The Oneida Daily Dispatch (Oneida, NY)

In the Image of God


“So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” Genesis 2:27 NIV

Humans are a diverse species, no two of whom are identical. Even so-called “identical twins” have their difference­s. Then what does it mean to say that God created mankind in his own image? Perhaps it means that God sees our commonalit­ies more than our difference­s, and that our physical difference­s, which may seem important to us, are irrelevant to God. This suggests that we are spirituall­y created in the image of God, rather than in his physical image. But it is also the case that when we think of God, we tend to think of Him or Her as looking like a person, and most people probably think of God as having a body and looking something like them. European art tends to paint Jesus as light-complected, whereas images from the Near and Middle East paint a darker-complected individual. Images of the Virgin of Guadalupe resemble the native Americans who lived in Mexico 500 years ago, and even if the Virgin of Guadalupe is not considered a divinity, it reinforces the idea that people tend to think of God and holy individual­s as physically resembling themselves. We all tend to create God in our own image. But again, we should remember that this image has more to do with the spirit than with the body, and it is this imprint of God within us that most resembles God and puts us into spiritual communion with our Creator.

– Christophe­r Simon

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