Mon, 8 February 2021
(Gn.1:20-2:4; Ps.8:2,4-9; Mk.7:1-13)
“God created man in His image;
in the divine image He created him.”
At God’s word “the water teem[s] with an abundance of living creatures… birds fly beneath the dome of the sky,” and “the earth bring[s] forth all kinds of living creatures,” too. And “God saw how good it was.” Then God conceived the crown of His creation and said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” And so, “little less than the angels He made him” and gave him “dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and all the living things that move on the earth.” And all this was “very good” in God’s eyes. Alleluia!
But what does man do with this ultimate blessing from His Creator: he takes the freedom and power placed in his hands and makes himself a slave to “cups and jugs and kettles,” forever trying to wash his hands clean of the sin upon them. God gives man “rule over the works of [His] hands, putting all things under his feet,” and all man can do is trample upon them as he forgets the God who made him.
“How accurately Isaiah prophesied about [us] hypocrites when he wrote… ‘Empty is the reverence they do me because they teach as dogmas mere human precepts.’” Placing our traditions and practices above God’s commandments we lose sight of the glory upon us, of the majesty of God’s works around us, as we lock ourselves in a dark and empty room of our own making. And all the creatures God has placed in our unclean hands suffer too, as our hearts turn from their stewardship to our selfish plottings. And so, though we are crowned by God “with glory and honor,” we crown Him with thorns.
O Lord, “what is man that you should be mindful of him, or the son of man that you should care for him?” Lord, come and restore us to our former glory. Father, let us give you true honor. May your Word be made fruitful in our lives and we become as your Son. Let all be blessed and made holy again in your sight. In Jesus’ blood please wash our hands, that we might help you build your peaceful kingdom.
O LORD, may your Word be fulfilled in us;
may we who were created in your image
be recreated in the image of your Son,
washed clean in His blood.
YHWH, you place all things in our hands, and we but corrupt them. Your glory and majesty you reflect in your creation, and especially in man, but he cares not well for your gift and abuses his dominion. His hands are not subject to your will but soiled by his own, and so creation with them.
In your image you create us, LORD: what greater blessing could there be! Like gods we are made to reflect your presence on this plane – why have we gone so astray? And how shall we return to you? Only by heeding the chastising word of your only Son, who speaks with your own authority. Listening to Him we heed your commands; turning from Him we can only be condemned.
Thank you for all your blessings, LORD, for the beauty and goodness of your creation. Most of all, we thank you for making us in your image. Let us not nullify your word and remove ourselves from your presence, but honor you in all we do.