There are many who realize the value of an illustrative device, and are on the lookout for ways to illustrate sermons that do not easily lend themselves to illustration. We have found the device pictured here, and which I shall describe in detail, a very effective way of illustrating the subject "Signs of Christ's Coming in Our Day."
The fourteen signposts that show we are nearing the coming of Christ are readily recognized as those that appeared on the back of the Home Bible Course lesson (old edition) on the subject. These signposts are arranged so that they become an acrostic spelling out the words "CHRIST IS COMING."
The signposts are covered with paper at the beginning of the lecture, and then uncovered one by one as the lecture progresses. These four teen signs are used as the outline for the sermon. The large letters that spell out the words "CHRIST IS COMING" are cut out of fluorescent cloth. After the last sign has been un covered, the statement is made that "all these fourteen" signs clearly indicate that Christ is coming in our day." At the precise moment when these words are spoken all the lights in the auditorium are turned off. A fluorescent advertising light (the invisible or black light used in advertising displays), which is focused on the signs, lights up the letters "CHRIST IS COMING" in a brilliant red. The audience, startled, becomes perfectly quiet as the people are led to do some serious thinking, with only these words burning out in brilliant red letters in the darkened auditorium. The speaker makes his appeal at this opportune moment.
The signs are made of plywood that is six by eighteen inches, screwed to the signposts, which are made of one-inch round. The base is made of two-by-four-inch material, with holes drilled for the signposts to fit into. The holes are drilled so that each sign will fit in front of the preceding sign. The base is in two parts for ease in transporting. The signs can be brought in one by one as the lecture progresses, but we find that it is less distracting to the audience if they are placed beforehand and covered. Papers covering the signs are then re moved one by one at the right moment.
The fluorescent sign cloth and the fluorescent advertising light may be procured through an advertising art supply store. The cloth sells for about one dollar a yard. The lights retail from ten to twenty dollars. The small black letters used on the rest of the sign, which are not intended to be fluorescent, are two-inch gummed letters. (They are made by the Tablet Ticket Company, 1021 West Adams Street, Chicago 7, Illinois.) These were introduced to the field in the columns of THE MINISTRY a year or two ago. They are inexpensive and can readily be used for sign work when a sign painter is expensive or not available. Stencils available from an art supply store can be used for cutting out the five-inch letters that are used for the words "CHRIST IS COMING."
I patterned my device after one similar to this but with the words "CHRIST IS COM ING" illuminated by light boxes from behind. This is workable if it is the best that can be done, but it has its disadvantages in the complicated electrical hookup for the removable signs as well as the fact that the letters when illuminated are not nearly so brilliant as the fluorescent letters that are illuminated from the front with the black light. In the long run it would be about as expensive to procure all the electrical sockets and connections as it would be to purchase an advertising light.