It doesn’t say white or black, short or tall, handsome or rugged, sailor or land-lubber, farmer or hunter. It doesn’t say intelligent or obtuse, mechanical or artistic, straight or gay, musical or tone-deaf. Verse 27 of Genesis 1 says, “God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”
That’s who we are whether we believe we have descended from hairy jungle dwellers or from a colony of extraterrestrial voyagers or whether we emerged from God’s test tubes fully human six or seven thousand years ago. The wisdom of the early sages is saying that we are all alike, made from the same stuff. The mystery of this image covers all humanity.
Okay, I can hear you saying, “Larry, the verse is not talking about physical appearance.”
You are probably right. Then what is God’s image? Maybe love? Maybe compassion? Maybe faithfulness? How about hope and righteousness? And don’t forget joy. That is who we are, whom we were designed to be, so why would we choose to live otherwise? God’s DNA is the stuff from which we were made. We are not ignorance, intolerance, hatred, weakness and fear. We were not made unimportant and inconsequential.
That shared DNA makes us brothers and sisters, doesn’t it? I may not know my Asian brother in China, but we are related. My sister in Iran may not follow the same political philosophy which I do, but we are related. The names given to the God whom we worship may be vastly different, but we are brothers and sisters in the universal oneness. Do you see the common thread developing here? As much as you or I desire to be different or distinguished, more handsome of prettier, smarter than all others, we are one humanity born into the image of the One, the original creator.
Our survival as a species is not God-dependent. God did the birthing, but it is our choice to live in harmony with others and with all of Creation. There have been messengers to lead and guide on this journey, to redirect as necessary, but in the end, living or not living in solidarity will determine the chances of our survival.
My skin color does not make me more worthy. Your intelligence does not make you more like God. Our financial success on earth will mean nothing on heaven’s society page. Our personalities, our physical appearances, our possessions, our bodies will stay behind when we die.
“All go to the same place; all come from dust and to dust all return.” ECCLESIASTICS 3:20
The author of the Jesus story has tried to tell us that this life is birth, death and then resurrection – what is so difficult about that? The most significant part of us will return to the energy pool in preparation to become part of another human’s God energy. The cycle continues forever.