What about symbols in our lives?

Do you know that early Christians used the Good Shepherd as their symbol to guide them?

The cross was used as a form of execution by the Roman Empire. How could a Christian feel comfortable in the cross being used for a symbol of their faith at that time? So for the first three-hundred years of the Christian movement it was the Good Shepherd as the symbol. Watch the late Dr. Kenneth Bailey share about the Good Shepherd being the symbol for early Christians.

Good Shepherd 1 Study1 Shepherd

Ken Bailey takes us inside various elements of shepherding in the Middle East and all the dynamics that go with the Good Shepherd image in the Old and New Testament. How are we to be Good Shepherds as leaders in the Church?


What makes you uncomfortable or comfortable with the symbols in life?

How does symbols draw us together or divide us?

Can symbols be used inappropriately?

How do symbols help us in relating to one another?

When I studied one summer in Salzburg , Austria at the university there we traveled to Dachau the Jewish concentration camp. It was explained to us that the Allies required that the camps never turn the stark human tragedy that happened here into beautified museums or parks. They are to be harsh reminders, a symbol to help with the Holocaust never happening again.

How are symbols part of a consumer oriented society and what impact does that have on symbols?

There are a number of people who recognize the cross only as a piece of jewelry, tattoo or artwork in society today. One person said, “there are buildings with those on but I don’t know what goes on there.” Another person simply said , “I don’t know what the cross stands for!”

In marriage rings symbolize the love between two people.

Where are you at with the symbols in your life?

Are the symbols so central to who you are that they stand in the way of the common good?

Lots of questions you and I can struggle with to find an answer to the issues around symbols. The answer or possible answers will no doubt raise more questions.

The Apostle Paul and the Statue to an Unknown God  Read Acts 17 for more reflection.
Scripture: “Since we are God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the deity is like gold, or silver, or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination. of mortals.”