Theology

How can the cross be used in a congregation’s symbol or logo?

The Cross should be more than a label, a mere marker, or an identification tag. Its various shapes, colors, and placements should express theological concepts even though people do not notice.

image of Concordia University Seward logo

Let’s use the symbol of Concordia University — Seward, Nebraska, as an example of a descriptive logo. Concordia’s symbol expresses the theme of putting God in the center of the University’s existence.

We often hear people placing God at the top of a priority list. The listing often goes like this: God in first place followed by family, then employment. Even so, our God should not be in a listing of priorities. Such a priority list breaks life into two parts: spiritual and secular.

Are we to give to God first, or should we give Him all? Should not God be placed in the center of our lives? Is not all life spiritual whether washing dishes or preaching a sermon? Place God in the hub. Bring Him into everything you do. Such service is full-time ministry. The Concordia symbol expresses the theme of putting God in the center, where an open cross is placed. God is at the hub of all Concordia activities.

The spires of Weller Hall tower, Concordia’s administration building, are represented by sixteen spikes forming at their base an empty space in the shape of a cross at its center. This empty space that shapes the cross represents the completed, redemptive act of the Cross. Jesus is no longer at Calvary. He is gone from there. He is now at His throne. Christ’s gift is a finished work. Thus, the empty Cross suggests Jesus’ once-and-for-all, accomplished sacrifice.

Note again, the cross formed by the empty background is centrally positioned. It has no division lines and is not confined. It is not closed or secluded. Its uncontained message is part of the background and not the ink. The white of the cross continues around the spires and surrounds all the shapes. The Cross of Christ is central to Concordia’s being, here symbolized by surrounding the spires that represent that place. Concordia is wrapped with the cross and it becomes part of it. It penetrates all of Concordia. More than that, the Cross continues onto the entire page whether brochure, search piece, or personal letter. It surrounds every photograph, illustration, or word that is placed on the page with it.

And more yet, it surrounds the very names when signed on stationary. Indeed, the Cross of Christ is central to the entire life of Concordia University.