Pictograms

Puzzler's Corner Blog, Midwest District, DS Margie Crawford Blog

Every other year (or so, due to the pandemic) I look forward to the Olympic Games.  This Corner is not about the sports or the athletes or even the countries represented, though there were a few countries who are making their first appearance this year.  I usually watch the Opening Games to see how the host nation will be represented through song, dance, and other artistic expression.  And for me, despite how Covid has affected our world, this year’s ceremonies did not disappoint.  There was an 1800 drone display of the planet, a tribute to John Lennon’s Imagine, representing Asia (Children’s choir) Africa (Angélique Kidjo), Europe (Alejandro Sanz), the Americas (John Legend), and Oceana (Keith Urban).

My favorite part was the pictograms which depicted each sport in this year’s games.  The history of the pictograms was shared as a few artists reenacted each sport.  In a little over 5 minutes, all 50 sports were named and illustrated. What a great way to commemorate the Olympics.  I am including the link on YouTube in case you want to see it or see it again.  https://youtu.be/CQ9OyYA-bAM

There are Christian images and symbols that resonate with us.  Three crosses at the top of Golgotha, two stone tablets with Hebrew writing, loaves and fishes, a cup, and a loaf of bread and even a baptismal font help to tell the story of our faith journey.

When I first moved to Michigan, I became a member of Metropolitan UMC.  The tile floor is decorated with a variety of crosses from all over the world.  During my first appointment at Court Street, in Flint, I worked with the United Methodist Women to develop a book of all the ornaments that were on the Chrismon Tree.  Each ornament is a different form of the cross done on a cross-stitch square.

I wonder if we take these symbols for granted.  Different forms of the cross tell the story of our Christian history and heritage.  One of my stoles is embroidered with the Jerusalem Cross.  I have seen the Chi Rho and Celtic crosses on church vestments.  Many saints also have a cross named for them.  I have crocheted crosses on small and large pieces.  In Sunday School and Vacation Bible School, I have completed crafts that continue to teach me and remind me about the meaning of the cross for my life and for my faith journey. 

I Am Thine O Lord, When I Survey the Wondrous Cross, The Old Rugged Cross and Jesus Keep Me Near the Cross are traditional hymns encompassing how God’s salvific act for us has transformed and continues to transform who we are.  At the Cross and The Power of the Cross are more modern hymns that help us consider God’s awesome gift for us in new ways.

As we seek to tell God’s story, I invite each of us to reflect on the significance of the cross and how different images can add to our stories of faith.  And Amen.