Sunday, November 1, 2015

Faith, Image and Imagination

UV 1574/10000 Faith, Image and Imagination
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
Genesis 1 v 27

Man has taken the word “ image” and diluted or distorted it to mean only an impression, the outer view of a person or organisation. In the original, image is the real and authentic self, the inner being of a human, whether male or female. The parallel for this uni-verse is Jesus’s declaration that “ the kingdom of God lies within us and among us.” The divine image or the divine rule, vision,power, influence and leadership lies within us. Whether we chose to conform to this divine rule and leadership from within us or succumb to the call of the external forces and influences is entirely up to each individual. Whatever be our circumstances, we have a certain inner space to grow in the image of God as He has intended. Every human being is created in the image of God and that implies an inherent respect and love for our fellow beings and tolerance of our apparent differences. When we do violence in anything we think, speak and do to our fellow beings, we are doing violence to God Himself. Both male and female are created in the image of God and hence, it rules out gender disparity or discrimination. Since we are all created in the image of God, we are equal. Since we are created in the image of God, our greatest and most fulfilling relationship necessarily has to be with God Himself. Since we are created in the image of God, we have an inner urge to realize and release His goodness, power, wisdom, love and other attributes in our lives. Since we are created in His image, we too can be creative and create things from virtually nothing. Since we are created in His image, we have personal autonomy and are free to choose. We can make out that all the deep concepts of leadership and governance like freedom, equality, authority, fulfilment, development arise from this uni-verse.

Image, then is who we really are and the way God sees us. Do we see ourselves as a creation of God with a special calling, abilities, potential and destiny? Do we see ourselves as children of God? Do we see ourselves as servants of God who are executing His will in our lives? Do we look to God for our upliftment, our advancement, our source of help? Our sinful choices since birth for we are sinful from conception lead us away from the image of God and distorts His image. Jesus redeems our image and restores us to the very image of God. Like Jesus, today we are the visible image of the invisible God- a great and tremendous responsibility in which the Holy Spirit helps us in real time to fulfil.
Faith has a lot to do with imagination. Both faith and imagination thinks of things that are not as if they are already. Reason helps us to take patient and consistent steps to turn things that are not into a reality. Reason or rationality or the ability to think, to ask questions and find answers becomes a servant and not the master of our souls or our image. We have two types of DNA- the DNA of our parents that determine our sex, our features, colour, physical aspects of our bodies and the dna or divine nature of Christ in us who unifies us once again with the Father in heaven. Satan intended the fall of man to divorce God from man but it actually resulted in the Creator-creation relationship between God and man being deepened and transformed as Father-child relationship. The ability of man to fulfil or realize his divine nature became more feasible as all the resources of the Lord God are now accessible to every human being. Hamartia or shortcoming or the power of sin is banned forever. The grace or abundant power of God fills all the gaps between our need and the provision, between our goals and our abilities, between the reality of our human nature and the potential of our divine nature. We begin to resemble God in our thoughts, words and actions. We will only be never however be equal with God for we are only a reflection of the Creator and Redeemer both in His creative and redemptive functions.

Prateep V Philip

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