Do you realize that you are created in the image of God? You are wonderfully made, unlike any other creature that has life upon the earth. Our Lord not only formed you from dust at Creation, but He breathed the breath of life into you. Yes, you are in the image of God. That’s what we find in Genesis 1:26. In this season we are reminded that we were formed by God out of dust. That is meant to humble us, but we mustn’t forget that we are more than just dust, but we are special being formed in the image of God with the breath of God breathed into us.
The tragedy is that we are so deceived in our world. That deception began in the Garden shortly after we were formed. It began with the words of the Serpent that deceived Adam and Eve in the Garden beginning with the words, “Did God actually say…?” (Genesis 3:1) The difficulty of this questions has troubled us ever since the Fall. So much so that the norm of the world is to make this a myth, a tale which has great spiritual implications but is not to be read as being a historical account. In fact, for those of us that believe and trust in the Creation account as being a trustworthy account that is meant to be believed and read as history. This account has been replaced by the ideas that Darwin presented that have boiled all of creation into animals evolved over millions of years in which death and suffering predated the creation of man and the creation of man was not in God but a chance evolution from a lower being. Our status as image bearers of God is removed and replaced with the status of being just another animal.
In this worldly model life is boiled down to the simple elements of usefulness. A baby forming in the womb is just a blob of cells that is only valued to the desire of the mother and to be removed if it is an inconvenience. Daily thousands of babies are killed for the sake of convenience with the words, “This is MY body!” being shouted out for those of us that would speak to the salvation of the baby. We are even seen as being simple-minded if we call the baby in the womb a baby, but are corrected that the baby is a fetus and not yet a baby. Abortion on demand is deemed a right because it is only good for those that desire to have a baby and sex is no longer an act of intimacy to be enjoyed in the bonds of marriage, but a recreational activity that is to be enjoyed between two consenting adults. The sexual revolution has made sex a tool and people as objects of pleasure. As long as both parties consent, do as you please, follow your bliss, and be true to yourself.
Why do we wonder why people treat others like objects? Why does it surprise us when somebody kills another that bothers them? That is what animals do, isn’t it? A common argument that those that deny God and think of themselves as good is this, “If you need God to make you good, you’re not good anyway.” But outside of God, now understand this, God reveals Himself in creation in a natural revelation. He is not fully known by all, in fact, when we look to nature and the violence and volatility we seen within it we find a god that we must appease. In some cultures this was through animal sacrifices, but we also see it in how we treat and care for creation. The survival of the fittest is the norm of the land. How do we define good? Well, outside of the faith that we find in the Bible and fulfilled in Christ Jesus, good is an subjective term based upon what one feels is good for them or a group determines is good for the society. In this mentality it is good to kill those that cannot care for themselves or may place a burden on the group as a whole. Ultimately, good becomes whatever feels good and may be limited by the harm it may bring to larger society. If two people come together and one enjoys pain and the other enjoys giving pain, what business is it of ours unless they cross a line and one dies. If one feels that they no longer want to live, let them take their life. That is the difficulty we live in.
In light of the recent tragedy in Parkland, FL we see the fulness of this as we see a loner feel justified in the taking of life, probably wishing for infamy. Now, I am saddened by the fights that arise as sides become entrenched on the tool of death but what is of greater sadness is how many miss the point completely. In a society that believes in death on demand whether it be abortion or euthanasia (sometimes called death with dignity) why should we expect less? Families are being torn apart for the sake of comfort. Worship of God has been replaced with the worship of self in sport, comfort, and being able to do as you please, self-gratification. Marriage has been recreated as just a contractual relationship that is between two adults as long as they are “in love” with one another that can easily be dissolved by court order. The image bearer title is diminished further and further.
In this season of Lent, we are given a great opportunity to reflect and pray on these things. To reflect on the struggles we face and how we fail and fall short in our care for others, our trusting in God, and our love of our Lord’s Creation. It is a season of penitence, but also renewal. The desire is not to creat guilt or shame, but renewal and rebirth. As we are humbled, we are also reminded of the love of our God and how we bear His image. Hopefully, this will help in renewing faith and help us go out into the world with a renewed purpose to share the love of God with others. That is my prayer. I pray this not only for others, but for myself. As in this season, God lifts much from my shoulders and I seek to reflect Him more in my living. May His light reflect more greatly from you also. Amen.