I heard a song a couple of days ago that I think is perfect for any time, but certainly is timely. It’s a Good News message – we are made in the image of God! Imago Dei. No other creature can make that claim. Mainly because they don’t have the brain capacity or development to even contemplate the concept. But, seriously, we are made in the image and likeness of God. It says so in the Book of Genesis and it’s exquisitely described on the page.
The lyrics to the song I heard are succinct and true. I think if we all gave each other the reverence deserved by each of us due to the dignity of our beings, that would pretty much put an end to racism and sexism and agism, and any other bad thing you can think of. I used to tell my kids when they were younger that God obviously doesn’t care what we look like or we’d all be super models. That is surely not the case, we can see with just a cursory glance at the world. Before masks.
But the image of God does not mean physically. It has to do with our unique capacity to selflessly love, to imagine, to create, to nurture, to communicate deeply about complex ideas, to judge rightly, to see another’s point of view, to show compassion and mercy, to forgive. The image of God is to notice and appreciate goodness and beauty and truth, to have hope, to have faith – all of this is bound up in what it means to be human. And the very fact that we are here and human, made in the image of God, is cause for rejoicing and for praise of our Creator. That desire to praise and to communicate with the One who loved us into being and who sustains it all, is a natural, human response to that knowledge. To know we are loved no matter what, forgiven when we sincerely ask for forgiveness, these are simple but profound things we should contemplate. Too many people just don’t know. So I thought I’d share that now…
I was a co-presenter at a Suicide Prevention conference sponsored by the Department of Defense a few years ago and the man who presented with me was a pastor who also had been a Military chaplain. He saw the need for the pastoral care of our Troops because so many are without hope, have no faith, do not know they are loved. That’s true in our culture in general, too. He entitled our talk, “Every Life Matters to God.” Amen, Brother. I loved it and I still do. If you are aware of what I’ve written above, you know that every life matters. Jesus tells us, you and me, to “do to others as you would have them do to you.” If we treat others as we desire to be treated, as we want our loved ones to be regarded, reverenced, what a peaceful world this would be.
Your life matters. Whoever you are. If you are reading this, you are loved. God loves you. It’s such a simple statement, but it’s true. Take a look at the video below and really think about the words within. It’s good stuff. YOU are good, too. God says that in Scripture, too. Believe it.