I’m not sure when it became common for churches in this country to display clever – or not so clever – sayings on the signs in front of their buildings. When I was younger, I’m sure all most of them showed were service times, the name of the pastor, and possibly the title of the sermon for the upcoming Sunday.
By sometime in the mid-90’s, those supposed-to-be-clever sayings had become so common that I really appreciated this one:
†I liked it so much I took a picture of it, and then started taking pictures of other church signs I particularly liked. It’s a very small collection – if I had had a camera with me yesterday, the picture I would have taken would be only the fourth one.
I’m not actually sure where those pictures are, since that was back when I used a traditional (i.e. non-digital) camera, and the prints are no doubt in a box somewhere. But I think the second sign was something like this:
LOOKING FOR A SIGN FROM GOD?
HERE IT IS
It was probably intended just to be eye-catching, but I found it somewhat thought-provoking as well. What would constitute a sign from God? God can use just about anything – including church signs – to turn our attention in a certain direction, but none of them can stand alone as communication from God. That takes the Spirit’s work within us. Certainly one primary avenue of communication is in the context of the local church, so those words on a church sign seemed quite appropriate to me.
The third one was more clever/cute than thought-provoking, and some might see it as making light of a serious subject, but I liked it:
FREE TRIP TO HEAVEN
I don’t know how many non-Christians would ever be motivated to go inside and ask for details, but I think it’s one of the better instances I’ve seen of using an idea/phrase from popular culture to make a point about faith in Christ.
My new favorite sign is the one I saw two days ago on the way to a job interview. (Today is my last day at the company I have worked at since October 2004.) The sign looked quite unremarkable at first glance, but the last word caught my attention and made me look a second time to read it correctly.
JESUS KNOWS ME
THIS I LOVE
When I got home and Googled the phrase, I realized that it was not nearly as original as I had thought at first. There is a song by that name that apparently is fairly popular. I don’t care much for the song itself, but I like these two lines very much. The familiar song “Jesus Loves Me” is so closely associated in my mind with young children that it is hard for me to separate it from a child’s necessarily rather unformed view of God and his love.
But to say that Jesus knows me – and know that he still loves me, even knowing what I’m really like – is indeed something special.