Every Creature, in the Image of God

(Photo credit: here)

I don’t normally post on Saturday’s, but Richard Rohr’s meditation from Friday, June 9, 2017, is too good to pass up.  

Click here for is his daily meditation, in full, with my favorite quotes from the meditation below:

In his original Rule, Francis instructed friars who traveled to Muslim lands not to engage in argument or disputes, and to accept local authority, even if it meant making themselves vulnerable. [2] He wanted them to carry the Gospel, not take up crusaders’ weapons. We need such a message today.

Imagine what the world would be like if we treated others with inherent and equal dignity and respect, seeing the divine DNA in ourselves and everyone else too—regardless of ethnicity, religion, gender, nationality, appearance, or social class. Nothing less offers the world any lasting future.

Every creature carries the DNA, or Imago Dei, of the Creator, and it shall not be taken from them.

“How Do I Look?”

S (Scripture): 1 Corinthians 15:35 But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?” 36 Fool! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. 37 And as for what you sow, you do not sow the body that is to be, but a bare seed, perhaps of wheat or of some other grain. 38 But God gives it a body as he has chosen, and to each kind of seed its own body. 39 Not all flesh is alike, but there is one flesh for human beings, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish. 40 There are both heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is one thing, and that of the earthly is another.

O (Observation):  Paul spends some time explaining the afterlife.  What will our bodies be like after we die?   What will we be like in the resurrection?

Paul uses the metaphor of the seed.   The seed must die in order for it to become a plant.   The form will change from one phase to another.  So, too, will our bodies be changed from an earthly form to a spiritual form.  

A (Application):  We place a lot of emphasis on image in this world.   Our weight, our skin, our height, our clothes, our cars, our homes, etc.   We have a bit of an illness as an American society regarding our consumption of products and services regarding our image (of body and property).   

We should take care of our bodies and treat them as temples (as we believe the Spirit dwells in us).   Yet we should not be obsessed based on what other people think.   What others think should not drive our consumption of these goods and services.   

In the resurrection, we will be given a new framework in which we will live and move and have our being.  The earthly form will be no more.  The form dies.   But we will be brought into a heavenly form, perhaps that of Jesus’ form when he appears to the disciples after his resurrection.   (Yes, this is conjecture…but this is the only scriptural witness we have of a post-resurrection body.)

We don’t fully know what that heavenly body will be like…but we will let go of the earthly body.  We will move on.   

And maybe we will look back and say:

“How silly we were…to worry so much…about so little a thing as our image.  We were always made in God’s image.   What more did we need?”

P (Prayer):  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we give you thanks for making us in your image.  Amen. 

A Royal Priesthood… Who me?… Yeah, you!


S (Scripture): 1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own, so that you may proclaim the virtues of the one who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10 You once were not a people, but now you are God’s people. You were shown no mercy, but now you have received mercy.

O (Observation): Peter is reminding other Jesus-followers that their call is to be set apart from the rest of the world, while living in the world. The Christian faith is extremely young at this point.   People are not sure what direction to go.  Peter gives them encouragement and a sense of identity: a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own.  

A (Application):  I’m a father to a middle school boy.  To say that image is important to him is an extreme understatement.  I never had that problem when I was younger.   I was in full on “dork mode” for most of my middle and high school years.   Yes, I cared about image, but I couldn’t do anything about my image even if I wanted to – I just didn’t have style (and some say I still don’t : )

I try to remind my son, and everyone I talk with, that God’s image is the image into which we are created.  Our image is also shaped by the fact that we become part of the body of Christ through our baptism.   As part of the body of Christ, we start to see that we are part of a royal priesthood….not forprivilege  and not because we deserve that designation…but because God declares it so.  

Is image everything?  In a sense, yes.   Not our worldly image, but our image as God sees us: redeemed and made holy, for good works in this world.  

How are you reconciling your image in the eyes of the world with God’s image of you?

P (Prayer): Lord…thanks for putting up with us, and for having enough of a sense of humor as to use goof-ups like me and those I serve as members of your royal priesthood : ) Amen.