As we rose above the clouds, two girls in the next aisle on the plane excitedly asked their grandma if they would see God. As those around smiled and giggled, the question stayed with me. Most children “know” that God lives in heaven, so their question was natural. Yet, through the whole flight, God was not seen as they expected although they constantly looked outside the window hoping to catch a glimpse.
What they failed to realize is that God is seen in his people and church…on earth. From creation, we were destined to be bear the image of God (Gen. 1:26-27). Then, Jesus gave humans a clearer understanding of God’s character. Jesus said “When you see me, you have seen the Father” (John 14:9).
The mission to display the image and character of God is our responsibility…and destiny.
The girls on the plane should have “seen” God in the people of earth who proclaimed to be His followers. Paul reminds us that we are “to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” (Eph. 4:22-24 ESV). In the midst of a corrupt culture, we will shine forth (Phil. 2:15) as distinctly different.
Dick Staub recently wrote about “What ‘Made in the Image of God’ Really Means.” In this article, he summarizes that “to be fully human is to fully reflect God’s creative, spiritual, intelligent, communicative, relational, moral and purposeful capactities.”
As we become more like Christ, we will display God’s character to the world around us. People will “see” God in our words and actions. – whether we are above the clouds in a plane, or walking the earth below.