How little do we know the real truth in that statement. Image IS everything. What we portray to others tells the world who we are. But I am not talking about labels, makes and models and clubs here. I am talking about the One in whose image we were made.
Stop to think about it for a moment. The God of all, the Maker of the universe, the Creator and Designer of all living things comes to earth to have communion and fellowship with the humans that He created. And in Genesis it tells us that He created Adam in His own image or in His likeness. We are talking primarily about His spiritual image here. He created Adam so that he could have fellowship with his Maker. He has given us life for the same reason. To have fellowship with Him.
I have been reading N.D. Wilson lately. I found his book 'Death by Living' right about the time I started writing my blog. I was hooked in the first page. So I went back and got his first book called 'Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl'. I highly recommend them both. Anyway, we often think of ourselves, or have been told subtly or not so subtly that we are just a mistake. Random chance brought us into this world. I am no statistician but the numbers that Nate Wilson quotes in his book are staggering. He says, "Assume that the ultimate overseer of this reality is someone called Chance (with highlighted hair and poor management skills) and assume that everything in existence happens randomly (thanks to him), without any consideration for the artistry of it. Let us explore the general unlikelihood of anything ever happening, ever. Rumor has it that most normal men send at least eight million "forward swimming" sperm looking for an egg every sexual act. Don't even bother adding in egg variation, or the total number of sperm that may have had a fighting chance during your mother's days of fertility when you were conceived (or the possibility that she might have taken her friends' advice and shunned your father). Keep it simple and wildly conservative. Your chances of being here were about one out of eight million. Funny. Those were my odds too. The chances of us both being here? One out of sixty-four trillion." It goes on. We are not here randomly, we are not here by chance. We are here by the grace of God, and created in His image.
But even more spectacular than that? The idea that this God, this great Architect came down to earth. Not as a ruling monarch, as a conquering soldier, but in our image. As a tiny human infant. Weak and defenseless. The song "Mary did you know" makes me cry every time I hear it. This little baby, here for us! To return us to the fellowship that we lost when sin entered the picture. To restore us to the Father and bring us full circle into spiritual communion with Him.
So this infinite God came to this earth in our image to make it possible for us to leave this earth in His image.
When I think of Jesus I rarely picture Him as that baby. I think the picture I see most often is of Him on the cross. Bearing our image as His Father turned away from Him and the sin that He bore for our sake. The image of every evil, ugly sinful thing that had been done and would ever be done. His image, bloodied and broken for us. That is the image I see. And that is the image I never want to forget. I want to live in a way that brings glory to that One who gave all that I could have all. All the forgiveness, all the grace, all the mercy. All of the faith, the hope and the love. And that I wouldn't just have it to hoard for myself. But that I would share it with others and show them the image of Christ in me.
That is the style I want to live in. That is the look I want to bear. That is the label I want to wear. "Christian", one who is Christ-like.
*Quote taken from Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl, written by N.D. Wilson. It is out of the greatest admiration that I share his words.