Friday, January 20, 2012

Sanctity of Human Life

Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground." So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:26-27 26
 Remember trying to teach your children the value of coins? Your kids may wonder why eight pennies are worth less than one thin dime. If you melted down the pennies and the dime and compared the results the pennies might have more value due to their copper but still a dime is worth more. A dime is no prettier than eight pennies, so why the difference in value?

The reason for the difference is that their value is determined by their creator. The U.S. Treasury department SAYS that it takes ten pennies equal one dime. And what is true of coins is true of all creation.

All human life is precious and to be protected because humans alone bear the image of God. The ultimate reason why persons are to be valued more than property is not found in their natures but in God's nature. God's evaluation is what is decisive here. There's something extraordinary here that is seen only in reference to the creation of man and to nothing else.

Being made in the image of God means that in our nature and personality; in our moral and spiritual capacities; in our emotions, intellect, conscience, and will; in our functions and actions we stand apart from the rest of creation. Only human beings are given this status. Not even the angels are made God's image bearers and most certainly not the animals.

When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained; What is man that You take thought of him, And the son of man that You care for him? Yet You have made him a little lower than God, And You crown him with glory and majesty! Psalms 8:5-6

The key word here is the pronoun "You” because our value as human beings rests ultimately on God's evaluation since He is our Designer and Creator. Out of all that God has created, He has designated human life as having the greatest value. Our superiority over the rest of the created order is based on that fact and that fact alone. Only when we allow God to "price creation," so to speak, do we find a basis for regarding human life as being more valuable than anything else.

Scholars note that being created in the image of God (imago Del) means more than having certain abilities and attributes. It means that humans are the images of God, regardless of what they can or cannot do or how they act or look. In God's eyes, we are each endowed with a touch of Himself. Each human carries within his or her being the likeness of the Creator. Therefore, each human life exists as an expression of God and His character. Since we embody God's image, the sacredness of our lives, and the dignity it demands, is based on something beyond characteristics or abilities - it is rooted in the essence of God Himself.

Therefore, as we approach Sanctity of Life Sunday, we acknowledge the value of every life and the respect that God demands for all human beings regardless of race, color, creed, age, form, or function. All are created equally in the image of God. So before you start to dismiss or denigrate the poor, impaired, or those different than yourself, remember Whose they are and the value He places on every life.
Scripture to Claim:
The rich and the poor have a common bond; The LORD is the maker of them all.
Proverbs 22:2

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