Posted by: R M White | 03/18/2012

Symbols in Our Life

A dear friend and brother in the Lord has a blog of his thoughts as he reads his way through the Bible … this is his second year to do this and I’ve really enjoyed keeping up with his writings. More often than not, Dale expresses something I may need at that moment. Sometimes, there’s a thought that I’ve been pondering on as well and it’s neat to see someone else’s slant on it. Such was the case when Dale wrote “Make Tassels”. Granted this was written a few weeks ago but it took a little while for me to collect my thoughts. 😉

Well, not that a whole lot of people are engaging in a public way to address Dale’s questions or challenges, but, I want to say here that every so often, I have been moved to acknowledge them – so, yes, I need Tassels. I’d been holding the word ‘symbol’ in my heart but tassel is biblical so I like it.

Now, to me and what’s been going on in my own heart for a good while …

First of all, I am so happy that every single Lord’s day I am a loving and willing participant of the Holy Communion. It never gets old to me and I feel honored and chosen to be able to engage in this blessed part of our gathering. I remember his death and celebrate his resurrection. God knew that week in and week out I would need this to fortify my own soul and count the cost that was paid. This is the biggest symbol in my life that reminds me of who I am in Christ.

But, on a daily basis, I’ve thought quite a bit about having certain tassels/symbols in my art work, writing and around the home that prompts me recall – I am a child of the triune God. I truly matter to the Heavenly Father – I am created and designed by him and I have roles to fulfill in this world. I am bought with a dear price paid by my sweet Savior’s blood. Along with being saved I was graciously given the precious gift of the Holy Spirit who is doing amazing things within me – allowing me to grow in grace and knowledge.

I know the exact word “trinity” is not in the Bible but the concept is there. The trinity represents the belief that God is one Being made up of three distinct Persons who exist in co-eternal, co -equal communion as the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Here are just a few verses that express the concept of the trinity: Matthew 3:16-17; Matthew 28:19; John 14:16-17; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Acts 2:32-33; John 10:30; John 17:11&21. These are the symbols that I came up with that are traditionally used for representing the Christian trinity.

I’ve been practicing drawing them for over a month now. 🙂  And so far, the first one is the easiest for me, but I like all three.

One of the blessings I live with here is so many kids in the neighborhood love to come by our house to hang out. I have organized times specifically for this and one is a craft class every Wednesday. So, the note of Dale’s prompted me to use this also  with the kids two weeks ago. I decided to incorporate some encouraging thoughts about how special each one of them are to God, that Christianity came at a cost in order for us to live as we do today and that they need to remember that every single day.

We made fish!  I had each child draw a good size fish, then cut it out, decorate it, do some weaving to add uniqueness and ta-da! A special beautiful, one of a kind fish … of course, I tied it to the  Christian Fish or Ichthys – and had printed out a copy for each of them to hang above their own.

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ΙΧΘΥΣ (Ichthys) is an acronym for “Iēsous Christos, Theou Yios, Sōtēr, which translates into English as “Jesus Christ, God’s Son, Savior”.  According to tradition, ancient Christians, during their persecution by the Roman Empire in the first few centuries after Christ, used the fish symbol to mark meeting places and tombs, or to distinguish friends from foes.

The origin of this acronym is something else again. It is not in the Bible. No one really knows who first came up with the acronym ICHTHYS standing for the Greek words meaning “Jesus Christ, Son of God, [our] Savior”, but probably none of the apostles ever heard of it. We have some representations of the fish in the catacombs as a Christian symbol (see the link: “The Origin of the Name ‘Christian'”), but never with any clear indication that it has the meaning above (the early work “The Shepherd of Hermes” also uses the fish). The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church posits the 2nd Cent. A.D. as the time when this acronym first came into common use, but opinions are divided. Of one thing we may be fairly sure: early Christians – as we do or should do – sought to share their faith in Jesus Christ. They did not try to hide the gospel “under a bushel”. The idea that Christianity was a “secret society” and that members communicated by secret signs with the fish being one such has no basis in historical fact. Indeed, all we know about martyrdom in the early Church (see the link) suggests exactly the opposite: believers of that day were willing to give their lives for the truth in which they had placed their faith. They were not ashamed of being Christians and they did not feel any compunction to hide the fact.

Well, the whole point of this is: I truly want to remember who I am. Most especially when I create something … I do nothing by my own power;  I am nothing in and of myself;  I will give glory to God and worship him in my work. God is intimately involved in my life and has ultimate authority over it. God never commanded me to live with tassels/symbols but He knows me and I know me and it never hurts to be reminded. So, a symbol in my work … a little signature to glorify the giver of all good gifts.

Yep, I matter because I belong to Him!



  1. Hello,
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