Imago Dei (2)

Writing, writing, writing…  I am writing left and right it seems these days. And I love it! I am amazed to see myself where I am… Thank you for reading and sharing and encouraging! I am blessed and thankful!

The following is the second in a series of old bulletin articles…

Mad face.

Grumpy face.

Happy face.

I must be a horrible father because I cannot remember which boy. One of them, either Conner or Casey, was good at making faces on demand. They were quite funny. The happy face was sweet. But the grumpy and mad faces were hysterical because they served as miniature caricatures of how many adults look and act.

Honestly, I don’t know many people—adults especially—who haven’t perfected wearing the grumpy woe-is-me-the-world-is-ending kind of face.

Likewise, I have seen enough mad faces to know it doesn’t take any special skill to scare the socks off folks with a practiced, well-aimed glare.

And if I can be a bit meddlesome, some of us deserve an Academy Award except for one thing; we aren’t acting!

I teased Mickey in my article last week. I am not going to tease him this time. I have never seen his grumpy or mad face. I suspect he has one of each, but if you want to know more, you’ll have to check with Kay.

In the meantime, the Latin phrase Imago Dei means the image of God. When those words are used, it is meant to convey the same thing you read about last week.

Genesis 1: 26a, Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness….

We bear the image of God.

Now some question what that means. There are those who think its about knowledge and wisdom from God. Others see this as something we lost with the Fall of Man. Still more understand we were each created with a bit of the divine and therefore have inherent value, worth, and identity.

Imago Dei. Image bearer. It’s that last concept that really rings true for me. I have value. You have worth. A part of God is in each of us. We were made in His image. That ought to give rise to a happy face.

It ought to also make us pause when we treat badly someone whom God has made and infused with the precious gift of life.

What did Jesus say?

You have heard that it was said to our ancestors, Do not murder, and whoever murders will be subject to judgment. But I tell you, everyone who is angry with his brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Whoever insults his brother or sister, will be subject to the court. Whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be subject to hellfire. (Matthew 5:21–22 CSB17)

Whose image does your face, words, and action resemble?

It’s worth considering again what it means to bear the image of God!

Les, Jr.

PS. Try to make a happy face right now. Try to keep it all day long. I triple dog dare you…

Image Bearer (1)

  I had a funny (as in Ha-Ha) conversation with my editor at Leafwood Publishers today that went like this: “Any news on a title? That would help me a lot—it gives me something to tell people. It is too weird telling folks ‘I have a book coming out next spring. No, I don’t know the name of it yet.’”  

In perfect timing, she emailed me back with an answer this afternoon. Pardon the pun, but while we are still wrestling with the subtitle, I am fairly confident that the main title will be: “Still Wrestling!” 

As far as I know, everything is percolating right along for a late spring/ early summer 2018 release.

I can hardly wait! This is worse than waiting for Christmas morning! Meanwhile, I continue to write for The Clarion-Ledger on a monthly basis. I am also at work on a second full book of my own. If I had to guess, I’d say it will serve quite well as a sequel to my first.

If you are in the area, we would love for you to come visit at the Lake Harbor Church of Christ where I minister and preach.

What follows is the modified first of a four-part series of bulletin articles I wrote earlier this year. I hope each will be of benefit…

You have four choices to choose from in answering this question:

Where was I?

  1. A Star Wars/ Star Trek/ Battle Star Galactica Convention
  2. An intergalactic Zoo
  3. The Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
  4. A point in time where transhumanism was in full evidence.

In the vein of a popular syndicated morning radio show, take C.

I had never in my life seen anything like it.

Anybody with eyes in their heads could have seen this country bumpkin come to town.  What a rube I was! Did I mention I had never in my life seen anything like it? In every direction I turned, I saw a new sight stranger than the one before. I didn’t want to be rude, but I wanted to ask a lot of questions.

Or not. I was genuinely afraid of the answers.

So there I was, with my mouth, wide open and my faced scrunched up in a semi-permanent, “Wow, are these people real?”

Why yes, yes, they were.

Jim Morrison didn’t know the half of it. People are strange.  Apparently, the Los Angeles airport is where strange comes to town.

Or a magnet. That’s a distinct possibility. I did see lots of metal stuck in the weirdest places.

Netflix’s production company missed out on a money saving/ money making opportunity. Instead of all the effort involved in the filming and special effects in Stranger Things, they could have set up a camera in the Los Angeles airport.

People are strange.  There is no doubt about it.

Take my friend Mickey for instance.  On second thought, my contract only allows me to tease Mickey while I’m preaching.

Take me for example.  Or you, if you’re feeling a little bit charitable.

I love ketchup on my eggs and grits.
I have a child who eats ranch dressing on everything.

Those aren’t half the examples of strange things in my family. Need some more?

I have a brother who likes the University of Alabama.  I don’t know how much weirder that can get.

And my own wife, yes even her, likes to work around the house on Saturdays. Work? Yes, work.  She grew up in a strange family apparently.

But then there is you. Can you spell weird? The music you listen to, the shows you like, the things you expect–and from your preacher too.

Weird, strange, and sometimes hysterical. Yes, we are.

Because of our idiosyncrasies, most of us are in a constant need of mercy and grace. Unfortunately, instead of being deep reservoirs from which we share the same, we tend to be fixers. We try to fix everybody in every way that doesn’t line up with our own likes, understandings, and beliefs.  And maybe some fixing is needed.

But whether it is mercy, grace or fixing you offer, it ought to all stem from one specific understanding.

Genesis 1: 26-27, Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness. They will rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the livestock, all the earth, and the creatures that crawl on the earth.”  So God created man in His own image; He created him in the image of God; He created them male and female.

Image-bearer! Every human being bears the image of God. Even those of us who are strange.

Think about that the next time you want to be critical, overbearing, mean or ugly.

I am an image-bearer. So are you!

Check out my Facebook Writer’s Page!

Les Ferguson, Jr.
Madison/ Ridgeland, MS