Our Best Selves
Tuesday of Pentecost 14
23 August 2016
How exalted we humans are! Look at our creation at the hands of God. We received the breath of life after being shaped from the dust of the earth. God spoke of our creation using these sublime, mysterious words: "Let us make man in our image." The inner trinitarian conversation is reported to us that we might become aware of our high origin and calling as the foremost of the creatures of God, whose flesh Christ redeemed when He took it into Himself of Mary. God's most intimate speaking is used to contemplate and carry out our creation.
 
The Word of God was used to make us humans so that the Word of God might take our nature upon Himself and in that way remake our nature. The divine conversation of the holy Trinity made us so that He might involve us humans in that most intimate speech of God which discourse He holds with us through the Son and in which He gives us the most wonderful expressions of grace and forgiveness all sealed by His Son's bloody death in the flesh. The creative word again creates through the Word of God the renewed lives of His sons. The image of God is returned to we who lost it in the fall through the image of God who was marred beyond human likeness. He was given up that we might be given back our best selves.

Rev. Dr. Scott R. Murray
Memorial Lutheran Church

Augustine of Hippo
 
  "In respect to that image of God indeed, of which it is said, 'Let us make man in our image, after our likeness' (Gn 1:26), we believe, and, after the most complete search we have been able to make, we understand, that man was made after the image of the Trinity, because it is not said, 'After my image,' or 'After your image.' And therefore that place too of the Apostle John must be understood rather according to this image, when he says, 'We shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is;' because he spoke too of Him of whom be had said, 'We are children of God' (1Jn 3:2). And the immortality of the flesh will be perfected in that moment of the resurrection, of which the Apostle Paul says, 'In the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet...the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed' (1Co 15:52). For in that very twinkling of an eye, before the judgment, the spiritual body shall rise again in power, in incorruption, in glory, which is now sown a natural body in weakness, in corruption, in dishonor.
 
"But the image which is renewed in the spirit of the mind in the knowledge of God, not outwardly, but inwardly, from day to day, shall be perfected by that sight itself; which then after the judgment shall be face to face, but now makes progress as through a glass in an enigma (1Co 13:12). We must understand it to be said on account of this perfection, that 'we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.' For this gift will be given to us at that time, when it will be said, 'Come, you blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you' (Mt 25:34). For then the ungodly person will be taken away, so that he will not see the glory of the Lord (Is 26:10), when those on the left hand shall go into eternal punishment, while those on the right go into life eternal (Mt 25:46). But 'this is eternal life,' as the Truth tells us; to know You 'the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent' (Jn 17:3). "

Augustine, On the Trinity, 14.19
Genesis 1:26-31

Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."
 
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
 
 And God blessed them. And God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth." And God said, "Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food." And it was so. And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.   (ESV)
Prayer
Lord Christ, to know You is to have eternal life. Let us know You by faith according to Your Word that we might know you by sight in the age to come. Amen.
 
For President Matthew Harrison and the LCMS, that they might support human care ministries wherever people are in need
 
For Concordia Publishing House, that the House would continue to remain committed to proclaiming the intimate speaking of God to the world
 
For all mothers with young children and infants, that they might find joy in their service to the littlest of these brothers and sisters of Christ
Art: Durer, Albrecht   The Adoration of the Trinity (1515) 
Memorial Lutheran Church
smurray@mlchouston.org
http://www.mlchouston.org
©  Scott Murray 2016