Today’s Word from Deacon Amy…
When we are baptized in the Christian Church the pastor says to us, “child of God, you have been sealed by the Holy Spirit and marked with the cross of Christ forever.” What a beautiful statement – we have been marked with the cross of Christ forever.
This cross that we were marked with is not visible – it was made with water, or oil, on our foreheads at our baptism, and quickly faded from view. It left a damp mark for a few moments but was not visible in any of the family photos that commemorate that beautiful day. We are marked, but not for everyone to see.
We are marked in a deeper way. We are set aside in our relationship with Christ and with the Christian body – the church. We become a member of the family of Christ, always welcome, always forgiven, and never alone.
Perhaps when we hear the Gospel spoken on Sundays, remembering that we carry this mark helps the message to sink in a little deeper. When we come forward for communion and dip our fingers into the waters of the font, we cross ourselves and remember the mark that is there. The mark that lies far beneath the skin. The mark that reminds us that we are so deeply loved.
I chose to make this mark more visible for myself. Last week, I got a new tattoo on my forearm. Now every time I look down, I see this beautiful artwork and smile. I smile because it is beautiful, but also because it has such deep meaning for me.
The cross reminds me that I am loved. That no matter what hard things are happening in my life, God loves me. God cares about me, and God cares for me. I am sealed by the Holy Spirit and marked with the cross of Christ.
I chose to have a Trinity symbol, or triquetra, woven into the cross to remind me of two things. First, of the Holy Trinity; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God, Jesus, and the Spirit are individual entities, yet at the same time they are all one. This is beyond my comprehension, which is ok with me. The Trinity symbol reminds me that it is not my place to know everything.
The second reason is more personal. The church in Everett that I grew up in was Trinity Lutheran Church. I then attended and graduated from Trinity Lutheran College. After graduation, I moved to Whidbey Island to serve at Trinity Lutheran Church. I have now been a part of three communities named Trinity; a trinity of Trinities. The tattoo reminds me of these amazing communities, each so different, and all so wonderful.
I enjoy sharing my new tattoo with friends and people that I meet, but really, I got it for me. I got this design, in this place, to be a visual reminder of the fact that I am sealed by the Holy Spirit and marked with the cross of Christ. That makes me smile.