National anthem

By RAY DON McINTOSH Murray Street Church of Christ

We probably all know our national anthem by heart. We've probably all sung it many times at football games and other special events. But, do you know that there are three other verses in the song? Here are the second and third verses of the song:

On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,

Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,

What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,

As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?

Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,

In f ully glory ref lected now shines in the stream:

'Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh, long may it wave

O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore

That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion

A home and a country should leave us no more?

Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps' pollution!

No refuge could save the hireling and slave

From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave:

And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave

O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Now, I want to encourage you to pay special attention to the fourth verse:

Oh, thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand

Between their loved home and the war's desolation!

Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n-rescued land

Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation!

Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,

And this be our motto: "In God is our trust":

And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave

O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Interesting isn't it? I must confess that I never knew about any other verses to that song. But, now as I see, especially that fourth verse, it (unfortunately) makes sense. It seems like all we hear about nowadays is people trying to get God taken out of everything, when the reality is that we should look for each and every opportunity that we can invite Him in.

This makes me think of another parallel lesson that I think all of us need to hear. Think about your life. When you go out into the world, whether it's at work, at school, at the grocery store, or any other place where other people are, what do they see when they look at you? What do they hear when you speak? Can they tell that you are a Christian by what they see and hear?

Or, do we for some reason hide the biggest and most important thing about us? I think the fourth verse of that song is hands-down the best verse and I wish we would sing that verse every time we sang our national anthem. The biggest and most important thing about all of us is that we were created by God. Everything we have and everything we are is because of Him.

Every single one of us has the hope of eter nal life in heaven because He sent His Son to die for us. Jesus Christ living in us is what we should always show to others. I encourage all of us to make Galatians 2:20 one of our main Christian mottos - "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me."

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2009-11-19 digital edition

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