Sometimes I feel like I am one of the only people between the ages of 20-40 (not a category I will be in much longer) without a tattoo on my body. My tattoo career was limited to the temporary tattoos I loved to get in a box of Cracker Jack. I'm not against tattoos. Actually, I find them quite interesting. My brother has a couple of great ones that have become the fascination of my daughters (one of them being a train--a shoo-in for the girls). They just don't seem to fit me or my personality--kind of like the earring I tried for a week while I was in college. It sounded like a good idea at the time, but it didn't fit.
I started watching LA Ink on a lark--a show about a tattoo shop in Hollywood. The workplace drama is boring and drawn out, but the stories behind the tattoos are gripping, deeply personal and emotional. The symbols that make the tattoo provide meaning about the past and guidance for the future. The tattoo stories on LA Ink connect me to some of the stories related to the Ark of the Covenant, particularly the reading in the Old Testament book of Numbers 10:29-36. The Ark of the Covenant has a deep and varied meaning for Israel, and this Bible passage reveals one trajectory of that meaning.
There is no way I can cover the multitude of tattoo stories from LA Ink in a sermon, but I think they are worth your time as you think about the power of symbols in our lives as we prepare for Sunday.