Tuesday 10th August
Statement of Faith 8
We rejoice in God who has given us being, who shares our humanity to bring us to glory, our source of prayer and power of praise; to whom be glory, praise and adoration, now and evermore.
Genesis 1: 27
So God created humankind in his image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers—all things have been created through him and for him. He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together. He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell,
The 2nd Century theologian Irenaeus said, famously, something like ‘The glory of God is a human being fully alive’. It’s a great quotation to take into the day. The word ‘glory’ comes here, in this final part of our statement, twice. The last thing we do as we say these words is to give glory to God, with praise and adoration. But we also affirm that God brings us to glory. The one who created us in the very image of God came in Christ to share our human life for the purpose of bringing us to glory.
There is a connection between the first story of our creation by God (in God’s image) and in our recreation, through Christ, in whom the fulness of God ‘was pleased to dwell’. The biblical writers are at one in believing that God has a great purpose for human beings, that we are beloved and honourable, that we have a high calling within creation. What else could it mean to be in the very ‘image of God’? We have all seen, however, that such an understanding can lead to a distorted sense of our place in creation, one that causes us to take powers over creation that we should never have, that can make exploiters of us and that reveal not glory but depravity. We are not gods and we are not and never can be the owners of our world or of other people. We are not in the image of god in that sense, and should never deceive ourselves into seizing a power and role that is not rightly ours.
It is Jesus who shows us what it truly means to be ‘in the image of God’, the real glory of a human being fully alive. To be in the image of a God of love is to love. To be in the image of a God who shares our life is to join with those who are suffering. To be in the image of the God who offers life in fulness is to enjoy the gift of life and to share it generously with others. To be in the image of God who created the earth is to live in it as our common home.
we rejoice in you,
for you have given us being,
have made us in your image,
and shared our humanity
to bring us to glory.
May our living this day,
and all our days,
reflect the glory of Jesus,
in whom you dwelt in fulness
and in whose life, death and rising
we see your image and your grace.
To you be all glory,
praise and adoration,
now and evermore. Amen.