The image of a trench in the First World War is a powerful one. The sheer courage and determination of countless soldiers who gave their lives to defend what they believed to be freedom is unfathomable. It took an even braver soldier to stand above the parapet.
To give up the protection of the parapet demonstrated immense bravery. Soldiers across the Western Front and beyond were willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for what they believed in. They were called to Stand.
We are called to take that same posture. To Stand, unashamedly, without fearing the consequences. To live in fear is to reject the freedom that Jesus Christ has bought for us through His death and resurrection.
'Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.' 1 John 4 v 18
We Stand. Boasting only in the work and life of Christ, as ones who have received this good news, firmly established and steadfast in our faith.
The Stag is significant. It tells this story. It carries this virtue. You cannot look at it without a sense of awe, as it Stands, prominent, unmistakable in its splendour.
We Stand. Not because we in ourselves have this splendour, this prominence, but because we are receivers of the gift of freedom. A freedom that means we can, without reserve and fear, stand established and steadfast in the one who called us.
Every day we are presented with a choice. We can cower behind the parapet and avoid the opportunities we're given to speak about Jesus, or, we can Stand.