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Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Fishing (06/07/04)

TITLE: Signs, Symbols and Singes into My Heart
By Robert Drury
06/12/04

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Signs, Symbols and Singes into My Heart

Early Christians used the Greek word ichthus, "fish," as an acrostic based on the initial letters of the words "Jesus Christ, Son of God, and Savior." This was not something they borrowed from paganism, but was probably a protest against the paganism of Roman Emperors, such as Domitian (AD 81-96) who took to himself a title meaning "Son of God." The Son of God to Christians was not Domitian, but Jesus Christ the Savior.

We know also that during the persecution era, the fish was a code symbol for Christians. Upon coming in contact with another person, the outline of a fish might be drawn on the ground. If the other person were a Christian, he would then be able to identify a fellow believer in "Jesus Christ, Son of God, and Savior."{ C.J. Coster (Come Out Of Her My People) and Ralph Woodrow (The Babylon Connection?).}

The sign of the fish has been a Christian symbol since the first persecutions of the early church. For me there is only one Christian symbol and that is the picture of Christ singed into my heart, mind and soul. I do however allow the fish symbol to hold special meaning for me. First, it serves as a reminder that, as a Christian, I am saved for eternity and also called to invite sanctification; the experience of becoming more like Christ. The fish symbol speaks of Christian suffering as a critical element of that sanctification experience.

Secondly, it evokes the power of god’s living Word for me. I am prompted to read about Jesus calling the first disciples; “As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. "Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men." At once they left their nets and followed him.” (Matt. 4:18-20) and reflect on the significance of 'leaving my nets' to fulfill the Lord’s call to spread the Gospel and help bring about his Kingdom.

Third, I am then drawn to read about our Savior’s description of his Kingdom; “Once again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish. When it was full, the fishermen pulled it up on the shore. Then they sat down and collected the good fish in baskets, but threw the bad away. This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”, and ponder the wonder of judgment being reserved for God and His Angles and that God will ultimately ask me to be a judge of the angels! … “If any of you has a dispute with another, dare he take it before the ungodly for judgment instead of before the saints?Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases?Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more the things of this life!” (Cor.6:1-3). I am thus compelled to strive for harmony, unity and peace in truth in love within my Christian family,to not be judgmental of them and to seek the counsel of my Pastor and Christian peers.

Finally, it is revealed to me that the sign of the fish is God’s special gift to me that empowers me to be caught, to swim right into His graceful net willingly, trusting that His will for me leads to the fulfillment of the purpose for which He created me and to His eternal Glory which he delights in sharing with all of His children. Glory and thanks to you, my lover God!

Desperado 6/12/04
RED


Member Comments
Member Date
Deborah Porter 06/15/04
Robert, I liked this for two reasons. One was the fact that it was informative as to the origins of the fish symbol. I was aware of it, but I'm sure there are quite a lot of christians who aren't.

The second reason I liked this was the personal sharing of what the symbol means to you. I thought that was very good - particularly that last paragraph. Another good contribution to the Challenge! With love, Deb
Lynne Gaunt06/15/04
Robert, I also enjoyed (as Deb did) that you took information from your research and personalized it. I think that is a very important skill for a writer. That technique lets you make a strong point without sounding "preachy". Nice work.
Donna Smith06/15/04
All I can say is thank you for writing this. It is so awesome to learn about our christian history. I loved it and thought it perfectly written. I'm glad you wrote this piece b/c I know a German couple who says it is a sex symbol in their country. Thank you for educating me, and for the beautiful scriptural/inspirational insights.
L.M. Lee06/17/04
nice way to tie these things together.
Phyllis Inniss 06/22/04
I am very glad I read this piece. It is very informative and rich in the way you tied everything together, the symbol of the fish into your Christian living.