July 16, 2018
A sign is an object, quality, or action that indicates the probable existence of something else. It is an external marker that expresses the internal nature or contents on which it is found. For example, Tony the Tiger functions as a sign that implies the presence of cornflakes. Perhaps the most common signs that we witness are street signs. These contain a variety of symbols denoting realities such as railroad tracks, traffic lights, bus stops etc.
We often also see signs on individual people that denote aspects of one’s own self. These are external markers that tell us a person’s interests, allegiances, and internal states of being. Oftentimes, these markers are clear, tangible objects that are attached to a person. A Megadeth band t-shirt can reveal one’s appreciation for fast and heavy music. A tattoo of the White Tree of Gondor expresses a person’s love of The Lord of the Rings and fantasy. As stated in the definition, signs need not be objects: they can also be qualities or actions. A person’s low temperament, for example, reveals the possible existence of suffering or sorrow. A yawn functions as a sign that probably indicates either tiredness or boredom.
What then is the sign of the Christian? What form of external entity works to express that one follows Jesus Christ? Is it perhaps something as simple as adorning one’s self with a necklace holding a crucifix? Could it, as some unfortunately think, be wealth and prosperity? Perhaps it is religious behavior? Surely going to church and praying out loud conveys one’s Christianity. Jesus, when talking to His disciples, states: “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:35, NIV). Here is our sign, the external mark that expresses the Christian faith. It is through our love for one another that we display our allegiance to Christ. Where there is no love, there is no Christianity. The sign of the Christian, the mark of Jesus Christ on one’s soul, is love.
Image retrieved from http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/impactofsocialsciences/2015/10/06/the-growing-user-base-of-academia-edu-issues-in-the-dissemination-of-research/