We all recognise the cross, it is the most widely recognised symbol in the world. You can see it in churches, on clothing, jewellery, in art and all sorts of other places. It is a powerful symbol that both represents Jesus and what he accomplished on the cross and at the same time it represents the Christian faith.
However the first symbol the ICTHYS or fish symbol was used as a way of identifying friends or marking special places like tombs. It helped early christians identify, connect with and teach others about the faith, as a covert sign used during the Roman empire due to the danger of worshiping Jesus publicly. It stands for (I) Jesus (C) Christ (Y) Son of (TH) God (S) the Saviour.
Today many churches have been thrust from behind the walls of their church buildings onto Youtube, Facebook and Zoom. Many of us have met with friends, family or colleagues with the help of this technology during lockdown and now as restrictions remain in place.So what symbol, sign or mark do we bear and share with others. Maybe some of us wear a cross on a necklace, maybe you have an ICTHYS symbol on your car. I wonder how many of us display any sign of our faith when we are video calling people. I have noticed that people’s pictures, ornaments and photos often strike up a conversation when they are on display on a video call.
So next time you have a meeting or meet friends what could you have as a sign that Jesus is your saviour. What words do we need to speak to friends who know us but know nothing of our faith or Jesus? I would love to see your ideas, a picture, a comment or maybe I will see for myself if we meet on Zoom. Speaking about Jesus can feel really hard, but sharing something that invites a question is so much easier. Let’s pray that everything we do is a spiritual act of worship. Here is the Message’s take on Romans 12 from the Bible:
So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognise what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.Romans 12:1-2