December 19, 2023

Image of God

Genesis 1:20-31

God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them, male and female he created them.

—  Genesis 1:27

John is the chair of the art department at Trinity Christian College. Seven years ago, when he heard that a teenage member of Roseland Christian Ministries was shot and killed, John initiated the Roseland Portrait Project as a way to honor the young man and to strengthen bonds in the community. John painted the young man’s portrait on a wood panel. He then went on to paint 404 more portraits of Roseland community residents, and the project became a traveling exhibit.

Here are John’s words:

“500 years ago, only kings had their portraits painted as a way of asserting their significance. The time and energy it takes to paint a portrait by hand is a way of paying concentrated attention to a single person. It is a way of valuing ordinary people for who they are, not what they achieve or the money they make.”

John’s description of this process has been a helpful way for me to think about being made in God’s image. Before we build a life, achieve, grow, get sick, make mistakes—before any of what becomes our life takes place—there is in us the same inherent value because all of us human beings bear the image of God.

You are created in God’s image. Every person you come across today is also made in God’s image.

God, we thank you for art and the beauty of your creation. Give us eyes to see your image in all people. Amen.

About the author — Joe Huizenga

Joe Huizenga serves as pastor and executive director of Roseland Christian Ministries in Chicago, Illinois. He and his wife, Cate, have four children.

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