MS Reference Sans Serif – It has been a few months since the last disciple, John, died. Word has come to you that he wrote deeply symbolic letters for all the churches to read. You were chosen to retrieve them, as you are young and can run well, if necessary. The government seems to have found a second wind in their persecution of your kind, believers in a small faith called The Way. However, retrieving the disciples’ letters can be dangerous work.
You come to a small alley with the word “ICTUS” scrabbled on the stone wall. The old man carrying a cane steadies it after a little time. You know that he had just drawn half of the fish symbol. This signifies that he is also a believer in The Way. Without looking down, you complete the fish symbol and the man lets you in apologizing for any troubles you might have had along the way. He takes a well-hidden scroll out of its place and hands it to you. He also offers a snack, which you do not decline. When you feel its safer, you being on the road to your town and your own church.
Such journeys were common in the early church. It’s difficult for us to imagine the persicution our fellow belivers must face daily all over the globe. Lately I wondered the significance of the fish. I know that some of the disciples were fishermen and that Jesus taught them to be fishers of men. Still, I find the meaning of “ICTUS” touching. It’s an acronym:
Iota is the first letter of Iesous, Greek for Jesus.
Chi is the first letter of Christos, Greek for “anointed”.
Theta is the first letter of Theou, genitive case of Teó? “God”.
Upsilon is the first letter of Huios, Greek for Son.
Sigma is the first letter of Soter, Greek for Savior.
“Jesus Christ, the son of God, our savior.”
Many greek believers had only this to cling to when the persecution seemed to double on every side. There are parts of the world today where to gather as a church, to carry a Bible, and to witness to others, all are punishable by death. They have only this truth to cling to, which is ours as well.