Made in the image of God
- Genesis 1:26-28
- Revelation 7:9-12
In the first book of the Bible, we are told that we are made in the image of God, not just individually but corporately. All of humanity, people of all ethnicities, cultures, languages and religions, together represent the image of the Creator. This means that to deny that image in any one race, indeed in any one person, is to reject God’s presence in the whole of humanity.
To be Christian means to be a disciple. We are called to learn together what it is to do good, and who and what it is in God’s creation that needs us to stand in solidarity.
As society becomes more indifferent to the needs of others, we, as the children of God, must learn to take up the cause of our oppressed brothers and sisters by speaking truth to power and if necessary, plead their case so that they may live in peace with justice. In doing this we will always do the right thing, will always be recognising God’s image in all of us.
Our commitment to eradicate and to be healed of the sin of racism requires us to be prepared and willing to be in relationship with our Christian sisters and brothers. That will be a sign of unity for the whole world.
We give them names:
some more welcome than others.
But you know their human names
because they are your kin,
stamped with your image,
You made us, God,
in your own image,
and then became one of us,
proud of those you have made.
Make us proud of being part of that worldwide family,
and eager to discover and celebrate your image
in every person, every culture, every nation
that we are privileged to encounter.
- Do you find it easy to recognise the image of God in other people? Or is that sometimes a challenge?
- How does your church or group of churches welcome those new to your community?
- How can we see the image of God in people we find difficult to love?
Go and Do
- Take time to learn about a culture/language/nation of which you know nothing, or very little. Learn as much as you can about those people and, if at all possible, learn more directly from a person or persons from that group.
- Include a different language in the worship of your church at your next service – it may be even more effective if no one in your congregation understands it!
- Look back in the news from 10 years ago to find a group of people who were endangered at that time. Find out what their situation is now and how you, your church or group of churches could support them and/or learn from them.
Find out more on the Churches Together in Britain & Ireland website at ctbi.org.uk/week-of-prayer-for-christian-unity-2023.