me around all day. It's a visual reminder of what God paints on His banners. Of what God is willing to do for you... for me.

His banner over me is love.

My cloud of battle-dust may dim,
His veil of splendor curtain Him;
And in the midnight of my fear
I may not feel Him standing near:
But, as I lift mine eyes above,
His banner over me is love.
Gerald Massey, 1863

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