The Diamond Jubilee celebrations are now well behind us, and the Union Jack flags and bunting have come down from our streets and houses. But no sooner did they disappear than many people’s homes, shops and vehicles began flying the red and white flag of St. George. A sign, of course, of their support for the England team playing at the Euro 2012 football tournament. Like many of you, I shall be nervously watching BBC1 on Sunday night, as Roy Hodgson’s men face Italy in the quarter-finals!
As well as being a sign of English national identity, the flag of St. George is also a simple visual summary of the Christian Gospel. A Gospel of good news for every nation, not just our own.
The red cross of St. George is a powerful reminder of the Cross of Christ, where Jesus shed red blood and died to be our sin-bearing saviour. And the flag’s white background should remind every Christian of our new status in God’s sight. Under the Cross we have found God’s forgiveness and favour. Christ has paid our penalty and taken away our guilt, so we are now spotless, clean and whiter-than-white before his Father’s eyes.
So when you next see St. George’s flag flying, whether on an Aughton automobile or on TV this Sunday evening, as well as thinking “Come on England!” why not also thank God for the Gospel too?