I had just prepared a presentation on how to grow into a courageous Christian, when God decided He had something to add to the talk. One of the sections in the presentation suggested we wear “visible symbols of our faith” on our bodies. Things like a cross necklace or earrings are ideas. I wear a “Fisher of Men” bracelet made up of fish hooks. It reminds me of my purpose in life, to be a fisher of people for Christ. I never take that particular bracelet off.
The day before I presented the message for the first time at our church ( I also presented it at our monthly women’s luncheon the following day), I decided to check on a sale at one of my favorite stores to see if I could find something new to wear on Friday. I found a great bargain and when I was checking out, I couldn’t help noticing the necklace the store employee was wearing. I would look at it from one direction and it looked like a cross. If I looked at it from another direction, it appeared to be a fish. I asked the employee where she found such a beautiful necklace, and she told me her husband designed it. Wow! I explained to her about my talk and how in the talk, I discuss the importance of wearing visual symbols of our faith. Her husband’s design was a powerful one, and it was no surprise that he simply named it “Crossfish.” The goal was to use this necklace as a conversation piece to witness to other people. I left the store without going further with it, but then the Holy Spirit prompted me to call the store employee up and ask if I could use a photo of the necklace on my presentation. I needed to share the story! She gave me her husband’s phone number, and he was kind enough to bring a necklace to me, that I purchased, and wore on both Thursday night and Friday. Along with my Fisher of Men bracelet, it will be a regular part of my wardrobe now.
The cross and the fish are two powerful symbols of our faith and to see them blended like that is incredible! The fish or Ichthys was said to be used as a secret symbol by early Christians and consisted of two intersecting arcs. It was extremely dangerous to be a Christian in the early centuries so when a traveler came upon another who they suspected was a believer; they’d draw one arc in the ground. If the other person was a believer, they’d complete the arc, creating the fish sign.
The Christian fish Greek name, “Ichthys,” is used as an acrostic. The “I” or “Iota” is the first letter of Jesus or “Iesous” in Greek. The Chi is the first letter of Christ or “Christos” in Greek. The Theta is how the Greek word for God begins, “Theios,” and the Upsilon is the first letter in the Greek word “Yios” meaning Son. Sigma represents the beginning letter of the Greek word “Soter,” or Savior. So basically the Ichthys or Christian fish says, Jesus Christ, the Son of God is our Savior! The fish symbol also looks like the first letter of the Greek alphabet, “alpha.” What does God say in Revelation 1:8? “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.” Who thought that a fish could carry so much meaning? When you combine this truth with the cross on a symbol like the “Crossfish,” you are saying, “Jesus Christ, the Son of God died on the cross for my sins and He is my Savior.” Now, that’s an amazing symbol!
The next time you wear a Christian symbol; do not underestimate its power. It is a strong witness to those who you come into contact with. Sometimes, there is no need for words to be spoken.