Made in the Image of God

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(Image courtesy of thespiritualsphere.com)

“Then God said, ‘Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness…’ ” (Genesis 1:26 NRS).

Since the first time those words were spoken, they have made people wonder what it means.  How are we like God?  What is it about our image that reflects our creator?  There is so much about humanity that is unlike God.  Where God is loving and overflowing with grace, we are hurtful, hateful, and inwardly drawn to unparalleled selfishness.  Where God is just, we are deceitful and willing to forsake what is right in self interest.  Where God creates, we destroy.  What God meant for good, we twist for evil.  But scripture promises that somewhere, somehow there is a thread that connects us to our Creator, a part of God that is evident in who we are. 

While this image of God might be our free will, might be our ability to procreate, might be our dominion over creation, or any other myriad of possibilities, I think that it is certainly reflected in our ability to actualize our thought.  Just as God called forth creation from nothingness with the word, so too do we create structure and meaning with ours.  We make the immaterial world of ideas, philosophy, faith, and feelings manifest for others.  Without this unique and special ability, all that swirls within my head, all that is felt within my heart, would remain unknown, untouched if I could not communicate it, articulate it, and convey it to another.  We do that so often and with such fluidity now that we fail to see how miraculous it is.  When we cannot speak, we write, when we cannot write, we mime, and when we cannot do any of that we use our technology to bridge the gap.  Humanity can manifest our thoughts in ways that dramatically shape the world in which we live.  We create culture and philosophies that enable and encourage freedom, or those that restrict and condemn it.  We imagine and make it so. 

How do you participate in this?  Do you create things and places overflowing with the Spirit of God?  Do you use words to embody the love of Jesus Christ and bring hope to the hopeless?  Or do you create for yourself and forsake all others?  Do your words cause pain and defy the call of Christ to love others in all that we say and do?  Imagine what you would have this world to be, and be thankful that, by the Grace of God, you have been given the gift, the ability to make it be.  Then do it.

“So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them” (Genesis 1:27 NRS).

Prayer:
Maker of Heaven and Earth,
In your unfathomable wisdom you created each and every person.
With great intention you made us to embody the image of the divine.
Help us to live up to this in the way we live each day.
Let us create with our words and our actions,
So that this world will grow toward the image in which it is meant to be.
Let your love be poured out through us, your earthly vessels.
Let your justice be enacted through the earthly hands you enable.
Let us realize how blessed we are to be like you,
Even if we cannot ever comprehend exactly how that is.
For your honor and glory.
Amen.

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