Friday, December 2, 2016

Created Equal

(Submitted by Kerry Patton)
“God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”   Genesis 1:27

Recently, Laura and I attended a showing of the movie Lincoln, starring Daniel Day Lewis.  The movie depicts the social and political divisions that had torn our nation in two during the time of the Civil War.  Highlighted in the movie, of course, is the Gettysburg Address; and that truth that “all men are created equal…”.  This concept of equality was key to the abolition of slavery, and remains central to human rights and the complete realization of humanity as a whole.
A Great Man
Most refreshing in the movie was Lewis’ portrayal of the 16th president.  Examining the pages of history, we come to know Abraham Lincoln as a great man.  Examining those same pages closer, we can see Lincoln as a man…a normal man.  He is seen as an individual who knew great pain, had suffered the loss of a child, and who dealt with the struggles of a difficult and troubled marriage.  He wrestled with what we today would classify as clinical depression his entire life.  By all measures, Abraham Lincoln was a NORMAL man who lived a normal day to day life, just like you and me.  It is because of what he did WITH that normal life that we call him great!
God is Good, God is Great…
There is a common table grace that contains the following words:  “God is good, God is great…”.  Genesis 1:27 above told us that God created every one of us in his own image.  It is my observation that God placed in every one of us a glimpse of his own greatness.  We were created to achieve, to love, to build, to sing, to serve, to teach…to do whatever it is that is before us, and affect the world around us.  It is in doing so, with whatever we have and whoever we are, that we become seen for what we are created to be: GREAT! 
Taking nothing from the original intent of the Gettysburg Address, nor detracting from the spirit of its words, I want to borrow that remarkable phrase: ”the proposition that all men are created equal.”  I want to place a different frame over them for a few minutes and ask you to consider them not in terms of the equality of races, but in terms of the great potential…that potential for greatness…that God has placed in every single one of us. 
Make a quick inventory of persons across history that you would call “great.”  What did they do?  What did they achieve?  And what was it that delineates them from ourselves except that they took what they had and did what was needed to be done?  He or she took their respective talents and USED them.  They may have applied great determination and discipline to the task at hand.  Many tries may have brought many, many failures…and yet they persisted. 
Equal…But Different
And while Abraham Lincoln asserted – “all men are created equal,” he did not assert that all men are created the same!  We are not the same you and me.  We are different.  Sometimes, we are very different.  We are different, but we are equal.  Should we compare our lives, there may be numerous similarities.  However, I believe we would confirm what we both already know; God has made us very diverse.  We may possess very diverse gifts and talents.  Nevertheless, whatever your gifts and talents are, you were made to do GREAT THINGS!

Almighty God, We do not regularly see ourselves as great in or at anything.  Yet your word tells us that we are fearfully and wonderfully made.  You have given us great minds, and great skills.  Each of us possesses great potential to do and achieve, to innovate and invent.  Allow and assist us this day to walk in a way that is reflective of all you have placed in us.  To the honor and glory of your name, help us be great in all we do.  In Jesus’ name we pray,  Amen.

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