Signs are everything everywhere.
Creation is semiosis. Cognition is semiosis. Cosmos is semiosis.
Discern the signs.
The idea of an 'awakening to signs' emerged from interaction with fellow members of the 15th cohort of the Doctor of Ministry Program, Semiotics and Future Studies, Dr. Leonard I. Sweet, Lead Mentor. Our group is the DMIN SFS15 Cohort at Portland (PDX) Seminary of George Fox University.
A discussion thread arose on an officially unaffiliated separate FB group site for SFS15 Cohort members around the idea of a 'church of signs.' All-too-familiar concern about the theological anatomy of such a church surfaced almost immediately: what vision, purpose, mission, ministry, etc. would it embrace, if any? My interest quickly faded.
I've since recalled that, where I come from, church life is birthed through Spiritual awakening and revival. It begins in the singular manifestation of the Presence and Being of the Person of the Holy Spirit, by His Divine Will, not by our profane desires. He becomes manifest singularity in the wide open wild chaos of the present fallen world. His Being and Presence are imminently instantiated within the frenzy and chaos, yet in some miraculously mysterious way, simultaneously entirely beyond it.
The last Great Awakening of Spirit in America was Cane Ridge, at the beginning of the 1800s, in the bluegrass Appalachian foothills of eastern Kentucky, near Lexington. I was born on the first day of summer just under 150 years later in Richmond ... most of a day's journey then, an hour's drive today.
Yet I've come in life to sense Cane Ridge Blood coursing through me -- in heart, soul, mind, and strength. I pray that it flows freely again soon than later and beyond merely myself with new Awakening and Revival, globally ebbing and flowing, waxing and waning in fresh seasons manifesting the Spirit's Being and Presence for every human.
Cane Ridge and other Great Awakenings erupted in such divine manifestations. Open-air campsite gatherings swelled to encircled them; tents were pitched and Koinonia reigned, if only for a season. We eventually embraced our modern human notion of 'community,' thus letting the ancient 'Koinonia' from whence it came slip away unnoticed. We erect opulent commemorative 'church' Ebenezers today in memory of those seasons ... monuments to what was here then but has now passed on and away to other manifest singularity.
In the 1st century, 'Ekklisía' referred to the Koinonia of Christ followers and the Holy Spirit Being Presence within and among them. In the 21st century, 'church' refers to the 'community' of nominal Christians for whom the manifest singularity of Spirit Being and Presence in Truth as Reality ('Aletheia') is a forgotten state in a foreign land beyond navigation and recall.
To be awakened to the Being and Presence of the Spirit is to discern where and when He is manifest within and beyond yourself, then join and follow Him wherever and whenever He goes. We utterly fail to read the signs in which we're immersed. We're fish who don't know water when we're wet and fowl who don't know wind when we fly. Only when we're desperately parched and plummeting do we awaken or die.