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Questioning Life: Who is Humanity?

by Pastor Mike Birbeck - February 17, 2021

Why does a person matter? Do people matter because people say they matter? Does that mean an early American slave in the South mattered less because public opinion said so? There must be a better answer.

In Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Huck Finn is a juvenile outcast with a reputation for shirking all the rules. When Huck becomes very sick a Welshman, with the help of the widow next door, nurses Huck back to health. At one point, the Welshman says, “Huck has good spots in him,” to which the widow replies, “That’s the Lord’s mark. He don’t leave if off. He never does.”

People matter, not because people say they do, but because each and every person is stamped, by the hand of God, with the words “made in God’s image.” In the first chapter of the Bible, it says, “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them… (Gen 1:27).” Every person has intrinsic worth bestowed upon them by their Maker.

This view of humanity radically transforms how we view and treat others. The Swiss Reformer John Calvin said, “The Lord implores us to do good to everyone without exception, even though the greater portion of people, if looked at according to what they do, would not be worthy of it.” This belief in the image of God is the reason Christians are commanded to bless those who harm them, pray for their enemies, and turn the other cheek. Because of the image, we see beyond the actions of people – good or bad – and see the image deep down inside. Race, class, gender, nor mental or physical abilities make no difference. We love the image. We adore the image because we love the one who put it there. Even irksome Huck Finn had the image.

This image also infuses our lives with meaning. Our purpose in life is to reflect that image, represent it. Yet how some so many of us have difficulty squeezing out that goodness in our lives. Find out next on Question Life. For now, I invite you to pray with me: Gracious God, you have made each and every one of us, every person, in your image. Help us treat each other with the dignity you have gracious endowed all of us. In Christ’s name. Amen.

Credits:

Videography: Ethan Chabala
Video Editing: Ethan Chabala
Writing: Pastor Mike Birbeck

Produced by Vogt Media
Home Page Sponsors: First Presbyterian Church Wellsboro