One of the most predictable events of being a Christian in Texas happens every summer when we hit a sweltering heat wave. The temperature climbed above one-hundred degrees last week and, sure enough, there it was. A local church had put this cheery message on the sign out front.
(Note: Not the real sign. This was re-created at www.churchsigngenerator.com. You can have some fun at that site.)
Apparently God got out of the book business and moved into signboards.
I am sure that at least a few readers of these humble ramblings remember a song by Five Man Electrical Band. The song was called “Signs” and it told about some warnings that dared to tell us what to do.
Sign Sign everywhere a sign
Blocking out the scenery breaking my mind
Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign
I remember the opening part of the song quite well.
And the sign said long haired freaky people need not apply
So I tucked my hair up under my hat and I went in to ask him why
He said you look like a fine upstanding young man, I think you’ll do
So I took off my hat I said imagine that, huh, me working for you
What struck me most is that the official Five Man Electrical Band website actually has that last word spelled “woah”. Hearing that song recently on an oldies station made me think about the mixed blessing of church signs. Some are clever and thought provoking. Most, sadly, are embarrassing or even harmful. I really dislike some of the signs that I have seen on display.
Will your eternal reservations be smoking or non-smoking? Threats of damnation seem to be a church sign favorite like this cheery little thought…
Life is all fun and games until you die and go to hell! Really makes you want to join that happy little group, doesn’t it? All I can say is…woah!
The next sign is a good message for the faithful.
Tithe if you love Jesus! Anyone can honk.
I have seen some signs that were a bit more graceful and thoughtful. I have to admit that I kind of liked these.
It you want the rainbow you’ve gotta put up with the rain.
Opportunity knocks only once but temptation leans on the doorbell.
Children learn more from models than from critics.
God so loved the world that He did not send a committee.
The final church sign might be a bit too obtuse for the casual passerby but it does contain the message of grace.
God grades on the Cross, not the curve.
Paul said it like this to the Ephesians. But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!)
Jesus was not talking about church signs when He said “you know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times”. The signs of the times indicate to me that I need to get serious about following Jesus and finishing strong. To paraphrase the sign above…
Live it if you love Jesus. Anyone can honk!