March 24 – Symbols

#83of365 #FaithBites #FaithJourney

Today’s lesson is about symbols of faith. As my faith journey has continued, what I call myself and how I display that has changed. When I was younger, I wore a star of David daily. I probably wore it for 10 years then one day I stopped. Not sure why I just did. Likewise, when I was younger, I clung to my Judaism, even though I didn’t practice in a synagogue after I moved to Illinois. I said I was Jewish, lite the candles, did everything on the surface. I still loved my Jewish heritage, and even today I do.

Then I was baptized in the water and the word. I became a Christian. It is hard for me to call me a Christian as that word has some many negative connotations in the world. It’s shocking to me at the time. Part of me thinks that if I call myself a Christian, I have no right to remember my people and my heritage. I haven’t worn a cross to this point, and part of me feels that would be strange if I did.

This realization of who we are, what we call ourselves, and how we display that struck me as I was looking for a new necklace to wear. I wanted something that displays both as I am Christian and a Jew. Not that I need an outward facing symbol as my heart and my Lord knows that. Just it would be a symbol for me, similar to my wedding rings. I don’t need it to tell me I’m married, but it helps ground me.

From Beliefnet

“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” – 1 Peter 3:3-4

“Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry.” – 1 Corinthians 10:14

When I went looking for scripture today, I found two that struck a cord.  The first being is wearing a cross prohibited (or in my case a necklace containing both). The bible says we should flee from idolatry but wearing a cross isn’t an idol if you wear it to remind you of Jesus dying for your sins. If you worship it, then yes, you should flee. Then, and the one that really came home, was 1 Peter in that our inner self is what is important. It is what God has created in his image and is of great worth.

So while you are looking at hairstyles, jewelry, and other symbols. Remember the old saying, it’s what is on the inside that counts.

Are you willing to use symbols not to adorn you but to remind you of your faith? Are you willing to focus on developing your inner spirit as that is the beauty God wants to see?

I am willing (with the help of God)

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