CHEWING GUM

Did you ever see chewing gum stuck on a wall?

Well, you’ve probably never seen as much chewing gum as on the famous Market Theatre Gum Wall in downtown Seattle in Post Alley under Pike Place Market.

Here is a picture that I took of it!

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Did you hear about the boy who stuck chewing gum on a famous abstract painting worth $1.5m!

The Bay, painted in 1963 by celebrated artist Helen Frankenthaler was on display at the Detroit Institute of Arts, when a 12 year old boy pressed his gum on the canvas leaving behind a small stain in the corner of the canvas.

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Frankenthaler is regarded as one of the most influential second generation US abstract expressionist painters. The Bay, one of her most celebrated works, is thought to be one of the most valuable paintings in the museum’s collection.

So you can imagine the commotion the young boy caused, as museum curator, Becky Hart set off to research the chemicals contained in the gum to find the best way to remove the offending stain. Fortunately, they expected no permanent damage to the work of art.

A school official reported “I don’t think he understood the ramifications of what he did before it happened, but he certainly understands the severity of it now.” The boy was suspended from Holly Academy for his skullduggerous actions.

You can read about the incident at the following BBC News link: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/4767888.stm

The curator, Becky Hart told press, “In the scheme of things, this is upsetting, and it will make us review our policies. But we’re confident that the painting will be OK”. While this matter was very serious indeed, the boy was still only 12 years old, and did not fully understand the ramifications of the stain that he created. But surely, no one is too bad for forgiveness!
Luke 23:26-43

The Crucifixion of Jesus

26 As the soldiers led him away, they seized Simon from Cyrene, who was on his way in from the country, and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus. 27 A large number of people followed him, including women who mourned and wailed for him. 28 Jesus turned and said to them, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children. 29 For the time will come when you will say, ‘Blessed are the childless women, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’ 30 Then

“‘they will say to the mountains, “Fall on us!”
and to the hills, “Cover us!”’

31 For if people do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?”

32 Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. 33 When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. 34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.

35 The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.”

36 The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar 37 and said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.”

38 There was a written notice above him, which read: this is the king of the jews.

39 One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”

40 But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? 41 We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”

42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”

43 Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

In the Gospel of Luke 23 we see how the Lord Jesus Christ prayed a most powerful prayer for people who also did not understand the ramifications of their actions. The Lord Jesus even asked His Father in Heaven to forgive those who were putting Him to death (Luke 23:34) “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” These people stained and devalued God’s Son by mocking Him, flogging Him, spitting on Him, and placing a crown of thorns on His brow. They drove nails through His hands and feet and pierced His side, and staining Him to death. While these people did not understand the full scope of their actions – through the death of His Son, God offers forgiveness to those very same people, and to anyone in the world willing to say sorry to Jesus for their sins repents, and surrendering their lives to Him in faith.

Because of our sin, we have all very much played a part in putting Jesus to death. The good news is that God is loving and gracious, and He will forgive and remove the stain of sin and give us a second chance through His Son.

We are told in 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” No one is too bad for God’s forgiveness!

Amen!

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