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Today is a day set aside for pledging allegiance, honoring sacrifice, remembering we are part of a larger communal story that gives our individual stories meaning.⁣ I’m happy to participate. ⁣

Today I once again pledge my allegiance to the haunted, disfigured man on the tree.
Today I remember the sacrifice to end all sacrifice, the one who took all the horrors of war into himself—the one who walked the Trail of Tears, bearing the horror of Auschwitz, Hiroshima, Vietnam in his own body like a cosmic rag doll.
We purged ourselves on him, so we could be beautiful, and he opened not his mouth. ⁣

I remember that the ultimate victory over the forces of sin, death & hell did not come from the taking of life, but from him laying his own life down. ⁣
I remember that the history of wars is not the story that gives me meaning, but the story of saints, martyrs, & misfits who “overcame by the blood of the lamb and the word of their testimony, loving not their own lives even unto death.”⁣
I remember that he called me not to the greatness of a nation-state, but to the humility of the upside-down kingdom that transcends these imaginary, pencil-drawn lines—lines that mean nothing to the shattered one on the cross.⁣
I remember that tanks will not prevail in a world in which we wrestle not with flesh and blood, but principalities & powers. I remember that the scarred and resurrected Messiah will call the world into account not because he has the biggest gun—
—but because the very words that tumble out of his mouth are a sharp sword that will strike down the nations. ⁣

I remember the One that taught me that “independence” is always a lie, and teaches me daily to be vulnerable & dependent instead. ⁣
Today I celebrate my dependence on the slaughtered lamb. I pledge my allegiance to him & the way of self-sacrificial love, for which he stands. ⁣

I will eat a hot dog today; I’ll pull for my home country in the Olympics...
But I won’t put my hand over my heart for anything or anybody else.

He has it all.
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