Hi this is Pastor Ken and these are my thoughts on a Thursday…Indelible Ink
Years ago while riding past a fast food restaurant in a nearby town my wife began laughing as she looked up at the sign where they advertised their current special sandwiches. There big as life was the offer to come in and enjoy their latest creation the “Big N’ Tatsy” Somehow the person placing the letters on the sign had reversed the correct order of the ‘S’ and the ‘T’. clearly it was supposed to read “Big N’ Tasty”. Lynn’s laughter increased as she turned her head to read the other side of the sign as we passed by, surely there was no way the mistake had been repeated there. And yet, no matter if you approached from the north or the south, at that restaurant and no other that I know of on the planet, for a limited time you could try the “Big N’ Tatsy”. Either no one told them of their mistake or it was simply too much trouble to correct until the next scheduled advertisement change, but for weeks we laughed as we drove by the establishment that sold the “Big N’ Tatsy”. To this day, in our home when something tastes especially good we deem it to be “Tatsy”.
That sign wasn’t immutable and after providing our family with a good deal of entertainment, it did eventually get changed. When we want to leave something open to change in our vernacular we can use several phrases to indicate that. We might say “I’ll pencil that in” suggesting that it could be erased if it becomes necessary to do so. We might also use the Phrase “It’s not chiseled in stone” to indicate that change might be possible. Sometimes we might say of something we do not want to be altered, “It has been written in indelible ink”. This statement is meant to convey that whatever has been written isn’t going away and is not subject to change. It is for this reason that we write checks or sign documents in indelible ink. The use of an inerasable media suggests that our signature represents our unchanging word of honor and even sometimes legally binds us to what we have signed in indelible ink.
In the early 1980’s erasable ink pens became popular, and some makers of writing utensils still manufacture them today. During the height of their popularity they were so prolific that one had to look to make sure a legally binding document like a contract or check was not being filled out using one of these pens. They were popular because they had all of the look of something written with a regular ink pen but could be erased as necessary to correct spelling errors like ‘tatsy’. Actually they weren’t really an ink pen at all because they didn’t contain any ink. The media they utilized was technically a colored rubber cement that allowed it to be erased. Interestingly enough, not only were they not really ink pens, they weren’t even truly erasable. It took about 10 hours for the rubber cement to set, after which time whatever had been penned using one was not so easily removed.
Ironically using ink, the Apostle Paul once wrote to the Corinthian church concerning indelible ink. In 1 Corinthians 3:1-3 his thoughts are recorded for us. Are we starting to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, like some [false teachers], letters of recommendation to you or from you? [No!] 2 You are our letter [of recommendation], written in our hearts, recognized and read by everyone. 3 You show that you are a letter from Christ, delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. Read from the Amplified Bible.
Paul was saying that letters of recommendation concerning the message they were bringing were not needed. Though they would have been undoubtedly written in indelible ink and would have carried the full authority of whomever had written them, they were not necessary. He went on to use one of those phrases I spoke of earlier and said that it wouldn’t even bring further validity to their message if those letters authenticating them and the message were to be chiseled in stone. He said that he wasn’t even laying claim to the message. It had been delivered by him, but he understood it was written by the Spirit of God. He was explaining the message was not written with ink that could be destroyed, nor chiseled in stone that could be eroded with time, but rather that it was recorded on the tablets of their hearts. Paul was making the point that the changes in the hearts, minds and indeed the lives of the people the message of Christ had impacted was far and away more authoritative and longer lasting than the most indelible of inks.
Our lives should be no different. The mark impressed on our heart, mind and our spirit by the presence of the Holy Spirit should be everlasting. The integrity He instills in us should be immovable. Others should be able to look at the witness of our life and know it to be unwavering. We don’t pencil Jesus into our lives…His presence and influence must be a permanent fixture. Our reflection of His character ought to run deeper than ink channeled into parchment by the pressure applied by a pen. It should be far more permanent than granite struck with chisel and hammer. As Christ followers. the impact of Jesus on our lives should run so deep that when people see us…they see Him…because His message of love, mercy and grace is written indelibly on the tablet of our hearts.
So now, reflecting Jesus’ unchanging love, mercy and grace toward everyone you meet…go be awesome!