Scripture: Deuteronomy 11:18-28 (NIV)
Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates, so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land the LORD swore to give your ancestors, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth. If you carefully observe all these commands I am giving you to follow—to love the LORD your God, to walk in obedience to him and to hold fast to him— then the LORD will drive out all these nations before you, and you will dispossess nations larger and stronger than you. Every place where you set your foot will be yours: Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the Euphrates River to the Mediterranean Sea. No one will be able to stand against you. The LORD your God, as he promised you, will put the terror and fear of you on the whole land, wherever you go. See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse— the blessing if you obey the commands of the LORD your God that I am giving you today; the curse if you disobey the commands of the LORD your God and turn from the way that I command you today by following other gods, which you have not known.
Most of you have seen my clothing choices. You know that, if I’m not wearing a Cardinals shirt, I’m probably wearing one from the Star Wars section of my closet, a section that seems to expand on a regular basis, as my wife would attest. If you come over to my house, you probably would first notice the large Millennium Falcon on the bookcase or you might put your drink, served in a Yoda glass, on a coaster with Han Solo’s picture on it.
It’s very easy even for the casual person at the grocery store or the gas station to find out that I’m a Star Wars fan. For others, it might be a sports team like the Cardinals or a musical group. What we choose to display on our person is most likely a major aspect of who we are as an individual.
Our lesson today is a major aspect of the Torah. Jewish men would (and, I suppose, still do) would wear phylacteries, leather boxes with this text (or others) on their person. For them, “tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads” was not just flowery language. It meant exactly what it said, and it was not only a reminder to them about the law, but also allowed others to see that this meant a lot to them.
Obviously, you can go too far with things (there is a reason Jesus talked about the showy Pharisees), but wearing Christian symbols on your person, whether on a shirt or a hat or whatever the case may be, is a way to show that this is what is important to you. It’s a small way of acknowledging the Lord of heaven is the Lord of you. It’s a subtle part of our witness and even can become overt if someone asks us about it. Showing the world that we are Christian, that we follow Christ, is the least we can do for what He has done for us!