Yup, that's how it's spelt. Stick with me here and it'll be profound (and extremely timely).
Imago Dei, it's been around since the beginning. Literally, the beginning. Yet it's hard to imagine a time in which Imago Dei could be more relevant.
Imago Dei. It sounds funny, but it means so much more than one can imagine.
Imago Dei. What does it mean? The definition is simple. The meaning might just change your life.
Imago Dei: Image of God. Where does that come from? Genesis 1:26-27. Read below from the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) translation: "Then God said, `Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness ...' So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them."
Go back and read it again. "`Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness ...' So God created humankind in his image, in the Image of God he created them; male and female he (God) created them."
God created people, male and female, in God's image. Consider what it says and what it does not say. It says that God created people in the Image of God. It does not say that God created one race or nationality in God's image. No, it says that humanity, that means all of us, each of us, every single one of us, is made in the Image of God.
What are the implications? If humanity is made in the Image of God, then your loved ones, family, friends and all you care about are made in the Image of God.
But what about the other? What about the people you know and avoid (in-laws? People you used to work, worship, and / or fellowship with). Yes, people you know and avoid are made in the Image of God.
What about the people you do not know and avoid without even thinking about it? What about people with a skin tone different than yours, who speak with a different dialect or language, who worship differently (maybe even on a different day and using different words and maybe even drums!!!)? The answer is yes, also made in the Image of God.
Now the hard part. Imagine for a moment the person you most want to win the 2020 election - very clearly made in the Image of God. Yes, absolutely, no question about it. What about the person you least want elected? Yes, also made in the Image of God.
What about Minneapolis murder victim George Floyd? Made in the Image of God. The suspect charged with his murder? Made in the Image of God. The others who stood by? Made in the Image of God. The protesters, made in the Image of God. Everyone in uniform (and out of uniform)? Made in the Image of God.
Everyone is made in the Image of God.
Now imagine a world in which we treat each other as equally made in the Image of God. Today, this weekend, every day, try viewing everyone you see, think about, know, or avoid as made in the Image of God. Everyone. What a beautiful world it could be.
Rev. Stephen Reed is the Pastor at St. Paul Church on Farmers Loop next to Mushers Hall and the Chaplain for Police and Fire.
Insight is sponsored by the Tanana Valley Christian Conference
Printed in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner on June 5, 2020
Married 27 years, 2 kids, 1 cat and 1 dog. Ordained & Chaplain for 20 years. Ministry philosophy - we're all in this together and Jesus leads the way. Hobbies: working in the woodshed, teaching, and competitive shooting