Seeing the image of God in everyone...

We're living in a divisive time. Truthfully, our world has always been divisive. We've just been better at hiding it before. But now with the onset of social media and 24/7 news, many of our divisions have come out of hiding and our prejudices, privilege and quick opinions are no longer hidden. Unfortunately, the click baiting, name calling and anger have probably only just begun. I get it. A lot of what I see and read infuriates me, too. People of every viewpoint are--at the very least--peeved about something.

For people following Jesus, we should get mad. Jesus had moments of anger. If we don't get angry at injustice in the world, who will? But Jesus also said for us to turn the other cheek and not only forgive our enemies (7x70 times mind you) but love them. That means each and every time we see someone type, say or insinuate something that causes us pain, anger or frustration, we do not forget that they are a person divinely created with gifts by our Creator. Each and every person who has and will ever walk on the earth is made in the image of God. That means God created them in love. Nobody can take that away from me. I can't take that away from anybody else. Thanks be to God for that.

So if any of us are serious about following Jesus, the public degradation that we do to our fellow sojourners does not reflect the God we are seeking to serve. That does not mean that we don't hold each other accountable, learn from each other or seek to provide other viewpoints, but it does mean that we see no person as anything less than someone made in God's image and designed for eternity. Hillary Clinton ins made in the image of God. Donald Trump is made in the image of God. Nobody can take that away from them. Democrats reflect God's image. Republicans reflect God's image. The LGBTQI community is made in God's image. The conservative evangelical community are bearer's of God's image. Pro-choice people rest in God's image as do the Pro-lifers and all those in between. This is God's grace toward us. That even as lost as we may get, we never lose the initial marking of God's blessing. That image is what defines us.

Our culture makes it very easy for us to crucify each other. After all, the people who voted to crucify Jesus thought they were in the right and yet He clearly says, "Father, forgive them. For they know not what they do." That's who we are called to be. Let's not join the scoffers, but the people who proclaim forgiveness and mercy. That doesn't mean we don't stand for what we believe to be true and right. The point isn't to avoid what is right, the point is to not lose ourselves in the process. The point is to do what God has called us to do and to do it with love. That as we find those along the path who we think are totally off base, hypocritical and an all-around jerk face, that they are still bearers of God's image and in need of the same love that we all desperately need.