A team from our out-of-town office came to check out a new system we use on our computers. While sitting next to me to listen in on calls I would take, one of the team members noticed my wristband, Psalm 139:14 I am fearfully and wonderfully made. He immediately asked about the bracelet and I explained the significance of the verse with the story of where I got the bracelet. It only took a moment or two, but I knew in that moment that I was talking with someone who was a brother in Christ.
He didn’t ever say what he believed, where he attended church, no “church-y” statements were made. And yet, we understood each other. In that unspoken moment we knew we shared a relationship with the same God and it encouraged me.
In the days of the early church after the Persecution of the church began (Acts 8) it was dangerous for the believers to openly express their faith without risking arrest, beatings, loss of property, or even loss of life. So the Faith community devised a secret code, among them the sign of the fish.
When a traveler would meet another in a city where believers were known to be living, one person would drag his or her toe in an arc and the other believer would draw the other half of the arc forming a simple fish design. Twenty centuries later, believers use this fish to decorate their cars or in their choice of jewelry and fashion.
While those of us who live in areas of religious freedom can choose to wear a cross, or a fish pendant– there are those who still must use secret codes to notify other believers of danger, prayer meetings, and other gatherings.
We, as believers, live in a time when we have great freedoms and great responsibility to our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.
Each time you wear your cross, your Christian t-shirt, or carry your Bible in public, pray for your brothers and sisters who serve God with their whole lives– sometimes giving their whole lives– all while being under the reign of governments which declare Christ is forbidden.
Hebrews 13:3 says, Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.