Signs, Signs — Everywhere a Sign

If you’re of a certain age, you may remember the song “Signs” by the Five Man Electrical Band, a Canadian group whose sole hit is about signs.

The lyrics list the frustration of running up against a sign forbidding this, that, and the other.

“Do this, don’t do that! Can’t you read the signs??”

The singer, in the midst of the confusion, finds his way to church, and makes his own “little sign”:

“Thank you, Lord, for thinking of me.. I’m alive and doin’ fine!”

In the Advent readings, Jesus preached of the days ahead, and exhorted his followers to prepare for His Second  Coming:

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’
will enter the Kingdom of heaven,
but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.” (Matthew 7:21)

There are signs to warn of danger ahead. There are signs advising us where we can stop and refresh ourselves. There are signs directing us to tourist destinations. There are signs designed to keep us safe. Jesus commended his apostles to heal the sick and to spread the Good News.

“Go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
As you go, make this proclamation: ‘The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ (Matthew 10:6-8)

John The Baptist announced the signs of the coming of The Lord:

John the Baptist appeared, preaching in the desert of Judea
and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” (Matthew 3:1)

We have the signs of the changing season, the shorter days, colder temperatures, the Advent of Our Lord, and the signs pointing to the coming of the One True Light:

Lead, Kindly Light, amid the encircling gloom
Lead Thou me on!
The night is dark, and I am far from home—
Lead Thou me on!
Keep Thou my feet; I do not ask to see
The distant scene—one step enough for me.
(St. John Henry Newman)

Michael Throop