Yesterday we read the creation story in Genesis up to the point in the story when the earth brings forth living creatures of every kind - the birds of the air, the fish of the sea, the livestock, and "every creeping thing that creeps on the earth!" In today's reading, we reach the climatic moment of the creation account - the creation of humankind in the image and likeness of God. Unlike the other orders of creation, humankind is uniquely created in the image and likeness of God. Consequently, we are uniquely sent forth as God's image-bearers in the world.
After humanity is created in the image of God, they receive God's blessing and are commanded to "be fruitful and multiply." Now, most of us, when we hear the phrase "be fruitful and multiply," immediately think of bearing and raising children. This initial reading of the text is understandable, since the most obvious expression of this commandment is physical procreation. However, I think that there is more going on in this passage than the procreation of children.
Reflecting the Image of God
As those uniquely created in the image of God, we are called to live as "reflections" of the image and glory of our Creator; we are called to embody the charater and holiness of the God who formed us in his image. This is a high calling indeed!
Muliplying the Blessing of God
When humanity is created in the image of God, they receive the blessing of God. Could it be that the command to "be fruitful and multiply" is not just about physical reproduction, but also a matter of expanding and multiplying the blessing of God throughout all of creation?
As we continue our "missional journey," we will continually return to these two dimensions of our call to be God's image-bearers in the world. When we are sent forth into our neighborhoods and communities, we are sent as those called to reflect the image and glory of our creator and to extend the blessing of God to all whom we encounter. We are sent as those called to embody the character and holiness of the God who formed us in our mother's womb and who continually forms and shapes us, from glory to glory, into the image and likeness of Jesus.
So, today I would invite you to take some time to reflect on your call to be God's image-bearer in the world. What does it mean for you to "be fruitful and multiply" within your home, your workplace, your community? How can your life more fully reflect the image and glory of your Creator?