God’s first words to humankind are the most consequential ever authored. They reset our spiritual gyroscope, help us understand our place and purpose in the universe, and show us “how we then should live.”
They have outsize implications for our sense of self-worth, our marriage loves, our business dealings with customers and employees; our embrace of refugees, our love of neighbour, and our love of enemy. God’s first script to us goes like this:
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1)
“And God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, in our likeness.’ So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:26-27)
Inspired words which should fill us with awe, humility, and with profound joy.
For humankind’s irrepressible search for meaning and longing for purpose, our hunger for equality and cry for dignity, and our innate curiosity about God all find their source and their fulfilment in these divinely scripted words.
They tell us that we are here, and the universe and everything that exists is here, because God exists, and created us – contrary to the empty myth that we are nothing but impersonal, molecular-chance accidents, with no ultimate meaning or destiny.
For as the Psalmist David correctly says,
“The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it.” (Psalm 24:1)
The soul is comforted to know that we are not alone; that we live in a universe freighted with God’s divine personality. For as Paul declared to the Athenian debaters,
“In him we live and move and have our being.” (Acts 17:28)
We are not drifting senselessly in an impersonal, meaningless void, fearful of our candle being extinguished forever. Rather, we live in the warm presence of a personal God who freely and purposefully created us.
And then God’s first script reveals something very startling, what Mary Oliver calls, “God’s identity papers.” For we read, “Let us make man,” words that speak volumes, telling us of a God who is personal, volitional, relational, living in a divine, triune community, which the Bible reveals as, “God is love.” (1 John:4-8)
It is this plurality of divine persons, living in perpetual loving community, who chose to create you and me. For the Bible says,
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God…Through him all things were made.” (John 1:1-3)
And then, we are stunned by the rest of the script when we read, “Let us make man in our image.” This relational, personal Trinity of being, freely chooses to create us to be his icons, to be image-bearers of the divine. It is a stunning thought.
Now we understand who we really are. We too have identity papers. For we are image-bearers of this relational, personal God who dwells forever in a divine community of mutual, self-giving love. (John 17:23)
And now we get it. This is why we too are relational, social beings, forever drawn to search for, to create, and to live in love and community with others, because this is the way God is, and he has created us “in his image.” This is why we live with a longing to love and to be loved. The implications are momentous.
We are to live in love and create communities of love like God is, and like he desires. (“Live a life of love, as Christ loved us.” (Ephesians 5:2) And in his trinity of love, there are no hierarchies of importance among the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, no distinctions of greater value, no comparisons of importance…just pure love.
And because we are created “in his image,” our lives too can never be about distinctions, comparisons, hierarchies of value or worthiness. There can never be any self-serving dominance of another human being. To live such twisted thoughts of superiority is to violate God’s created order and mar the divine image in each one of us.
Travelling the Corpath way (the way of God’s heart) means aligning ourselves with God’s first script about ourselves. Created by God, we all have equal worth. Created in his image, we all have equal dignity, the dignity of God’s glory, God’s image in us.
Everyone carries this glory. Our neighbour…our employee…our spouse…our client, even our enemy. The special needs person, the LGBTQ colleague, the recent immigrant, they all carry the weight of glory, the glory of being created “in his image.”
And God said, “Let us make man in our image.” (Genesis 1:26)
Is it any wonder we are noticed by God?
Blessings for a good week,