Scripture reflections – Sunday, June 19th

Ex 34:4b-6, 8-9; 2Cor 13:11-13; Jn 3:;16-18

Feast of the Most Holy Trinity

Two things stand out clearly in my memory from  watching NFL playoff football during the 1970s.  One  is the incredible catch Franco Harris made that led the Pittsburgh Steelers to victory over the Oakland Raiders (forever after known as the “Immaculate Reception”). The other  is the man with the sign.

If you look at any of the NFL films from that era, you’ll see him.  He wore a rainbow wig and held up a sign that said “John 3:16”.  For years this funny man with the sign stayed on the periphery of my memory as a curiosity until the day that I learned what that scriptural passage actually said – a passage that forms the core of this week’s gospel reading:  “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him may not die but have eternal life.”

What else really needs to be said?

I later learned that the man with the rainbow wig was a Christian minister, and that the signs were the best way he could think of to get the core of the gospel message to the greatest number of people possible.  How many millions must have seen his signs through the years? How many have -eventually – paused for a moment to consider this wonderful truth?

What I like to think is that he’s there now, among the communion of saints, making signs welcoming each new arrival.  Heck, maybe we all get to wear rainbow color wigs.

One could do worse than be a swinger of birches, as Robert Frost once wrote.  Or a maker of signs.

Jim Philipps (3rd millennium pilgrim)


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