imago Dei*: Can you bear it? | Genesis 1.26-28
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
Genesis 1.26-28 | KJV
Consider what God is looking for at this point. God isn't looking for servants. God isn't looking for slaves, workers, contestants to play a game or jump the hoops correctly. God is simply looking for images! God wants images of God to walk around the earth! ("Male and female God created them" it also says in Genesis 1:27, which must mean there are two major manifestations of the divine image.)
This is amazing.
It's as if God is saying, "All I want are some living icons out there who will communicate who I am, what I'm about, and what is happening in God." "You are the ones that I have chosen, that people may know and believe me and understand that it is I" (Isaiah 43:10). Henceforth, all true morality is simply "the imitation of God." Watch what God does, and do the same thing! It is not a "those who do it right get to go to heaven" thing, as much as it is a "those who live like me are in heaven now" thing!
God wants useable instruments who will carry the mystery, the weight of glory, and the burden of sin simultaneously, who can bear the darkness and the light, who can hold the paradox of incarnation - flesh and spirit, human and divine, joy and suffering, at the same time, just as Jesus did. Watch what Jesus does, and do the same thing. That, indeed, is hard. Then, and only then will creation be "good" again... such a text gives us both glorious but non-inflating goals. There is no appeal to the ego here, only to our need and desire for union - with ourselves and with God.
Richard Rohr from his book Scripture as Spirituality.
Yes, Richard. That.
* imago Dei = image of God
Imago Dei. Image of God. Does the idea leave you feeling empowered? overwhelmed? confused?
or what? Why?
God, let your face be reflected in mine, your heart in my heart, your voice in my voice, your touch in every touch of my hand, every movement of my life - whether feeble and faltering or fearless and faithful. Through Christ.