to be the image of God
by halley low
the bible tells us that we are made "in the image of God". but what does that mean? often we like to think itís a statement about who we are, and we like the idea that we are the image of God, it puffs us up and we confuse the image for the reality it represents. thus we often hobble along acting as if we were God. but the truth is that being made in the image of God is not so much about our being as it is our call - it is a statement about our purpose. and isn't that what we are all searching for, our purpose? we are singled out from all creation, even though we are part of creation, to be God's image, that is to be God's representatives on earth. to understand what i am saying we need to look at the historical context of the statement "created in the image of God".
in the ancient near eastern world it was a common practice for a ruler to erect images of him/herself throughout the area they ruled. the image served to represent the ruler and to tell whoever may wander through their land that they were in charge. when the bible says we are made in God's image it is telling us that our purpose is to be God's representatives on earth. thatís why we are instructed to go forth and populate the whole earth, so that everywhere on earth God's image announces to the whole of creation (including the whole of humanity) that God is the Lord of the whole earth.
sadly we have often misunderstood what it means to represent God, and that misunderstanding has lead to a lot of insanity. but if we remember that the call to be the image of God means that we are called to act as representatives of God we can correct that insanity. to represent someone you must be true to who you represent. a vassal rules in the name of his/her lord and thus rules like his/her lord. so for instance, a vassal of ceasar would rule with the iron fist of caesar. sadly we have too often ruled as if we were in caesar's image and not God's.
how does God rule? does God rule with an iron fist? does God impose on the individual's freedom to choose, even if that choice is contrary to God's will? all we need do to answer that question is look at our own lives. do we live under compulsion from God? are we forced to walk a certain way or are we allowed the freedom to make our own choices, even the wrong ones? the answer is obvious. God is a God of compassion and a respecter of freedom, a gift given by God to all beings. we are not called to dominate and exploit nature or one another; we are called to care for and love nature and one another, as God loves. nature is for our use not our abuse. people are not pawns in our games, or expandable commodities in our blind pursuit of self "happiness". such ideas disconnect us from who we truly are and bring much insanity and pain into our world. careless self-centeredness is not a true representation of God, therefore we are called to be true to the God whose image we are made in.
we are called to a great purpose. we are created in the image of Love for "God is love". of course the choice is ours to make. we can create sanity or insanity, harmony or disharmony; we can be true to ourselves and God, or not. what will we choose; what will you choose today?
© 2010 halley low
check out halley's blog - "sane living in a crazy world"- http://sanelivinginacrazyworld.blogspot.com/
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