Who Wore God's Face Today
As your Associate Pastor for Congregational Care, I spend a great deal of my time in conversations with you – the people of First Presbyterian Church. I love this part of my calling because it gives me the unique opportunity to look for and see the imago Dei in you.
The imago Dei is the image of God. According to Genesis 1:26-27, humankind was made in the image and after the likeness of God. Humans were created in God’s image so that we could have a relationship with God. The functional view of the imago Dei is the view that the image of God in humanity is not found in who we are but in what we do; we are to “image” God, we are to reflect God in our behavior. There is also a relational view of the image of God. Here, the image of God in humanity is grounded within our relationships. The image of God takes shape in Christian community and in our interactions between each other particularly through love.
I’m sure you have noticed that the world we live in is changing the way we interact with each other socially and as a result of this we are changing the way we want to spend our time and social energy. We catch up with people by sending a quick text message. Our conversations now occur over short snippets with a facial emoji inserted to reflect the emotion we want to convey.
When was the last time you actually paused to see the person who was with you at that moment? When we look at each other, do we see the image of God? Do we really see the other at all? I am afraid we miss the opportunity to gaze on the image of God as we see each other.
Over the past many years of my life, I have shared too many conversations with people who struggle, at their deepest core, with believing that their lives matter. There are many voices in our culture shouting out to us and leading us to believe that we are less than what we are, less than who God created us to be. But if we believe that God created us in God’s likeness, then the truth should shout out to us even louder and clearer that our lives matter immensely because we have been created by God and we are deeply loved by God. We matter. Everyone matters. And we must honor the image of God in ourselves and in the other.
I invite you to take time to see the people God places on our path today. And at the end of the day be in conversation with God and reflect on these questions:
“At what moment did you come to me through the words or actions of another person?”
“In what person did I fail to find your presence? What person did I judge to be without goodness?”
“Was there some person I encountered today who needed me to be your hands? your feet? your voice? your presence?”
I want us to be a place where people feel seen. What would First Presbyterian Church look like, and then what would our neighborhoods look like, if we all became very intentional on seeing, really seeing, the people we encounter every day?
And then, at the end of the day, may we remember back and see again the one “Who Wore God’s Face Today.”
Traveling this journey with you!
Pat is the Associate Pastor for Congregational Care at First Presbyterian Church of Sioux Falls. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.