There I was sitting in a room with a group of adults. Various conversations were happening, when all of a sudden "O Canada" came blaring into the room through the speaker.
I rose to my feet, came to attention as I was taught (and ordered) to do in the Navy. And as I settled into place, I noticed that some of the other adults had stood, but some had not. Certainly had these adults been in front of children or had they found themselves in a more formal setting - they would have stood. But in that room - with that group of adults - they did not.
I don't tell you this story to reinforce the practice that Canadians should stand for their national anthem. This isn't about what ought to be done. I'm focused on the way it created a division in the room that day.
Whether you like it or not there are certain things upon which you must take a stand - but when you take your stand, there will be others who will not stand with you. Reality is built this way. As truly as heaven is different from earth, standing is different from not standing - yet we are forced into situations when we MUST choose.
If we stand - we are divided from those who don't stand.
If we don't stand - we are divided from those who do stand. It is going to happen.
So the ultimate question is: for what will you take your stand?
Christ took His stand for you. He lay it all on the line - that you might be forgiven and live. But the way He did this is so incredibly important.
He united heaven and earth. The standers and the sitters. He came down from heaven, entered into our situation, and made Himself the One place where all may be One. Christ - the greatest sinner - yet also the Lord of heaven. He didn't sit on His throne and oppose us. He joined us - to Him - and promises to carry us up to His throne on high.
Now, you are here - living day by day in a reality where you are forced to take a stand. Will you stand with Him? Stand up for Him? Or will you stay seated because you aren't sitting in a pew at a church? Will you stand for Him at work, at home, in public? Or will you run from Him when He needs you (like the disciples)?
The truth is - you will do both. But you know He will always stand for you - you know you can return to Him, kneel before Him - and ask Him to strengthen your legs to take that stand for Him. And forgive you for when you don't. Make me stronger Lord - don't let me be a coward anymore - but strengthen my faith in You and Your eternal joining of heaven and earth. Use me to hold You out before those in need, that You may join them to this new humanity You are creating. In Jesus' Name, Amen.