“Most of us want our Bibles to give us simple black-and-white bumper sticker quotes. Mostly because we don’t want to do the hard work of living with the Bible, letting God shape us in an ongoing engagement with these powerful words, but often veiled word.” Anonymous
Scripture & Devotion: Scriptural focus: Song of Songs 2:4
He brought me to the banquet room,
and his banner over me is love.
I was driving into town one day, minding my own business, listening to the radio, and the announcer was retelling the story of Francis Scott Key, who after a battle over Ft. McHenry in the War of 1812, sees a lone US flag flying over the fort and pens a poem which was later called the Star Spangled Banner and adopted as the national anthem in 1931.
That word banner got me thinking and reminiscing. I learned a song in vacation Bible school years ago. “I am beloved’s and He is mine – His banner over me is love.” I’ll be happy to sing it for you with motions and everything! When I was young, I did not give much thought to what that might mean – except that Jesus loves me! Which, of course, is great news.
As I ponder this more deeply though, I have a picture of a wedding celebration – a beautiful bride and a handsome groom sitting at a head table – with a banner behind them that says MR. & MRS. And of course, everything is Pinterest worthy. 😊 That banner, with those words, is a declaration to all who see it of the love that the two share. This is the banner that is over me as a follower of Jesus. His banner over me is love.
What is my life declaring? What does His banner of love look like? How do I live loved? How do I let the world know that I live freely under the banner of His love?
A banner in the bible is the standard that is raised up to identify various family groups (Numbers 2:2 ). The standard or banner is what identified each group to the others so they would know “who they were with.” What if the banner that I am most identified with is the banner of His love, that I raise up His flag, His banner, His standard of love?
In the midst of what feels like complete and utter chaos in so many ways, I only have control over me, my responses, my actions. Because I am loved, I have peace. Because I am loved, I have purpose. Because I am loved, I do not need to live in fear. John wrote: Perfect love casts out fear.
I desire to love through listening, to love with grace, to love when it’s easy and when it’s hard, to love extravagantly and when it makes no sense, to love without hesitation BECAUSE His banner over me is love.
"Now these three remain: faith, hope and love. And the greatest of these is love."
1 Corinthians 13:13
I want to live loved today.
Help us to live as Your people, as though we are completely loved by You, because Your banner over us is love. May we hold up that banner of love high - and as that banner (You) are lifted up, would You draw people to Yourself as we live loved.