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Our General Synod logo is inspired by the journey of the Israelites, written in the book of Exodus. With every step of faith they took towards freedom and future – through good times and bad, in obedience or rebellion – they were held safely in the hands of God. As are we.
In the logo some of us can see these symbols. What do you see?
LET’S START WITH THE BLUE FLAMES
The blue flames remind us where the Exodus story starts – with a bush on fire that doesn’t burn, and a young man shaking in his boots. Out of the blue the young and reluctant Moses receives a call on his life that would change the course of history. God reveals his name as the puzzling but unforgettable ‘I AM’, which apparently is supposed to instil confidence in the trembling young Moses. The burning bush is where the great Exodus story from slavery to freedom begins.
OR ARE THEY HANDS?
You might be familiar with this statement of faith: ‘I don’t know what the future holds but I know who holds the future’. Did Moses set out on his terrifying mission trusting that God was holding him? Do we face our own terrifying obstacles trusting that God is holding us? Maybe yes, maybe no, maybe it depends on the scale of the challenge before us. This much we can be sure of: God will hold us safely in his hands through all the Egypts and Sinais and Red Seas we may face – and he promises to do this whether we trust him or not. No matter how fragile or frightened we might feel, remember, ‘The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still’ (Exodus 14:14).
OR ARE THEY BLUE WAVES?
It’s not a proper Exodus story if it doesn’t include the parting of the Red Sea. The blue waves remind us that we have to walk through the valley of death in order to get to the life on the other side. We have to walk that path trusting that God will hold back the waves until we are safely home. Thankfully for us, God has already taken us on that journey. When we were baptised he carried us through the valley of death and delivered us safely on resurrection’s shore.
THE LIGHT BLUE PILLARS
God knew the Israelites would be afraid of the wide open unknowns before them, and that the longer they travelled the more they would think he had abandoned them. So God gave them a pillar of cloud in the day to guide them and pillar of fire at night to light their way. The pillars were 24/7 reminders of the presence and protection of God. These days God gives us different sorts of reminders that he is with us alwaysThere are promises in his word (eg: ‘I will be with you always to the end of the age’, ‘where two or three are gathered in my name’); the presence of Christ in holy communion; the certainty of forgiveness in the absolution; the joy of Christian fellowship when we meet together to encourage one another in the faith. Sometimes though we are so distracted by troubles and worries, or looking backwards or too far ahead, that we do not see God’s pillars of presence beside us and before us.
At first we had a wavy, fluid cross in the logo, so it would float around calmly with the other curves of the design. But our designer Caitlin didn’t like it. She said the cross had to be strong and secure, sure and straight – in contrast to all the things in our lives that are not. The cross doesn’t float; it stands firm no matter what. ‘If the cross is your only safe path through the waves of death to eternal life, you need to know you can depend on it’, Caitlin said. It needs to be the solid foundation for everything in life you will ever face. And there’s something else you might see in the cross in the logo … the crossbars are scars in the hands of the God who carries us.
We would like the birds in the logo to be quails. But quails do not lift far off the ground, which is why they were such easy-to-collect food for the Israelites. No, the birds in our logo are those that fly so high they are free from worry or danger. They represent the freedom Christ won for us through his death and resurrection, and the hope of the bright future he is calling us to.