Pulpit: No mark is indelible to God

One generational change in our society is tattoos.

They are very common now among many of the younger set. It used to be that the Navy guys had them; then a few roughnecks, and now they are quite common. I thought it would be just a fad, but it's bigger than that.

I confess that I am not really a fan, and I don't have any tattoos, but I came across a good devotional thought regarding tattoos.

Not counting face-painting and little stick-on tattoos the kiddos get, a tattoo is a permanent mark. It is not going to just wash off or go away. That's the point, I suppose. Be it as body art, or as a memento to someone or something, the tattoo is for keeps. In fact, it is quite a process to have them removed, if that should be desired.

Now, for the inspirational parallel. As we adults know, life sure leaves some permanent marks on us. Our sins and our wounds leave their lasting stains on us. Some are obvious to the world, some are hidden. Any efforts we make to remove them fail, and probably leave more scars.


But Jesus does what we cannot. He removes our sin from us, separating it from us "as far as the east is from the west" (Psalm 103:12), casting it "into the depths of the sea" ( Micah 7:19), and "remembering it no more" ( Isaiah 43:25).

The Lord has the removal power, and does it graciously. He will redeem our sins and sorrows, and even transform them into something with a unique beauty. He never wastes a hurt. Every mistake you've made can be used to help others avoid or redeem the same failure or pain in their lives.

And here is the most powerful part of this metaphor: Forgiving and undoing our sin cost Jesus everything. His ultimate sacrifice in blood is the eternal stain-remover. He bore in His body the evil branding, and now those nail-scarred hands are the very means of our salvation, and the glorious beauty that is precious to every believer.

As a T-shirt my son once had put it, "Body piercing saved my life." Some body marks are art. The marks of our Christ make the ultimate statement: God loves you to death.

Chris Brekke is pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in West Concord. Pulpit runs on the Saturday faith pages and features reflections from area religious leaders. To contribute, contact Life Section Editor Jeff Pieters at 285-7748 or

What To Read Next
Get Local