“The word that Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.” -Isaiah 2:1
Isaiah didn’t hear the word. He saw it in powerful images. A word image, just as it did for Isaiah, can conjure up a new world of story for us to see. For instance...
A glimpse of two golden arches jutting into the sky from the top of a red roof immediately relays a string of word images to our mind's eye. We remember the meaning of that symbol in the narrative that takes up residence, even for a fleeting moment, in our consciousness. Remembering brings the story of our past encounters with the image into the present and enables us to reenact anew the ritual that's central to this particular cultural icon, mundane as it may be, if we so desire.
This Sunday as we come together for worship we will have a glimpse of our rebuilt spire jutting into the sky from the top of the stone tower that sits upon the slate roof. I imagine the sight of it will immediately convey a string of word images for us to see in our mind's eye as we remember its power to point our hearts and minds heavenward and to God. During worship as we remember this special day together in litany and song, the narrative of our past encounters with the image will be brought into the present and enable us to embody, in our community ritual, a new meaning for this sacred symbol in the story that lives on in our collective consciousness.
The image of the spire is a signpost that summons us to look beyond the story of what we first see to the possibility of something new. It is a sign that summons us to faith; a faith that lives in grateful response to God's grace, not just for ourselves, but for all God's people. That's an image worth seeing.