Imago Christi, Imago Dei

On being remade in the image of the Crucified One:
Remember, crucifixion was the punishment for insurrection in imperial Rome. It is perhaps not too great a stretch to say that Jesus was executed as a terrorist, as one who revealed the vacuity of the systems of the world and their claims to give meaning. Belief in the Resurrection, then, is belief that it is Christ who gives meaning, that the Resurrection was God’s pronouncement of a guilty verdict against the powers that had claimed God’s status for themselves and a vindication of Christ the Son and of his revolution, the way of the Cross. In the same way we, the church, should not seek to grasp at power for ourselves (see Philippians 2:1-11!) but to share and submit to one another, resisting the power-grab tendencies of this world nonviolently in the love and joy we experience in the Spirit, by knowing the Father, through Christ the Son, trusting that God will vindicate us.

Just as Jesus lived and the church grew within the context of empire, so do we: the new empire of Consumerist Technopoly. McWorld. The venerable carnival of postmodernity, where you are free to choose any ring and act you like, but you are not free to leave the circus tent. I believe we should strive to break the power of capitalistic iconography in our lives, these things that seek to recreate us in their image. Sabotage the machine from within. Subvert the system by valuing authenticity both in individuals and in community. Treat people like humans, not like customers; become creators, not merely consumers.

It’s a matter of worship, really, of who or what we worship. The things to which we give worth in our lives, to which we subsume our identities. If what you worship is nothing, you become recreated in its image – a personal void. Remember, a void sucks all things into itself. The more mass an object has, the greater its personal gravity. Nothing escapes from a black hole, not even light.

You are the light of the world? Not if you’re a black hole. Be the light.

Restoring the Image:
I believe that every person is created in the image of God and therefore is God’s beloved child, whether or not that person recognizes it him/herself. Therefore it is my goal (and I sometimes, even often fail) to seek out the humanity in everyone with whom I come in contact, recognizing that they are God’s beloved creation and therefore capable of love, mercy, and redemption. I desire to show the love of Christ in all my personal interactions, to be God’s instrument in making people whole again through love, through valuing a person as a person and not as a dehumanized object. I also believe this is the only way that my humanity is realized, as I recognize the human dignity inherent in each person.

Redemption, then, is restoration: the restoration of Imago Dei as we were created to be. Christ showed the way as the vanguard of the New Creation, and the Holy Spirit continues to lead us in Christ’s way, resisting the empires of the world that seek to control our imaginations and remake us in their image, destroying our humanness.


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