Every so often, a new perspective takes hold in your heart and mind. It carries the hope of a new step of change. That’s what happened to me last Sunday in my own sermon!

I had the sermon planned for several weeks. I was speaking on our identity as those created in God’s image. This little mini-series came to be, because I believe that so many of the issues we are fighting against, or for, are related to who we understand ourselves to be. I believe we’ve forgotten who God says we are and that has sent us off in many different directions.

The first sermon was about being created in God’s image. In Latin, imago dei. In Hebrew, selem. In Greek, eikon (icon).

For most of my Christian journey, I focused almost exclusively on the image of God as a list of attributes we shared with God. You know, things like reason, consciousness, self-awareness in time and space. There are also relational attributes like love, grace, goodness, etc. that also show up somewhere in human nature.

A New Twist.

But what connected with me last week was the why? Why did God create us with these and so many more attributes? It’s to do what “icons” do. Icons represent another reality. An image of Jesus isn’t Jesus. In fact, it doesn’t have Jesus in it. But its role is to point people to the real Jesus.

And that’s our role in creation! God made humanity to reflect him in such a way that we make him known in creation. We were made to reflect God in the way we love one another. We were made to reflect God by doing good in our bodies. We were made to reflect God in the way we rule, manage and steward creation.

This reflection doesn’t exalt humanity. It glorifies the God who created us. It should point all creation to the One who loved enough to make it all.

If this is who we are, and this is why God made us. It should give us a new vision for how we live in the world. We are to show the world how God loves, how God is good and how he rules as a loving, just, forgiving King.

Here are four take aways that I gleaned from this study.

  1. Live in oneness with God. We will never rightly represent him unless we know him and walk with him.
  2. See the intrinsic value of every human life. God created each of us with enough of his attributes to uniquely reflect him.
  3. Seek healthy community with other human beings. The way we love, forgive, serve one another all reflect the nature of God toward us.
  4. Live in creation as righteous rulers. Our management of creation matters because God’s creation matters to him.

Oh, and just one more!

5. See the spiritual dynamic of what’s happening in the world. Since the beginning, Satan has sought to destroy the reflection of God in the world. The hatred that we see is an attempt by the evil one to erase God by erasing humanity. Let’s not give into his schemes.

I don’t know if these are new thoughts for you. Even if they’re not, I think they are good reminders that we were made a certain way for a certain purpose. And if we embrace that purpose and the God who made us, we will find new joy. If you’d like to listen to the whole sermon, you can find it here.