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Day 2
The Very Beginning of Christmas

Splitting image

Then God said, 'Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.'
So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

GENESIS 1: 26–27


My sister used to be an A&E nurse. In a single week, she saw three people who had swallowed their toothbrushes and a man who had a lightbulb stuck in his mouth. It's harder to see some people as made in God's image than others!

But however well we hide it, we're each formed in our maker's likeness in a way the rest of creation isn't. Regardless of our skin colour, sex, mental capacity, size, or shape, we reflect God's nature and represent his authority in governing the earth.

In the early days of creation, this likeness between God and people enabled a breath-taking intimacy, an easy and joyful back and forth, the closeness of dear companions who like nothing more than to walk and talk 'in the cool of the day' (Genesis 3:8). And then came the Fall, and God's image in us was marred. Trust was fractured and a chilly distance separated us from God, each other, and the rest of creation.

But when he was born as a man, God in Jesus showed us the full picture of our potential. In Jesus, as human as the next person, dwells the fulness of God (Colossians 1:19). And that means that within the Christmas story there's a reminder of the identity we're made to live into – growing more like Christ, becoming more fully human, and more fully joining in God's purposes for us.

And there's also a reminder of how we're to see and treat the people around us in our daily lives: as precious creations made in the image of the God who loves them and came to save them.


Lord, thank you for creating humans to have a meaningful relationship with you, our maker; to share your work of caring for creation; and to reflect your character to each other. Please continue to make your image in me ever clearer.

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