“So God created mankind in his own image…male and female he created them.“ [Genesis 1:27] And by extension so are each of us created in His image. But what does that mean? I believe that it means that there is something in us that reflects God, but that it remains a potential quality within us, until we have dedicated our lives fully to the service of God. And as we let go of the world’s influence on us, we are also bringing forward that divine potential within us until the Holy Spirit can take over from the ego and lead our lives. Then we have realized God’s image implicit in our creation. (The healing and transformative work is essentially done by God, not by us.)
It also means that every human being, regardless of his or her circumstances, is made in the image of God. No matter whether they are part of our tribe or not, part of our class or race or anything, they are created in the image of God. And like everyone else, no matter what they have done with their lives, they, too, can come before God and serve him fully, faithfully and eventually the Holy Spirit would lead their lives, too.
For everyone there is a way out of how the world has captured and captivated us, there is redemption for us; Jesus showed us the way—total devotion to God. There is a promise in our creation that can be realized. All it takes is repentance: a turning away from how we have been in this world and adopting God’s ways, His laws and His direction for our lives. It takes a total commitment to following Christ, to living in the mind of Christ. There, all that we have been and done and all that was done to us will be healed and transformed and used to spread God’s kingdom to the world in whatever way we are called.
We have to believe this is true of ourselves as well as every other human being: that we are loved and forgiven when we turn our lives over to God, when the world no longer holds sway with us. We have to care enough about ourselves and this promise that we will invest everything that we are in God. This means that we put ourselves in Christ’s hands and follow wherever He leads us.
This promise in all of us means that we need to look upon our fellow men and women and see the latent promise of God’s image in every one. It means that we are to act towards every other person as if what we say and do might just remind them of this fact–that they are redeemable, too. That they are loved and forgiven and healed when they repent and live as if God is the only thing that matters in their lives. If we can offer this in love, the message will be heard everywhere we “speak” it.
Questions to ponder over the week: Do I treat myself as a human being made in the image of God or do I condemn all that I am? How do I treat people of other races, classes, etc.? Do I see them as made in God’s image, too? Do I offer them love and forgiveness or judgment and condemnation?
Blessing for the week: May we be the people of God who treat all humans beings as made in God’s image. May we only offer love and forgiveness, help where needed and compassion to everyone. May we live in the community of human beings at peace with everyone.