Lexington, Kentucky

Imago Dei (Image of God)

Every human life, from conception to natural death, is sacred. Every person is sacred because he or she bears the image of and is loved by God, their creator (Genesis 1-2, John 3:16-17). For this reason (and others), Jesus taught us to live lives of love and service to all people (Matthew 5-7, Luke 10).

A worldview without God as the creator of life, leaves humankind as the ultimate source in decisions of life, death, right wrong etc. For example, the question our culture now ask, is not when life begins-recent DNA research has proven that the essential identity of every human being remains the same from conception to death-,but which humans merit life. We see this in the championing of the right to choose death for young life, old life, physically ill life, Mentally ill life, physically disabled life and mentally disabled life. The Church has, from it’s beginning, championed the sacredness of all human life, planting seeds of sedition against the Roman culture’s acceptance of slavery and Jewish culture’s subjection of women and racial discrimination (Galatians 3:28, 1 Timothy 1:10).

The Church has done this imperfectly, to say the least, but the dominate direction of the Church in history has been toward serving the least, the last and lost with food, education, medical care, prison ministry, at the command and example of Christ (Matthew 25). You also see this in the lives of Christians like William Wilberforce, Corrie Ten Boom Martin Luther King Jr, Charles Colson, Mother Teresa etc.

God’s will and work among humanity is centered on reconciliation of relationships broken by sin and restoration of God’s image/character in Humanity (2 Corinthians 5, Philippians 2). Moreover, resisting the work of loving, reconciling, and restoring people to God is to distance ourselves from a central way God re-forms His own self-sacrificing character in us. The way we view our lost brothers and sisters should be shaped by our fathers great desire (and plan) to reconcile and restore all people to His fellowship and likeness.

C.S. Lewis writes, “It may be possible for each to think too much of his own potential glory hereafter; it is hardly possible for him to think too often or too deeply about that of his neighbor  The load, or weight, or burden of my neighbor’s glory should be laid daily on my back, a load so heavy that only humility can carry it, and the backs of the proud will be broken. It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you can talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit—immortal horrors or everlasting splendors  This does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn. We must play. But our merriment must be of that kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously—no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption. And our charity must be a real and costly love, with deep feeling for the sins in spite of which we love the sinner—no mere tolerance, or indulgence which parodies love as flippancy parodies merriment. Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbor is the holiest object presented to your senses…”

Application

First, read and re-read the Lewis quote above and let it shape the way you view people daily.

Second, ask yourself, are there convictions I need to re-think about life, death, choice, right and wrong etc? Am I submitted to God in there areas?

Finally, have you accepted God’s great love for you? Have you accepted Christ provision for your sins? God, your creator, loves you and has provided for your complete forgiveness, reconciliation and restoration. Are you on this journey with God.