Today after worship one of the people who attended the service commented on my kids (as they were running around going crazy). They mentioned how much my older son looks like me. I was thinking, really? And I pointed out my second son, and immediately they were like, “no, HE looks like you…”
It’s true. I’ve been told many times on how my second son is a dead ringer for me (lucky kid). The funny thing is that my older son acts like me. My daughter? Well all that is still up in the air.
And perhaps this is what the need for procreation is about, having others that look like us or act like us or somehow remind others of us after we are gone. This gives us a sense of immortality, knowing that our likeness or likelihood or likeability (I just threw that word in for kicks) will stick around for much longer than we would.
This just doesn’t happen with being a parent (well, maybe the gene passing), but our effect on others lasts a while too. The people that we’ve known, the people that we’ve taught, or the even the people we have casual conversation with. We leave a bit of ourselves in them, and that could last for much longer than us.
Our image, the idea of us is a big thing. Our identity, our knowledge, our skills and talents are what we leave behind and how we can in some way, change the world. Our identity, knowledge and skill comes from those before us, and theirs from those before them. It is an amazing growing chain of connection, meaning, and purpose. What a great gift we’ve been given and continue to give!
This coming Sunday is Christ the King Sunday, and what struck me with the text this year is how Paul, in the second reading, calls Jesus the “image of God”. Often we think of Christ the King Sunday and we have no idea what it means that Christ is King. We don’t get that image because we (at least here in Western Canada) don’t have a king or much experience in having a king. The concept is somewhat lost on us. But when I read this (for like the thousandth time but never really caught my eye), it made sense. Christ is King, because Christ is the image of God.
See, Jesus being the firstborn of all creation, firstborn from the dead, through whom all things are made and who holds all things together, embodies everything that God is. So all the truth, knowledge, grace, and love that is God, is all in the person of Christ. But Jesus didn’t keep it all for himself. Through his life and ministry on earth, he passed much of that grace and mercy to his followers, and them to their followers, and their followers to their followers…. all the way to us.
That isn’t to say that we’re the perfect image of Christ who is the image of God, but it does mean that we have a part (or parts) of what Christ represents and stands for. This is what it means when we are called imitators of Christ, in that we imitate that which is the actual image of God.
This is pretty exciting stuff, seeing the connection that we all have to each other and ultimately to God through Christ. Knowing that we all have part in this image of Christ who is the image of God. Knowing that we pass this image onto others, leading all of us to be welcomed and connected to this body of Christ.
This is what makes Jesus so inclusive. This is what make this Prince of Peace, this Lord of Lords, this Son of God so many things to so many people. To me, this is what makes Christ King.
Have a great week, everyone!