Kimberly Claire, a former neighbor and childhood friend of our daughter Amy, is on staff at
Church in Denver, Colorado.
Interesting name for a church, don’t you think?
The name comes from the passage in 1 Corinthians 4:12-14 (ESV) that reads . . .
. . . and we labor, working with our own hands.
When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure;
When slandered, we entreat.
We have become, and are still, like the scum of the world,
The refuse of all things.
I do not write these things to make you ashamed,
But to admonish you as my beloved children.
Mike Sares is the pastor of Scum. Recently he offered this post in their church newsletter,
(nice touch in keeping with the theme). Mike wrote:
It has been said that ever since God created us in His own image, we have more than reciprocated. It would be sad if it weren’t so humorous. We are ever prone to make God look, act and feel like a human, In the old movie, The Ten Commandments, they used Charlton Heston’s voice for the voice of God talking to Moses (played by Charlton as well). Perhaps they did that because that is how God sounds to people – just like themselves! Greek and Norse mythologies are about gods behaving like men and women complete with our own petty jealousies, capriciousness, and immorality. To this day, we all project our inconsistencies upon God; God likes the people we like, puts up with the ones we put up with, ridicules the ones we ridicule, and way too often tells us exactly what we want to hear, I am afraid! (The song by Mark Heard, Everybody Loves a Holy War, is all about this as well.)
The God of the Bible exhibits amazing love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control toward a human race that not only distorts His image, but treats people in ways He would never intend. Because of what Jesus did on the cross, God intends to form that love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control in us through His Spirit (see Galatians 5:22). Be on the lookout for the times when this “re-creation” is happening. Allow God to make you into His image, not visa-versa.
I don’t know if those words speak to you, but Pastor Sares’ words shout to me. I think my own responses ~ in times of stress, disappointment or working with difficult people ~ make the image of God I display for all to see look more like an image from those
House of Mirrors
, where the reflections are bent and distorted. Oh, that I would reflect His true image laid out in Galatians to a world that needs redeeming.
I am reminded of the many passages where we are
to image God’s character. You have probably read the pattern of words in verses like . . .
Just as I am ____ (fill in one of God’s character qualities),
So be ____ (the same character quality).
We are told in 1 Peter 1:14-16 . . .
As obedient children, do not conform
To the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance.
But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do
For it is written:
“Be holy, because I am holy.”
This passage, and the many others like it, do not offer some magical formula to reflect His character, His image. No hoops to jump through; no level of greatness to achieve. These passages simply say ~ just be like Him. The only requirement is a
to allow His spirit to transform us to reflect His image for the world to see.
I pray that I will begin to consider my attitudes, affections and aspirations. I pray that God
me and that I will hear His voice and reflect His image to those around me. I can think of no better way to Redeem the Future than to reflect the image of God who offers comfort, hope and a future to all who follow Him.