Along with the cross and the fish, there are many symbols of Christianity dating back to its earliest days. One of the less common is the anchor.
The anchor as a symbol of our faith makes sense because so many of the first disciples were fishermen. It reminds us, then, of our discipleship because—like Peter and the others—we are also followers of Christ who calls us to “fish for people.” That is, make sure that those around us know about the Good News of God’s love that is to be found in Christ and in the church.
The anchor also has another meaning. Anchors are not only ancient but commonly used today to keep boats and ships from drifting away. In this sense, Christ is our anchor. Christ keeps us from drifting from where we intend to be; he keeps us from being at the whim of the haphazard currents of life.
In short, Christ keeps us from being at the mercy of the wind and waves that may sink us or carry us to places where we may not be able to find our way back.
I think the anchor is a powerful symbol for the church right now.
I’ve been preaching a lot recently about the need for the church to be flexible, innovative, and open to the new things God is calling us to do through the Holy Spirit during these challenging times. For balance, however, we need the anchor.
The church has a special role in times of upheaval and social incongruity. Our role is to provide stability, predictability, and continuity. We are to be an anchor that grounds people in the familiar; an anchor that offers assurance that some things remain unchanged because there are some things you should be able to just count on.
It is important that our church be able to adapt to this new era and be open to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Embracing newness is a hallmark of our faith.
It is equally important, however, that we remain the non-anxious presence during anxious times. It is important, in other words, that we be a social anchor that people can trust to be as reliable as ever no matter the tides and gales.
See you in church,