Made in the image of God
by Rev Jacky Quarmby 24 September 2021
Today we are continuing our journey through the first creation story and I want to draw attention to these profound words in v27.
So God created human beings in God’s own image,
In the image of God, God created them;
Male and female, God created them.
Nothing is in the Bible by accident. Although these words were written down by a human being, yet they were inspired by God, they are God-breathed, so they convey an important truth. And what they tell us is this – God is not male. Too often in popular culture, God is portrayed as a bearded and bossy old man sitting on a cloud. And yet this passage is clear,
both men and women are created in the image of God. Both men and women reflect God’s nature.
So God is strong - but also gentle
God is forgiving - but also just
God has authority – but is also nurturing
We see this reflected in Hosea 11 v1- 4, when God looks at his wayward people and says with great sorrow, “When Israel was a child I loved him … It was I who taught Ephraim to walk, taking them by the arms; but they did not realise it was I who healed them. I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love; I lifted the yoke from their neck and bent down to feed them.”
Both male and female reflect God’s nature. But more than that, as creatures made in the image of God – we are spiritual beings. God is Spirit and every human being is created with their own spirit, so that we may know God deeply in our hearts.
St Augustine in the 4th century said, “Our hearts are restless until they find their rest in God.” Paul tells us in Romans 8: 16, that it is when we receive God’s Holy Spirit in our lives, that we finally know in our own spirit that we are children of God, loved and treasured by God, and we experience the peace and the rest that God has to offer us - what a blessing and what a privilege.
Let me leave you with these famous words from Nelson Mandela.
"...Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people
won't feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously
give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."
Music: Father God I wonder
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We thank you that you have created us in your own image,
With minds to think, hearts to love
And a spirit to soar into your presence.
Help us through your Holy Spirit to know
That we are your children,
And that in your strength
And with your guidance
we can do anything.
In Jesus’ name we pray.