Early Christians used a wide variety of symbols to express their faith. At times, these symbols provided a sort of secret language among believers. When a Christian met a stranger, he could draw one-half of the ichthys or “Jesus fish” and wait to see if the stranger would complete the drawing. Christian symbols include the Chi-Rho, Alpha and Omega, anchor, fish, cross, dove, six-point star, pelican and others.
Flame of Pentecost
Pentecost is the birthday of the church and the flame represents the Holy Spirit. The Apostles and other followers of Jesus had gathered to celebrate the feast of the summer harvest. A great wind was heard and what looked like flames appeared on the heads of the disciples and each began to speak in tongues. Miraculously, each of the pilgrims present heard the apostles speak in his own native language. Peter quickly realized that it was the Holy Spirit. This encounter lit a fire in the disciples, replacing their fear with the courage to begin sharing the story of Jesus with the world.
Learn more about the Easter and Pentecost. For Christians, the Easter season lasts 50 days, starting on Easter Sunday and culminating with the celebration of Pentecost.
*Mary Helen Marigza is a lifelong United Methodist, a past missionary with the Woman's Foreign Missionary Society, and a current member of Belmont United Methodist Church in Nashville, Tennessee. Marigza created a set of Christian Symbols out of recycled church window glass to tell people about the meaning behind common religious symbols.
Find more symbols at UMC.org/ChristianSymbols.
This video was first posted on January 12, 2021.