Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our Image, after Our Likeness”.
Isn’t it interesting how many interpretations are promoted regarding these simple, yet most profound words coming from the mouth of God. Rhetorically speaking, another point is God’s name. What is in a name, or better yet, can we even give God a name that has meaning to our sense of understanding? Indeed, over the many centuries of man, there have been attempts to find that answer without ever being able to discern our quest for understanding God in the most simple way that will satisfy that statement of “Our Image and Our Likeness".
It takes a lot of searching on our part to delve into the mysteries of the Holy Trinity to find that we’ve barely scratched the surface of calling God by a name that would satisfy the most intellectual let alone the average among us. If His identity is difficult to address in the most human manner, then how much more of a task will it be to open the words of that statement in a realistic and clearly defined understanding.
There are many people, especially those recovering from various addictions, who pray to “Their Higher Power” at times not certain who that is. Then, we may hear some who pray in the wilderness, and the nature of the world becomes a type of god to their thinking; not Divine or Omnipotent, just an entity without any attachment or commitment.
What does God mean when the pronouns Us and Our are used in a shrouded conversation within the realm of the Three Persons of the Trinity? A far reaching statement that is beyond the presence of God without beginning or end. All of this is an existence where time and space are nonexistent. Yet, these very words have reached the intellect of man and now we must find that meaning searching for an image that is shrouded in mystery, like a silhouetted shadow waiting to appear with the most clarifying existence. God’s Name and Likeness are coexistent as part of a mystery revealed slowly to us through e-ons.
How often the world waits to see God intervening in the insensitive and dehumanizing conditions that exist with humanity looking down on other humans as trash or less than themselves. Where is the true image of God-likeness in these people who see life as throw-away and don’t feel some sort of compassion towards those they discriminate against? How many persons were hanged in the deep south for mere mistakes? How many more will be murdered or brutalized because of differences in color, religion, orientation, and, what’s worse, do not see life as precious in the eyes of a loving God?
Can the many not see what God’s Likeness is all about? It isn’t human conditioning; yet Jesus Christ was fully human. This image doesn’t walk or talk; yet Jesus did exactly that. What has become of the paradise God created for us when too many of our peers look away from God, look down on their brothers and sisters with demeaning eyes and live for the “My world” is all that matters?
We may look within our own persona, hoping to find some semblance of what God has implanted within our spirit and find an emptiness that has already been filled. It will be a deep longing that may not satisfy the search for an answer, yet the very depth of that trek may find a solution without recognizing its presence.
Perhaps Jesus brought the image of this statement to fruition with the story of the Prodigal Son. The Father waits to hear the words; “Father, I have sinned against Heaven and You”. Too simple! Maybe that day on Golgotha as the nails pierced His limbs and He cried out, “It is finished” will enhance this answer.
No more needs to be said as the very presence in the present time of eternity; Let Us make man in Our Image and Our Likeness, where there is no past or future; just the words God spoke and the Redemption occurring at once. Our Likeness is in waiting to hear the words, “Well done good and faithful servant”. Mt. 25: 23
Ralph B. Hathaway 2018