Recently, USA Today carried an article by Greg Toppo that told of the National Anthem Project.  What is the purpose?  Teaching people the words and meaning of the Star Spangled Banner.  According to creators of the project six out of ten people claim to know the words, but fewer than four out of ten can actually recite them.  In what came as a surprise to pollsters, surveys indicated that only 31% of those fifty and older could get the words right while 45% of the 18 to 35 year olds could.  The National Anthem project is sponsoring a record setting performance of the song and many celebrities have signed on to help.  Not only do they want people to know the words they want them to understand the meaning.  They want people to know what the “bombs bursting in air” refers to and what is behind the “see through the night.”  Preachers have a similar duty.  Many in the church claim to know the Bible well.  Do they really?  Even if they know the books, chapters and verses, do they know the meaning of those words?  This is the preacher’s challenge and opportunity.



J. Michael Shannon is professor of preaching at Cincinnati Bible College in Cincinnati, OH.