Fingerprints and Sacramental Pondering

Alice YoungFrontPage, News, Pastor

A number of you have asked me why there is a giant fingerprint on the stage! What is it supposed to mean? Firstly, I’m glad you recognised it : ). If I’ve been a bit cagey about the answer to the question it’s because I’d love you to ponder it and come up with your own conclusions. Visual symbols like this can lead us into (metaphorical) places we might not otherwise visit. What thoughts might the Spirit lead you to in pondering how a fingerprint reflects our being made in God’s image? There are no wrong answers.

As I explained to the children two weeks ago, God uses material things to speak to us if we are paying attention. This is in fact the meaning of the word ‘sacrament’ – ‘something material which God uses to speak of something spiritual’. In our tradition, sacraments are limited to those that we have been specifically commanded to follow in the Bible. The first of these is baptism where a believer enacts death and rebirth by being submerged into water and raised out of it. The second of these is communion where we actively remember Jesus’ death and resurrection by eating and drinking the bread and cup.

But anything can be sacramental – an object like a rock or a tiny bug, an experience like a sunset or a swim at the beach, even another human being. Psalm 19 says, ‘The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands!’ Jeremiah 13:1-11 is also a great example of God speaking sacramentally – have a look if you are interested. The world opens up when we begin to look around us for what God is saying. And what appears on the stage is intended to help you with this!

So I could tell you that the fingerprint is meant to represent how humans bear the unique mark of God, that the colours represent the fingerprint of the whole body of Christ in its diverse beauty, that our bodies and their unique qualities show how carefully and lovingly God has created us in his image. But the Spirit might speak to you about the fingerprint in a completely different way! Why don’t you ask him?

With love, Miranda  (image: