Among The Flagpoles

Monday, August 28, 2000

1 Corinthians 1:22-24 – Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ, the power of God and the wisdom of God.

A vision for Ireland was shared at the Christian Renewal Centre, Rostrevor. Someone saw in a dream the island of Ireland covered in flagpoles with different groups around each pole, their backs to each other, the flags representing different churches and parties. Somewhere in the middle was the cross of Christ, but small and obscured by the flagpoles. Gradually, people began to haul their flags down and to turn to join each other at the foot of the cross. The flagpoles grew smaller and the cross grew larger.

Human beings have always wanted to obscure the cross and assert their own "flag", whether it is pride in a country, a church, or even an individual personality. The simple truth is that, while we fly these flags, we cannot affirm Christ crucified, and we are divided from each other. But where Christians gather at the foot of the cross there is great hope.

    Lift high the cross, the love of Christ proclaim
    Till all the world adore his sacred name!
    O Lord, once lifted on the tree of pain,
    Draw all the world to seek you once again.

      – G.W. Kitchin and M.R. Newbolt

Prayer: Lord, unite us at the cross; show us the flags of personal pride, nationality, denomination and race that we have gloried in falsely. Help us to lower these flags and to rejoice in a secure and united identity in Jesus Christ, in whom there can be no divisions of race or gender or status. Amen.

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John Faris <>
Cork, Ireland

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