Glimpses of grace seen in the everyday

Why the Fish?

Have you seen those fish emblems on cars or jewelry and wondered “Why the fish?”  It’s a an ancient and meaningful symbol.  I was delighted to recently purchase one for myself, which I consider an ID of my relationship to Jesus Christ.  Here’s what Wikipedia says:

ΙΧΘΥΣ (Ichthys) is an acronym for “Ίησοῦς Χριστός, Θεοῦ Υἱός, Σωτήρ“, (Iēsous Christos, Theou Yios, Sōtēr), which translates into English as “Jesus Christ, God’s Son, Savior”.  The first letters of these words, when put together, spell “fish” in Greek!

Photo of fish necklace

  • Iota (i) is the first letter of Iēsous (Ἰησοῦς), Greek for “Jesus“.
  • Chi (ch) is the first letter of Christos (Χριστός), Greek for “anointed”.
  • Theta (th) is the first letter of Theou (Θεου), Greek for “God’s”, the genitive case of Θεóς, Theos, Greek for “God”.
  • Ypsilon (y) is the first letter of (h)yios[4] (Υἱός), Greek for “Son”.
  • Sigma (s) is the first letter of sōtēr (Σωτήρ), Greek for “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.
According to one ancient story, when a Christian met a stranger in the road, the Christian sometimes drew one arc of the simple fish outline in the dirt. If the stranger drew the other arc, both believers knew they were in good company.
Christianity Today, Elesha Coffman, “Ask The Expert”[2]

Do you suppose that soon Christ-followers will again be using the arcs to assess our personal safety as we maintain our loyalty to Him in an increasingly hostile world?

Maranatha!  Come, Lord Jesus!
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