The “Logo” of God

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1

At Community Bible Study, we have been studying the first chapter of John. This week, we were asked to define “word” in order to better understand the verse.

1word

noun \ˈwərd\

: a sound or combination of sounds that has a meaning and is spoken or written

: a brief remark or conversation : something that a person says

: an order or command

Then we were told that the word in the original Greek was logos, and we were asked to look up that definition as well. But I didn't look it up right away, I started thinking about Jesus and words and logos. Not the Greek word logos, but actual logos that stand for a company or brand.

According to the dictionary, a word is a sound or combination of letters that has meaning. It is a symbol for something else. For example, if I were to say “cat,” or get a piece of paper and write the letters C-A-T, you would all know what I was talking about, at least if you knew English. What I said or wrote would not be a living, breathing cat. The symbol itself did not even sound like a cat, and the letters did not look like a cat. But the image of a cat would be in your mind all the same.

Then we transition from words to logos. Logos are kind of like words, in that they are symbols that stand for something else. But logos are more powerful than words sometimes, in that they transcend language barriers and can carry with them the image of an entire company. In fact, market research has found that children will often recognize a brand logo before they can recognize their own written name. My children know McDonald's, Taco Bell, Walmart, and many others.

As a graphic designer, I spent several years occasionally making logos for companies. I learned what makes a strong logo. According to What makes a good logo?, a good logo is instantly recognizable, simple in form, relevant to the company, built for longevity, and able to fit different mediums of branding material.

So using these rules, can I look at Jesus as the logo of God?

  1. A good logo is instantly recognizable. We won't confuse it with something else. If you have known Jesus, you know that he is recognizable as he works in your life, and as he speaks to you in his word.
  2. A good logo is simple in form. In order to make a good logo, you must reduce the complex design to its simplest form. Jesus, “being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.” Philippians 2:6-7
  3. A good logo is relevant to the company. The logo must portray the essence of the company. A car would be an inappropriate logo for a pizza company. Jesus did only what his Father told him to do, and came so that we might understand the very essence of the Father.
  4. A good logo is built for longevity. The Coca-Cola logo has not changed since its debut in 1885. The logo should avoid trends and be something that can last. Jesus is still talked about and his words are studied over 2,000 years after he walked the earth. He did not follow the trends of the times, the rulings of the Scribes and Pharisees, but stuck to the truths of God that surpass time.
  5. A good logo is able to fit different mediums of branding material. If the logo is overly complex, no one will be able to read it quickly on a billboard or sign. It also has to be simple enough to reduce down to the size of a postage stamp and still be legible, so that the company can use it on stationery. Jesus took all that was complex and awesome about God, who is far too much for our human minds to comprehend, and reduced it down to the size of a postage stamp, in the form of a human, on this insignificant planet.

I never did look up the Greek word logos and find out how that applied to Jesus as the word of God. But I really like Jesus as the logo of God. He can represent the God of the Universe in such a simple way that my children can understand Him before they recognize their name, but yet He carries so much of the essence of God that I could spend a lifetime studying his various colors.

A lesson in perspective

I had an interesting day at work today. I figure there are two ways to look at this.

Day #1:

  • I had to do a lot of chores that someone else was supposed to do.
  • Several people were grumpy.
  • I was forced to stay an hour past the time I was supposed to get off.
  • It was hot in the store today and I was sweating all day.

Day #2

  • I did so many chores today that I met my 10,000 step goal on my pedometer half an hour before I got off work. I'll get to relax tonight.
  • I had the opportunity to cheer up several people.
  • I got to work an extra hour so my paycheck will be larger.
  • Even though it is 106 degrees outside, it didn't feel too hot when I left work.
I was assembling orders together during lunch today, and one of the kitchen staff got my attention.

“Why are you so excited? Are our times really good?”

“No, our times are terrible,” I replied.

“Then why are you happy?” he asked.

“Well, as I see it, there are two ways to look at things. I can be happy about them or I can be cranky. I think it's better on me and all of you if I'm happy.”

He looked at me and shook his head.

But I like day #2 better than day #1.

I think I'll keep it.