VIDEO POST: I have been taking a summer class focusing on the development of moral structures and the way we shape what is right and what is wrong. Even as a believer, issues of justice, compassion, law and grace are not always black and white. But there is one foundational issue that should differentiate the response of a Christ-follower when dealing with the moral/ethical issues that arise as we interact with people. It’s the imago Dei.
Imago Dei is Latin (Latin like the Middle Ages, not Mexico) for the image of God. This concept comes from scripture verses like Genesis 1:26-27 and Colossians 3:5-11. We are all made in the image of God our creator… not just ya’ll that go to church, but all ya’ll. Everyone matters. We all have God’s fingerprint on us with the ability to be moral agents in a broken, immoral world. We have the power to chose to do good even when it is much easier to be prideful, afraid, unkind or complacent.
Martin Luther the 15th century reformer said, “Homo simul justus et peccator” (more Latin). Man is at the same time saint and sinner. One of our primary goals should be to help people bring out more of the saint by sharing God’s love and hope with them. We can allow the Holy Spirit to transform us to be more and more like Christ so that we have the courage to go and make a positive impact in the world. The imago Dei should be the source of our calling and mission in the world. Everyone matters.
So when I encounter difficult, abrasive people that I just don’t get along with, when I look at people that I dearly love like my family and friends, when I see the faces of the kids at Black Forest Academy, I want to see the image of God and the inherent value that each of us has… not because of anything we’ve done, but because of God’s love for His creation. The faces in this short video are a great reminder for us of the imago Dei and the work that remains in the world so that someday every person will be able to recognize their priceless worth in the eyes of their Creator.