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Monday, August 13, 2012

The Image of God – Unutterable Power and Sweet Work

O, King of the Universe,
it pleased you that
the body of humanity,
formed from the dust of the Earth,
be animated by you
                so that your unutterable power
                might burn forth.
You created along with humanity
all those things through which we,
aroused by the things which delight our senses,
are able to raise the eyes of your minds to you.
Nicholas of Cusa – De Pace Fidei

I have been thinking recently about what it means to be created in the image of God.   We can – most of us – agree that it means something more than just our physical form, though there are some who argue that point.  That God is 6 or so feet tall with arms and legs and a penis...

But, God is spirit, something more and beyond the flesh and blood of our existence.  And we are too.

Yet we were formed from the dust of the earth – the same chemicals and elements of the planets and stars – to be something other; formed, as Nicholas of Cusa said, so that God’s “unutterable power might burn forth.”  But what is this image of God?  And what is this unutterable power?   (This is the way of theology – one question leads to another – often without answers…)  Let’s try again:  God is love. 

Love burns and strains for expression.  Love will not be contained.  Love must give itself away.
God is love and we are created in the image of God in order that God’s power might burn more brightly.  What power?  Love.  We are created to love and to be loved.  How will people know that we are followers of God?  By our love.  Not by our dogmas and debates.  We are God’s handiwork created to love.

“The glory to which man is called is that he should grow more godlike by growing ever more human.”  Fr. Dumitru Staniloae – Orthodoxy, Life in the Resurrection

“A creature is not God
nor is it nothingness;
it is, in a sense, behind God
and in front of nothingness.
Or rather,
creatures stand between God and nothingness.”
Nicholas of Cusa - De Docta Ignorantia

If we do not love –If we hate and fear those who are different, if we ignore those who are in need , then we do not love and we have rejected the image of God and we have become a part of that nothingness outside of God. 

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