“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1
In Greek (the language in which John’s Gospel was written), “word” is “logos.” In the scriptural context, logos/word is used to mean representative of, or perfectly reflected or portrayed, and in this quotation means Jesus, the Christ. In today’s English, the word “logo” means “a representative symbol” – an original picture or a design or arrangement of words that can be trademarked or copyrighted, and used only by its creator.
I have been thinking about a logo, and logos for some time now, and it was brought freshly to my mind by Sunday morning’s sermon by our young associate pastor, Justin Lowe. I began to go over in my mind all the logos that are used now, or have been used in the past, for Jesus Christ.
One of the first was the fish. Early Christians were under severe persecution and they used a “special code” to search out other Christians among them. In the dirt at their feet they would draw with a finger or toe a curved line:
The second person would create the image of a fish with a mirrored line, like this:
Later on, when Christian persecution in many places was diminishing, the following Greek word, ƖΧΘϒΣ (icthus), as an acronym, each letter representing something: Ι = Jesus, Χ = Christ, Θϒ = God’s son, and the Σ = Savior. Many Christians would paint the entire design on the doorposts of their homes to serve as an identification to other like minded souls. Like this:
This remains to this day as a “logo” for Jesus Christ, and is immediately identifiable by most Christians.
There are other logos for Jesus: Some as phrases, “The Lamb of God,” often with a drawing of a lamb and a cross, “Son of Man,” “Son of God,” etc. Of course, there is always the Cross, shown simply as plain and empty; the crucifix, with the crucified Christ on it, (which emphasizes the sacrifice of Christ); and one called the Christus Rex (Christ the King), with the risen Christ on the cross, representing the Resurrected, living Christ. One of my favorite early Christian songs has within it another “logo” for Jesus, called, “Jesus Christ, the Apple Tree.” The song explains how Jesus can be compared to the apple tree.
The tree of life my soul hath seen
Laden with fruit and always green
The tree of life my soul hath seen
Compared with Christ the apple tree
His beauty doth all things excel
By faith I know but ne’er can tell
The glory which I now can see
In Jesus Christ the apple tree.
For happiness I long have sought
And pleasure dearly I have bought
I missed of all but now I see
‘Tis found in Christ the apple tree.
I’m weary with my former toil
Here I will sit and rest a while
Under the shadow I will be
Of Jesus Christ the apple tree.
This fruit does make my soul to thrive
It keeps my dying faith alive
Which makes my soul in haste to be
With Jesus Christ the apple tree.
This song has been set to a number of melodies. There are many, many symbols, or logos for Christ, many that Jesus himself used to identify himself: “the Vine,” “the Good Shepherd,” both phrases beginning with the “I AM,” another symbol for God the Father, and Jesus Christ – the image of God.
So, I ask myself, “What is my logo?” and I also ask you – “What is your logo?” The title of the blog implies that I refer to myself as a “Cloudy Mirror,” but unless I am writing with an effort to get my thoughts, musings, ideas, and rants down on paper, I don’t generally consider that as my logo, although to many, it probably is – for better or worse! Ashley and I have recently been toying with the idea of opening a small business called “Dove Cote Studios,” from which to sell our artwork – my photos, and Ashley’s drawings and paintings. The Dove is a symbol of Christ, the Holy Spirit, and the cote, or a dove’s house, being our hearts. The picture would be of an actual dove cote, with one of the “doors”
being in the shape of a heart, and a descending dove flying toward the house. We want to symbolize the idea of inviting Christ to live within our hearts, and our desire to reflect the image of Christ.
Other than those two, I have not yet come up with my own “word,” or “logo” which would be identified with me. How about you? Do you have a logo? How would you identify yourself to the world with one word, or one symbol? Just wondering. . .
I continue to wish all of you, my Gentle Readers, the blessings of enough. . .