Since there were walls to write on, people have been writing on them. From the earliest cave dwellers in the Lascaux caves of France to modern day artists like Banksy, humanity has been leaving its mark in the most unlikely places. In the 1960’s and 70’s, graffiti writers prided themselves on getting into strange locations, leaving the rest of us to wonder, “How did they manage to write that there?” In New York City in the 70’s and 80’s, writers would attempt to become kings, adding a halo or crown over their name. To be a king means to have the most tags, the most signatures in a given place. There were kings of train stations, train lines, neighborhoods, buses…all kinds of things. This winter, ‘Bodi’ went on a tagging spree claiming king of Pigtown. But we’re here for a different kind of king.
The Word of God is so much like graffiti, and today, His word is King at Hunting Ridge. God’s word shows up in the most unlikely of places. It cuts through our social norms and niceties. It makes us uncomfortable. We often look away, try to ignore it, or bemoan the loss of our neat and orderly bubbles. We try to cover it up or strip it off. Maybe we condemn it before we even try to understand it. Most graffiti artists are trying to make a mark on the world, to wake us up from our complacency, and to add something of beauty to this world (Just ask those of us that worked on the signs. It isn’t easy!). Is that so different from God’s word?
Today, on this day of Pentecost, we celebrate the power and spirit of God’s word. We celebrate the gift of understanding, and we acknowledge the responsibility to leave God’s mark on this world. We are called to be artists of the Word; to push past the normal, acceptable, and safe; and to write the words “Love one another” everywhere we go.