Name of Jesus, Year B

Inspired by Philippians 2:5-11

“Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited.” Philippians 2:5-6 (NRSV)

Imago Dei. Image of God. According to Genesis, humanity was created in the very image of God, and given dominion over the earth and everything in it. And things went downhill from there.

We tend to lose sight of the fact that we too are creatures, and that, though created in the image of God, we are not actually God, or even gods. We become drunk on our own power, our own abilities, our own talents, and use the things and the people of the earth to benefit ourselves. It was into this world that God sent his Son, Jesus Christ.

Jesus was fully human, and therefore, like us, was the image of God. But unlike us, Jesus was also fully divine, and therefore truly was God, equal in every way to the one who created us and gave us what we have. But he did not use that status for his own gain; he did not come to take the world that he’d created and put it back under his own dominion, and then punish us who had abused his creation so grievously. He came to save us, to restore us to the glory he’d wanted for us from the beginning, and to demonstrate for us how we can live human life fully, as human life is intended to be lived, as Jesus lived it.

And the starting point for that is to recognize the limits of our authority, and to reflect the image of God in our lives, without trying to be God ourselves.

Let us pray. Creator God, you created us in your image. Enable us to reflect your glory, that we may be good stewards of the world you have given us. Through Christ our Lord, Amen.