August 22, 2020 NCM: Day 1 The Image of God In Others
Updated: Sep 9, 2020
*From Seven Days of Compassion: A Devotion Nazarene Compassion Ministries
GENESIS 1:1-5, 26-27, 31 (NRSV)
In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day. ...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. ... God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good.
From the very beginning of the Christian story, there is goodness. God brought the world and humanity into being and called them very good. With so much suffering, destruction, and injustice in the world today, it can be too easy to forget the original intentions for a healthy, thriving world where all people live in right relationship with God, one other, and creation. Focusing on God’s good design gives us a vision for co-creating a world of wholeness alongside the Creator.
A compassionate life begins by seeing the world through God’s lens. It begins when we see each and every person as someone who is made in God’s image and who is dearly loved by God. A compassionate life also requires us to step back and see ourselves as part of a world that was created by and is loved by God.
Author David Dark reminds us that “like the God in whose image people are made, people are irreducible. There’s always more to a person—more stories, more life, more complexities—than we know. The human person, when viewed properly, is unfathomable, incalculable, and dear.”
It’s often easy to forget the image of God in others, to categorize people or to see them as other than ourselves. And it’s easy to take God’s creation for granted or, worse, to abuse it. Yet we are called to live as God’s image in our world, and as we do, we will more easily recognize that image in others. We will more easily treat others with love and compassion. We will more easily live toward God’s image of wholeness for God’s children and God’s creation.
Creator God, You have made all things good. You have created a world anchored in love, and You have made us and everyone we meet in Your image. Please help us to see Your world and the people in it as You do, as made by and dearly loved by You. Give us strength to bear Your image to the good world You created. Amen.
• Take a day to look for God’s image stamped on others. Each time you encounter someone, look him or her in the eye and say to yourself, “This person is made in God’s image.”
• Take time to ask someone to share more of his or her story with you.
• Take a walk in nature. Observe the very good things God created and offer thanks.
• When you garden, farm, or work outdoors, consider how you are co-laboring with God.
• Pray for people living in areas affected by drought and famine, that God would provide ways to heal the land to productivity.
• Pray for vulnerable children living in poverty and children at risk of exploitation. Consider sponsoring a child as a way to remind that child that he or she is created in God’s image and to help that child grow into the person God created him or her to be.