Created in the image of God.

Sunset 3rd Beach

26Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground.”

27So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them;

male and female he created them.

28Then God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground.”  Genesis 1:26-28

The Christian view of humanity before the Great Catastrophe is glorious. God created people. He created people with capacity for relationships, love, and authority.  And God blessed them; He set before them the abundance of earth and set before them the opportunity to delight in Him and in each other and the diversity of creation.

Humanity carries within a fundamental and qualitative difference from the rest of Creation. They have been made “in the image of God.” They have been bestowed with a character representative and related to the Creator separate from the rest of Creation. Yet they are distinctly connected to the Creation for they have been endowed by God with capacity to rule and to choose.

But perhaps more importantly, humanity was created with a capacity for knowing God and living in communion with Him through loving responsive to Him.

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We’ve been created for relationships.

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3When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers—

the moon and the stars you set in place—

4what are mere mortals that you should think about them,

human beings that you should care for them?

5Yet you made them only a little lower than God

and crowned them with glory and honor.

6You gave them charge of everything you made,

putting all things under their authority—

7the flocks and the herds

and all the wild animals,

8the birds in the sky, the fish in the sea,

and everything that swims the ocean currents.

Psalm 8:3-8

The Christian worldview maintains that God created people for four kinds of relationships: with God, with self, with people, and with the stuff of earth. In this Psalm of David we see this conviction present. David sets himself in Creation—the stuff of earth— and reflects on himself in relationship to God, with people, and in the Creation. All four relationships are in play in this Psalm.

The tension in the Psalm is unavoidable. David is in awe of God. Yet David feels small. God has show Himself large in the immensity of the night sky, the strength of the wild, the seemingly unrestrained space of the sky and sea. And yet, humans matter to God. And yet, God has given mere mortals glory and honour to have authority in the creation.

I’m blessed to come everyday to a community dedicated to the study of the creation and all that humanity has done with it. I am often delighted by the students and professors whose knowledge of slices of The Creation is only bounded by time and the questions they are asking. They are awesome.

Knowing God, the Creator, drives our faith forward to seek and know Him.  The writer of Hebrews says, “It is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.”Hebrews 11:6

A view that will blow your mind.

 

15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. Colossians 1:15-18

Scholars are not sure exactly what kind of “heresy” was shaking up the church in Colossea. The teaching they encountered put in doubt the sufficiency of Christ Jesus for their salvation and lives. They were knocking Jesus off His throne. Rather than attack the teaching, Paul seeks to expand their vision of Jesus. It’s a view that will blow your mind.

Jesus, the beloved Son of God, is the King of Creation.

He is the image of the invisible God.

He is the firstborn of all creation, having preeminence over all things, and powers.

He is the creator of all things; of they have their origin through Him and for Him.

He is before all things.

He is the glue that holds all things together.

When I walk through the UBC campus, I delight in this knowledge: here is a place dedicated to the study of all that Jesus has made and what we have done with it, and what we could do with it. That may not be your default position. It may not have been the Colossians’ default position. But it is the reset they needed in order to fulfill their purpose as His people. For all of creation, and we are part of it, has its purpose inseparably rooted in the person of Jesus Christ.

All that you study.

All that you study

16For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
Colossians 1:16-20

All that we study has its roots in the creative work of God. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit all engaged in Creation. All that we study, macro and micro, has had the creative imprint of Jesus in it. Much of what we study has been infected with the ripples of the Great Catastrophe. However, the redemption of all things and our relationships for the glory of God, is the work of Jesus and His church. So our study, so our work, must be saturated with this awareness: all that we study has its origin in Christ.

“All things were create through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church.”

Before its too late.

Before.

Before there was stuff, there was God.

Before there was a sunrise, there was the community of Father, Son and Spirit.

Before there was life there was God’s glory.

Before we spoke God spoke.  (See Genesis 1:1-5)

Before.

1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was in the beginning with God. 3All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.  John 1:1-5

Before it was too late…

14the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.  John 1:14

This makes me want to see Jesus before I…

speak.

take up a cause.

despair in the darkness.

create momentary loves.

Quick, Come Lord Jesus,

Before…