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Imago Dei

May 5, 2020

“Christ is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible.” Colossians 1:15-16

Yesterday, during Grace’s Zoom coffee hour devotions, we talked about the gospel reading for this coming Sunday, John 14:1-14. I asked people how they are seeing God during these days. A number of replies spoke to how people are noticing other people. Waving to one another while out on walks instead of rushing past. Treating one another kindly in stores. Showing kindness and empathy to grocery store works and delivery drivers. Referring to these folks as heroes.

The conversation reinforced one of the basic lessons I hope we’re learning during the pandemic: People have dignity. Not because of their prestige or the size of the paycheck. Simply because each person is created by God, in God’s image.

My first introduction to Latin was at the Lutheran Bible camp I first attended at the age of five. The camp shirts were emblazoned with Imago Dei. Image of God. It was at camp that I, a little kid with a serious speech impediment and very little confidence, began to know and love a God who was desperately in love with me. A God who loves me so much that the divine image was imprinted on my inmost being. A God who loves me so much that Jesus died to re-mark me with that image, printed in now-invisible but indelible waters of grace.

(Historical note for those few who may be interested: Waypost, the camp in question, was at the time part of a camping ministry called Imago Dei. It was only after the merger with Pine Lake Camp and the formation of Crossways that “Imago Dei” was attached only to Village and removed from the record at Waypost. Not that I’m bitter or anything; it’s a Waypost thing.)

Friends, every person matters. You are imprinted with the imago dei, and so is every single person with whom you interact. Another human being cannot rightly be reduced to their functionality or lack thereof in our lives. The death and resurrection of Jesus is proof of this truth. He gave himself for all of us, which means he gave himself for each of us.

As people who bear the cross of Christ in the world, let us live in ways that show Christ to the world. Let us see people for what they are: persons made in the imago dei and remade in Christ, the true image of the invisible God, through whom each person was created. In whom the world finds its salvation.

Be well, friends. You are loved.

God of the heavens, we struggle at times to see you. Thank you for sending your Son to reveal yourself to us. Help us reveal you in our living, that all may come to know their worth and see that same worth in others. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Image: A photograph of the Chi Rho cross at Waypost, overlooking Mission Lake. Taken by me on July 31, 2014, when I first brought my children to this magical place. And yes, it’s a different picture than the one shared on March 18. Like most denizens of Waypost, I’ve taken hundreds (thousands?) of photos of this cross.

From → COVID-19

  1. Paul Haberstock permalink

    Please help me to see the images to which you refer at the conclusion of your messages.


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