From Brokenness to Image Bearing

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The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed me to preach the Gospel to the poor; He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.  Luke 4:18-19, Isaiah 61:1

If this is the heart of God, spoken of in Isaiah 61:1 and reiterated by Jesus, Emmanuel, God with us, as He walked upon this earth, then it seems to me that mission directly reflects the heart of God.  Only the heart of God is not something that changes and fluctuates from day to day.  So mission, for each of us, ought to resemble the heart of God ever day.  In the heart of God is where we find peace, shalom.  And the heart of God is not far away.

Paul was speaking to Gentile believers when he said, “In times past you were Gentiles in the flesh, called the uncircumcised by those who are called the circumcised in the flesh made by hands because at the time you were without Christ, and aliens from the community of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus you who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.  For he is our peace, who has made us both one, and has broken down the middle wall of partition between us.”  How did He do that?  By the price He paid for us all on the cross, by loving each of us equally, by being our creator, by sharing His heart above with and for each of us.

Remember where Abram came from?  He didn’t come from Israel.  He came from Ur.  I suppose everyone who existed at that time was a Gentile.  But God called Him out to be His own and made him the father of His people, Israel.  This is still God’s heart, calling people out to be His own.  Calling us back to respond to Him.

It’s a calling back to the Garden of Eden.   “And the Lord God said, ‘It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.”  This isn’t just about the creation of woman.  This is a picture.  Because God in Himself is sufficitent for man.  But God wants us to know how important unity and community is.  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are the supreme example of community, they are echad- a plural unity.  We are to be living in community vertically with our creator and horizontally with those who were created to make us complete.  But there is also an essence of vulnerability, and of humility.

Unlike God who is complete, we are not.  We are not complete without God and we are not complete without one another.  We are all broken, blind, and lame if we are honest before God and one another.  We all need fixing.  See, the interesting thing about this help meet that God created isn’t that it’s about some woman created to be Adam’s little helper and complete him.  It’s an ezer kenegdo, which is made up of two words.  Ezer is a word used for God sweeping in and delivering Israel all on His own.  Kenegdo is looking at something face to face like an equal.  So ezer kenegdo, help meet, is like the left wing of the plane is to the right wing, like my left hand is to my right hand.  Adam and Eve were created in such a way as to have each other’s backs.  This is community.

Is this how we are living this week as we are on mission?  Is this how we’re living each day at home.  Because the person next to you, or the stranger you are doctoring or whatever, was created to be part of having your back and you were created to cover thiers.  None of us can do that without God doing that in us, without learning to rely on Jesus, without letting His Holy Spirit teach us.  Why?  Because there is only one image of God and it’s not the image of man and it’s not about doing it our way.  Am I surrendered to God’s spirit that I resemble his image before those who need it?  And are you surrendered to God’s spirit so that You resemble his image before me because I desperately need it too.

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