I’ve spent the last few weeks exploring the implications of calling ourselves “The Church Belonging To [OF] Christ”. This Sunday fell in the middle of a long weekend, so I thought I’d take a break to look a little more closely at our congregational identity. About 18 months ago, a good friend Tammy Matthews, designed a logo for the Lawson Road congregation. We gave him several parameters and he developed the image below.
I believe that when we put something out there saying “this is who we are”, we need to know what it means. So this week I explored some of the Biblical themes captured in this design. However we represent ourselves, we need to ensure that we tell the story of Jesus. And although it’s subjective, I believe this logo does.
1. I love the colours of the image. God designed his church with colourful composition. He filled it with people of all races and languages. Lawson Rd strives to welcome anyone seeking Christ. You can read more about how we do this here, and here.
2. John 1:4 identifies Jesus as “the light of all people”. It’s therefore appropriate to represent the “Son” with the “Sun”. The significance of the “light” imagery is found in the hope Jesus brings all people. John 1 continues in v5, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not over come it.” Whatever darkness we find ourselves in, Jesus brings us the hope that it cannot overcome him. His light overwhelms our darkness.
3. The blue streams of water connect with a powerful theme in Scripture of cleansing and renewal. Sometimes the Church of Christ has too quickly drawn the connection between water and baptism while sidestepping the significant issues. We must continue to teach baptism as an appropriate, commanded, response to the sacrifice of Christ, but concentrating on baptism minimises the importance of life transformation.
When Jesus says in John 3:3, 5 that we “must be born again… of water and the Spirit” I believe he references the physical act of immersion in water. But He also makes a more significant point. Jesus wants to cleanse us. He wants to wash away not only our sins, but our very selves. Jesus desires for us to commit to him so strongly that we become a new person, born again. Paul, in 2 Cor. 5:17 describes the Christian as “a new creation”.
You’ll notice that the water in our logo has a ripple to it. In Greek the word for wind, pneuma, also means breath, or spirit, or Spirit. So the ripple may be caused by the wind, but it signifies the presence of the breath of God, His Holy Spirit. If the Holy Spirit is absent from our church, then we can hardly claim to be the Church of Christ. If we’ve been born of the Spirit, then He is present among us, transforming us, and equipping us for service in God’s kingdom. (2 Cor. 3:17-18; Gal. 5:22-26)
4. The cross represents the sacrifice of Christ. Christ gave his life in a divine transaction that gave the opportunity for eternal life to all humanity. (Rom. 5:18-19) Yet the logo contains only the outline of the cross, because his subsequent resurrection overpowered the instrument of death. As important as Christ’s sacrifice is for the cleansing of our sins (Heb. 9:22, 27-28), the resurrection provides the evidence and hope that his sacrifice is effective. (1 Cor. 15:12-20)
5. A couple of other verses tie these themes together. 1 John 1:5-7 describes God as light. “If we walk in the light…the blood of Jesus … purifies us from all sin.” Then Romans 6:3-5 makes the following assertions, “Don’t you know that all of us who were baptised into Jesus Christ were baptised into his death? …[then] we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection.” Notice the cluster of key terms: light, baptism, blood, death, sin, purification, and resurrection.
Finally, the letters L and R obviously stand for “Lawson Road”, the location of our particular congregation. However, we can also bestow a deeper meaning upon these letters.
The letter L: Stands for Love. The centre and motivation of Jesus ministry:
- The Greatest Command (Matthew 22:37)
- The Second Command (Matthew 22:39)
- The New Command (John 13:34)
The letter R: Could stand for several themes, I think my favourite is “Reconcile”, but “Redeem” would also be a good alternative. But I decided to go with “Rescue“.
Colossians 1:12-14 is part of a larger context, but it describes the kingomd of God as the “kingdom of light“. Does that sound familiar? Verses 13-14 describe how God used Jesus to rescue us from darkness, redeeming and forgiving us in the process.
If Jesus is by definition “The Light”, then he commissions us to represent him as lights also. In Matthew 5:16 Jesus instructs his followers to “let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” If Jesus, The Light, uses that light to rescue people, to give them hope, then as his lights we share his rescue mission, point people to God.
I know that this is an extra long post, but I hope you made it this far. I also know that my discussion doesn’t necessarily flow particularly smoothly. But these are the thoughts the Lawson Road logo prompts in me.
- Since art interpretation is a subjective field, what symbolism do you see in our logo? Or what Biblical ideas does it stir in your mind?
- What suggestions do you have for the letter R? [To fit the theme it needs to be an imperative word.]
- What are the pros and cons of Reconcile, Redeem & Rescue? They all mean something similar but with different emphases.