5c — Writing Christian Acrostics

Honoring God Using Acrostics —

An acrostic is a type of poetry that does not have to rhyme. Instead, the only rule is that the first letter of each line needs to spell out a word or message. As a result, acrostics are very helpful for remembering or communicating important information.

A famous acrostic in the first century described the nature of Jesus using the Greek letters iota (I), chi (X), theta (Θ), upsilon (Y), and sigma (Σ) — meaning fish.

 I     Iesous = Jesus
Χ    CHristos = Christ
Θ    THeou = God’s
Υ     Yios = Son
Σ     Soter = Savior

This is why early Christians used the simple drawing of two arcs (resembling the profile of a fish) as a secret Christian symbol.

“According to one ancient story, when a Christian met a stranger in the road, the Christian sometimes drew one arc of the simple fish outline in the dirt. If the stranger drew the other 12205461431288241659pedu_ichtys.svg.medarc, both believers knew they were in good company.”
(Christianity Today, Elesha Coffman, “Ask The Expert”)

According to tradition, early Christians also used the fish symbol to mark meeting places and tombs.

Make Your Own Acrostic

Make your own acrostic about the nature of God using the English letters F I S H.

1) You can use one or more words on each line. Only the first word of each line needs to begin with the assigned letter.
2) Each line can be as long or short as you want.
3) The lines do not have to rhyme.





My Prayer

Dearest Father, Thank you for giving us the extraordinary gift of language. Thank you that there are so many ways that we can use words to make life fun and meaningful. Please help me to use words that honor you and build up people. I love you — you are extraordinary! Amen.


Suggested Activity

For more information about writing acrostics and other types of poetry, check out Kenn Nesbitt’s Poetry 4 Kids Website at http://www.poetry4kids.com/blog/lessons/how-to-write-an-acrostic-poem/