Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Dear Faith Family,

We are all familiar with images. We see them in advertisements all the time. They are meant to capture our attention and show us in one quick glance what is true about something. For instance, when I look at a vehicle I can very quickly determine the make of the vehicle simply by finding the symbol or image that identifies its origin. We are so used to these images that we are often barely aware they are right there in front of us.

Human beings also bear an image, but in a different way than automobiles and laundry detergent. Genesis 1:26 says this: “Then God said, ‘Let us make [mankind] 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.’” Carrying the image of God means human beings were given a specific form and function. God invited them into his rule and made them representatives of himself in his creation. What an invitation! 

Even though human beings fell from intimate communion with God, the reality of human image-bearing has been distorted by sin but not destroyed. Human image-bearing needed restoration. Enter Jesus. He is the one who came to show us the image-bearing life perfectly lived. He is the one who is restoring us to image-bearing as we are being conformed into his image through the work of the Holy Spirit. What an image!

This week our BibleProject study is entitled “Image of God”. Below you will find the link to the video and some discussion questions that will help you to explore this theme in the Bible. You do not have to go through all of the passages and questions. You can choose one option for study.

If you are a part of a Sunday School Class or Life Group, consider finding a way to connect online all together or in smaller groups or pairs. If you are not in a class or group, contact a friend and see if they would be interested in joining you in a discussion of this theme. Let me know if you would like to get connected. It is the way we grow as people—in community—even when we have to be socially distant! 

Here is this week's “Image of God.” video.
Discussion Questions

Scripture Reading Option One: Genesis 1:26-30
God appoints humans as his representatives to rule the world on his behalf. The image of God consists of male and female together ruling in unity over all of creation. This is a bold vision of human identity and responsibility. Who is created in God’s image?
  • What does that mean for how you view yourself and others? What does that mean for how you live?
  • What do you think it says about God that he invites humans to rule with him?

Scripture Reading Option Two: Psalm 8
In Psalm 8, the poet is reflecting on humanity’s identity and calling to rule creation with God. He ponders how weak and “low” humans are compared to the stars and the heavenly beings, yet God is pleased to partner and share his glory with them. 
  • Read verses 4-5 again and reflect on what stands out to you the most.
  • In this poem, humans are both weak and tiny, but also glorious and capable. Do you see yourself this way? What would change if you did?

Scripture Reading Option Three: Colossians 1:13-20 & Colossians 3:8-13
In these passages, Paul identifies Jesus as “the image of the invisible God,” who is the real king of creation that humbled himself to die on our behalf (1:13-20). Paul also writes that Jesus’ followers are being “renewed...in the image of the creator” (3:8-13), which results in compassion, kindness, humility, and other godly qualities. 
  • What do you resonate with most when you read these passages?
  • Both of these passages emphasize God’s desire to bring unity through Jesus. Take a moment to reflect on what it might look like to actively participate in bringing unity in your life or community.

Enjoy growing as an image-bearer in Christ!

Pastor Doug
Longview EPC