God is a Family

By Karen Lane
God is a Family and we are created in the “Image of God.” That means that we are a  shadow or likeness of God. At the very least this means that humans occupy a higher place in the created order because we alone are imprinted with godlike characteristics. So what are the characteristics of God?
First truth: We are creative because God is creative. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). Every human has the capacity to make things, to create, because we are all made in the image of a creative God.
Second truth: We are spiritual because God is a Spirit: “The Spirit of God was hovering over the waters” (Genesis 1:2). Every human possesses spiritual aptitudes and capacities. We are more than the sum of our physical parts. Our spiritual nature, though unseen, is as real as our physical nature. Nurturing our spirit is as important as eating, drinking and exercising are to our physical body.
Third truth: We communicate because God communicates. “God said, ‘Let there be light'” (Genesis 1:3). Anthropologists agree that the emergence of symbolic language—first spoken, then written—represents the sharpest break between animals and humans. The human ability to think and reason, to use language, symbols and art, far surpasses the abilities of any animals. This gift was bestowed when the communicative God’s image was imprinted on us.
Fourth truth: We are intelligent because God is intelligent. “In the beginning was the Word [logos, a Greek word meaning reason, or logic] and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). Logical sequential thought flows from the orderliness of God’s mind. As a result, though we are not all intellectuals, we each possess a mind and a way of thinking and learning, so Jesus commanded us to love God with our minds (as well as our hearts and all our strength). Because of God’s intelligent image imprinted on our lives, though we possess different kinds of intelligence, each of us is to develop our mental capacities to their fullest.
Fifth truth: We are relational because God is relational: “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness. … It is not good for man to be alone” (Genesis 1:26, Genesis 2:18). The phrase, “Let us make man in our image” reveals an “us-ness” in the very nature of God. The very essence of God is relational, and that essential quality has been imprinted on humans. This capacity for a relationship with God extends to humans, which is why the Genesis story declares that God created Eve for Adam because “it is not good for man to be alone.”  The very essence of God is relational, and that essential quality has been imprinted on humans. Sixth truth: We are morally responsible because God is a moral being. “And the Lord God commanded the man, ‘You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die’” (Genesis 2:16-17). Just as there are natural laws that govern the universe, universal moral laws govern human behaviour. The Bible teaches that these laws are written on human hearts and are universal. When we fully grasp what it means to bear God’s image, we are at once struck with the vastness of our possibilities and the tragedy of our unrealised potential. To be fully human is to fully reflect God’s creative, spiritual, intelligent, communicative, relational, moral and purposeful capacities. Although all humans possess these godlike capacities, each of us has the potential to express them distinctively, because God’s image has been imprinted uniquely on each of us. In God’s infinite creativity there are no duplicates; you are the only you there has ever been or ever will be. What an incredible God we have! – We should see God in everyone we meet!!!
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