God creates everything with intention. Nothing God creates is accidental, meaningless, or purposeless. As God creates the universe, He first creates the Setting and then the Players. Day 1 (Light and darkness) parallels Day 4 (sun, moon, stars). Day 2 (waters and sky) parallels Day 5 (fish and birds). Day 3 (land) parallels Day 6 (animals). Only Day 7 (Sabbath rest) is unparalleled, for the participant in Sabbath here is God, the Uncreated. This gift of Sabbath will be offered to us later, but as of now, it is God’s. And after every act of creation, “God saw that it was good”. Ordered, intentional, good… these are the ways of God’s creation.
God created every one of us. And your creation, and mine, and that of those around you, was ordered, intentional, and good. But more than that, God created every one of us “in His image”. Technically, God says, “in Our image”, evoking the relational part of His existence and highlighting its importance for us – we were created for relationship. But God’s image also involves “reigning over” the rest of creation. This is different than using or worshiping or ignoring God’s created works – it means being a caretaker, a custodian, even a steward of all that God has created. And God’s image also involves the ability to choose, our Free Will. We can choose to value and care for others (this is Love) and we can choose to follow our own plans instead of God’s (this is Sin). Imago Dei – God’s Image – and we are unique in bearing it on the earth.
God created every person you’ve ever met, seen, or even heard of, and that creation was ordered, intentional, and good. Every person bears God’s image and is created for relationship, reign, and free will. So a few questions as we begin the new year together: Do we look for God’s Image and all that it entails in others? in every other person we deal with? Do we see it in those different than us and treat them accordingly? Can we bear God’s image better in our relationships, our reign over created things, and the use of our free will?