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One morning I took a walk along the beach. It was low tide and the water of the tidal pool was like a mirror. I could see a perfect image of the mountains on the opposite side. While I was preparing to take a photo, a woman came walking along with only her feet in the water. As far as she walked, ripples formed which distorted the beautiful image of the mountains. After an hour I returned and took the photo (see photo), but the image in the water was still partly distorted.

At the beginning God said: “Let us make man 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. … So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Gen. 1:26 – 27).  If God says that He made us in his image, it doesn’t mean that we resemble God physically. It does mean that we can reflect his glory, kindness and love. God is light and therefore this image of God must be evident in our lives, not the darkness of sin.

John the Baptist was busy baptising people. He said to them: “I baptize with water, but among you stands the one you do not know.  He is coming after me, but I am not good enough even to untie his sandals.” … The next day John saw Jesus coming to him, and said, “There is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!  (John 1:26 – 29). Later John the Baptist was jailed innocently. He started to have doubts about Jesus and sent two of his disciples to Him to ask: “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?” Jesus answered them:  “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have good news preached to them” (Luke 7:20 – 22). Through his actions Jesus showed what God looks like. The image of the love of God was evident in Jesus in all respects. One of Jesus’ disciples said to Him: “Lord, show us the Father; that is all we need.”  Jesus answered, “For a long time I have been with you all; yet you do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:8 – 9).

            The ripples disturb and distort the image of the mountains. The image of God that we must radiate can also be disturbed. With it (our tongue) we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God (Jas. 3:9). Through our actions we can produce a distorted image of God. A small disturbance distorted the image of the mountains across the entire pool. James speaks of the damage one can cause by what one says: So it is with the tongue: small as it is, it can boast about great things. Just think how large a forest can be set on fire by a tiny flame! (Jas. 3:5).

The Bible doesn’t give us answers to all our questions, whether of this life or of life after death. Paul writes that believers have only a dim image of it all, but there is hope: For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully (1 Cor. 13:12).


My Father, thank you that we were created in your image. Help us, so that our lives will show some  of the light which Jesus brought.  Amen.

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