“God created humankind in His image. In the image of God He created them…..(then) God saw what He had made and it was very good. Genesis 1: 27 and 31
In Genesis God creates humanity in God’s image, then God looks at all that He has made and it is good and not only good, but very good.
We are created in His image and are continually being created in His image. We are different colors, have different beliefs, different feelings and different fears. We have different paths to joy and experience different ways to love. We like and do different things and have a variety of abilities, but we have one thing in common. We are made in the image of God and God says that image as well as all life and creation is very good.
It is sad, but the world is often misinformed about this. It has an idea of perfection and a perfect image. It is an image that is never weak or has a disability; it is an image that is always made up and pretty and possesses a more prestigious job than that of teacher or social worker and the income that goes with those things. It is an image that would label so much of what we see and even do here as a weakness or perhaps in those few worst cases, even failure.
That is unfortunate for everyone is, at one time or another, weak and we all fail. That is true even of those who have the world’s “perfect image.” Blessed John Paul II once said “we are not the sum of our weaknesses and failures; we are the sum of the Father’s love for us and our real capacity to become the image of his Son.
What does this mean? It means we will certainly fail and often we will be weak, but God takes no account of this. God sees only our abilities and knows no such thing as disability, a word that exists in human vocabulary but not God’s. What is asked of us is only we see the divine image in ourselves and those around us. Fortunately those in this room have that sight to see rightly that image as we have the open hearts and minds to do such a thing. If we did not, we could not do the work we do.
In her novel Gilead, Marilynne Robinson says “There is more beauty than our eyes can bear, precious things have been put into our hands and to do nothing to honor them is to do great harm.” That divine image of God, found in all people in spite of our accomplishments and limitations is precious and it has a beauty that is greater than meets the eye. Being here and doing what we do is our way to honor that image and all the beautiful things about it.
Let us pray:
Holy God, you have made all people in your image. Help us to always see this in our work here and the lives we lead outside of this place. Bless every good effort we make in helping others to see this. As we finish our week, may we find in our time away from here that joy and refreshment that comes from leisure and spending time with family and friends that we may return in the new week ready to do your work in this place. Through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen