The fish are out there!
Ever wonder why Christians often have a fish on their cars? It is my understanding that the symbol of the fish originated back in the early centuries while Christians were being severely persecuted. It was a secret way for Christians to signal to one another that they too are a Christian without necessarily exposing themselves to being arrested for being a Christian. The “Jesus fish” is derived from the ancient Greek language and the word Ichthys (or ἰχθύς) which is an acronym of Ἰησοῦς Χριστός, Θεοῦ Υἱός, Σωτήρ “Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior.” (Sorry if the fonts don’t come through correctly)
Ok, so much for the long intro, but even today, it can happen that, while we are living in the world whether at or near our homes, our work places, schools or play places, there are Christians around us and we don’t know it. Although for us in Switzerland and most Western countries, it is not illegal and punishable by law to be a Christian, it isn’t always promoted or tolerated to be so open about it in public, at school or at work. At the same time, it is such a blessing when we “reveal” ourselves and/or another Christian “reveals” themselves and experience the joy and blessing of knowing we have encountered another Christ follower, kind of like when the first and second century Christians communicated with the “fish” to each other.
I had a great “fish” experience two weeks ago while visiting my company’s business partner company in Finland. Although the owner is not a man of faith (my previous fishing hooks came back empty) another man from the same company, who I found out is labeled, “the priest”, turned out to be a wonderful fellow tent making pastor. Furthermore, this “fish” conversation revealed another team member who I had met a year earlier who is also a very strong man of faith and the son of a pastor. Just the night before, I had my doubts about this second man who had spent a couple of years in Nepal and returned to Finland with a wife from there. My wrong stereo type of him was that he was most likely irreligious and she was probably Muslim. I was completely wrong and shame on me for assuming it! To my heart’s delight, the night before I left, she gave an amazing testimony of faith, including the fact that she was baptized about 3 weeks before. With her simple English she said, “Before in life I didn’t know Jesus in Nepal, but today I know Jesus and am very happy!” So simple, but so profound!
To be honest, I am not too much into real fishing and can’t stand putting the worms on the hook, but when it comes to fishing as Jesus did and seeking fishers of men, women and children, it is a wonderful feeling to be blessed with such encouragement through encounters of other true “fish” followers! I hope you are having your “fish” encounters as well!
In His grip and grace,