This week it was reported that two Californian women were arrested after they scratched their initials into the wall of the Colosseum in Rome, then took a selfie. Maybe they didn’t see the signs in both English and Italian warning against defacing property, or they didn’t realise they were in one of the great historical wonders of the world, but their comment afterwards was: “We regret it, but we did not imagine it was something so serious. We’ll remember for a lifetime.”
J and N only got to scratch their initials into the wall, but my whole name is there at the Colosseum in Rome and I’ve got the picture to prove it. Walking around this amazing structure last year I spotted my name on the wall, a piece of graffiti from the 18th century.
Why do we like to see our name’s written on walls, in the newspaper, on Facebook or any other place where it will be noticed? I think it’s the need to be noticed, the need to know that somehow our presence on this earth hasn’t gone without anyone realising that we had made our mark.
When Jesus was baptised by John the Baptist a voice from heaven said: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”
As Jesus continued his ministry there were plenty of people who opposed him, treated him badly and in the end, took him to his death. Not many people were pleased with Jesus, but God was “well pleased.”
We may not be noticed by the people around us, and we may not receive the approval of people, but if God is pleased with us, that is all that matters … and we don’t get God’s approval from writing on walls.
The Apostle Paul put it this way:
But in our time something new has been added. What Moses and the prophets witnessed to all those years has happened. The God-setting-things-right that we read about has become Jesus-setting-things-right for us. And not only for us, but for everyone who believes in him. For there is no difference between us and them in this. Since we’ve compiled this long and sorry record as sinners (both us and them) and proved that we are utterly incapable of living the glorious lives God wills for us, God did it for us. Out of sheer generosity he put us in right standing with himself. A pure gift. He got us out of the mess we’re in and restored us to where he always wanted us to be. And he did it by means of Jesus Christ.
Romans 3:21-24 “The Message”