“But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.”
About a year and a half ago, I was finishing up my year of study at Lancaster Bible College (and Graduate School). One afternoon, I accompanied my friend Shandi on a routine trip to the mall. By the time I returned to school, I had a hole in my right ear. To be specific, I had a new hole in the cartilage of my right ear. I never pierced my ear lobes as a child. My sister longed for the day when she could get her ears pierced. I never had any interest. But for some reason, I decided to get my cartilage pierced that afternoon.
Occasionally, it still gets a little sore and slightly infected. Other than that, I rarely notice it’s there unless the person at SuperCuts grazes it with the comb. But I was thinking about how many people’s piercings have been a rite of passage, like my sister. She got her ears pierced as a birthday gift. Mine was not a rite of passage. But now I want it to be a reminder to me of something important. So I did some reading on the history and symbolism of ear piercing and found two interesting things that made me think.
In Old Testament times, a slave who had been set free could choose to remain with his master. If he chose to do so, the master pierced his ear to show that he was the master’s slave. The other historical reference that I found said that pierced ears were common among royalty, such as Julius Caesar. These two seem to be the antitheses of one another. I gave it further thought.
I have been freed from sin but I have chosen to be a slave to God. I was set free but chose to become stay with my Master and serve Him. This volunteer slavery has made me not only a servant but a child of my Master and as such, royalty! My God is not only my Master, He’s also a King and my loving Father.
No, I didn’t set out to get my ear pierced for symbolic reasons but if I think about it like that, it’s pretty darn cool. Like the prodigal son, I don’t even deserve to be a servant. But God has taken me into His royal family and made me His daughter.
Pretty. Darn. Cool.