Created in His Image

Beacon Kids has kicked off a new curriculum this month. We began a 3 year cycle that will walk our kids through the entire Bible, from Genesis through Revelation. I have had the privilege of being able to teach our 2nd-4th grade students during our Rooted Together gathering on Wednesday nights. Since we just began using the curriculum, we are currently looking Genesis and the story of creation. I have always experienced a significant sense of awe when it comes to creation. There is nothing. Actual nothing. And, suddenly, God speaks and there is light and dark, earth and water, plants and animals. All of the things we see in our world come from God literally speaking them into existence, which is the most awe inspiring event I could ever imagine. Then at the very end of the story, God leans down, gathers dust and clay, and forms humanity and breaths life into us. He tells us we bear his image, men and women both. We are the crown of his creation. This was the lesson last week and as I have continued to mull this over, it seems that this is of particular importance in our world today. So, let’s take a look at three points about God’s creation of humanity.

We Are Created in God's Image

The first point is that we were created in God’s image (Gen 1:26-27). What does that mean? We know it doesn’t mean we look like God because God doesn’t have a body. What it likely means is that we are like God in some ways and reflect who God is. We have the ability to think and reason. We have the ability to interact in relationship with others and with God. We have an innate sense of morality. These aspects of humanity set us apart from the rest of creation. They impart innate value and dignity to ALL people. We unfortunately live in a broken and sinful world. We are often faced with situations in which the value and dignity of a person is challenged, disparaged, or ignored. Situations in which we hear or see racist, sexist, or homophobic actions or speech. As believers, we are called to remember that ALL people; regardless of race, creed, culture, or orientation; are image bearers. We are called by Christ to love ALL people. Remembering these two things may mean intervening when we see some of these negative or harmful actions taking place. It does mean standing for the dignity and worth of all people. And it most definitely means we must be praying for the world around us and sharing the light of Christ wherever we can.

We Are Created Male and Female

The second point is that we were created male and female. Men and women stand before the Lord with equal value and dignity. This is unquestioned because men and women are both image bearers. Yet, men and women were created to be distinctly different from one another and to work together to reflect the nature and image of God. This is a beautiful image! In the New Testament, we are told that marriage is a reflection of Christ’s relationship with the church! How awesome! But, again, we live in a broken and sinful world. And as we look around, these roles and even the very nature of distinctly created genders is being questioned. We see media portraying gender as fluid and flexible. We find our children being taught that gender is a choice, not an aspect of creation that allows us to bear God’s image. The topic of gender identity is an exceptionally complex one. It is one which we must approach with overwhelming grace, patience, and love. Those we encounter who are questioning their gender and expressing an incongruence in that area of life are struggling. They are experiencing something that is deeply painful. We MUST be gracious and loving as we build relationships with them and point them toward Christ and the truth that we are made in his image and that our gender is a part of that. Join me in praying for our transgendered brothers and sisters. Let’s bathe them in grace, love, and prayer for healing and restoration. And let’s teach our children to do the same!

We Are to Steward the Earth

The final point is that people were created to fill the earth and be stewards of it. It seems safe to say that we are successfully filling the earth. As of 2019, the estimated world population was 7.674 billion people. The world is certainly being filled. The second part of that sentence is that we are to steward it. God has entrusted us to steward his creation. The topic of environmentalism is one that has become increasingly important and increasingly controversial. There are extreme voices on all sides of this issue. As believers, our call is to steward the world around us. This means we don’t intentionally engage in actions that would hurt creation. It means being aware of our impact on creation. Are we disposing of our waste and recycling appropriately? Are we doing our best to conserve energy and reduce waste? Are we aware of how our choices may impact the earth over the long term? As people who have been entrusted by God to steward the earth, we must be aware of these things and do our best to make wise choices.

As humans, we are the crown of creation. We bear God’s image. Let’s take some time this week to remember that. And let’s take some time to consider what that means for our interactions with other humans and what that means for our interactions with creation.

Josh Cervone