home > Pastor’s Desk > 2022 > December 10 > IS THERE ANYTHING DIFFERENT ABOUT BEING UNIQUE?


We live on a unique planet which is part of a unique solar system which is part of a unique galaxy which is part of a unique universe. Our unique planet hosts 8.7 million unique animal species and 7.5 billion unique people. There are many other aspects to our earth’s uniqueness, but there is one outstandingly unique trait about our planet that makes it uniquely unique. 

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
Psalm 139:14



While we are all created unique; and, we are each unique together. We are each and uniquely created in the image of God which makes us each unique but also uniquely distinct from all other creatures and it also bonds us uniquely together. We are quite literally a human family of divine image bearers. 

What is man that you are mindful of him,
and the son of man that you care for him?
¶ Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings
and crowned him with glory and honor.
You have given him dominion over the works of Your hands;
You have put all things under his feet.
Psalm 8:4-6

The image of God that we each bear is not just that we each uniquely reflect Him to the rest of creation, it’s not just that we represent Him, it’s not just that we uniquely share several of His attributes (creativity, planning, conceptual communication, altruistic compassion, a spiritual essence enabling prayer and revelation), it is a unique status. The imago dei (“image of God”) is a unique status that only human beings are privileged with from the moment of their conception. When some heavenly (angelic) creatures rebelled, their Creator had provided no means to help them to ever be redeemed. Angels do not share the same privileged status of those who bear the status of the imago dei — as we each uniquely do.

For surely it is not angels that He helps, but He helps the offspring of Abraham.
Therefore He had to be made like His brothers in every respect,
so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God,
to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For because He Himself has
suffered when tempted, He is able to help those who are being tempted.
Hebrews 2:16-18

The day will come when time as we have known it will come to end. On that “last day” (John 6:39; 12:48) those among the imago dei family who have been redeemed by Christ by accepting His offer of grace, will be entrusted by the Almighty to judge those fallen heavenly creatures who had rebelled and wrought so much wickedness and evil in the world.

Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world?
And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases?
Do you not know that we are to judge angels?
How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life!
First Corinthians 6:2-3



As we enter into this Advent season we should reflect on the uniqueness of the Christ-child whose birth we celebrate each Christmas. It often crops up on the internet around Christmas time that Christians simply reinvented pagan myths of virgin-born saviours which may rock the fragile faith of newer Christians. But as Dr. Leon Morris points out in his commentary on the Gospel of Luke, no such myth has yet been found and certainly no ancient myth ever proposed that a virgin would conceive – let alone conceive a child supernaturally! Dr. Morris points out that there are several mythological accounts of ‘gods’ having relations with mortal women to sire a child – but this hardly could then be described as a virgin conceiving! Reflecting on Luke 1 and Matthew 1 we see that Jesus the Christ had a unique birth (Matt. 1:2-23, 25). It was also unique because it was prophesied (Isa. 7:14); accompanied by independent angelic visitations to Mary and her betrothed Joseph. Secondly, Christ bore and received unique divine titles (Isa. 9:6). Thirdly, Christ had a unique name – Jesus – that revealed His unique identity. Fourthly, He had a unique mission (to save people from the eternal consequences of their sin, Matt. 1:21) which He was aware of from a very early age (Luke 2:49). Fifthly, Jesus had a unique destiny to die an atoning death, rise from the dead, ascend by translation back to His heavenly throne, and will then sit in judgment of all people. And sixthly, Jesus the Christ made – and the offer still stands – to cleanse a person from the soul-stain of sin and mediate their adoption as a son or daughter of God the Father.

And there is salvation in no one else,
for there is no other name under heaven
given among men by which we must be saved.”
Acts 4:12



Loneliness has now reached epidemic proportions in many parts of the world. God’s solution to this has always been family. Our shared humanity should help us to appreciate that our nuclear family is designed by God to be a community of care, support and encouragement to each family member. But God has also designed us to be members of a local spiritual family called a church. It is in the community of the church that we grow together and learn how to care, support and encourage each other. And if my hunch about the growing pandemic of loneliness is close to being right this means that God’s concept of the family complemented by His establishment of the church family certainly makes our uniqueness as a community quite different and probably what most people are actually longing for.

Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in His holy habitation.
God settles the solitary in a home;
Psalm 68:5-6a 

Your Pastor,


Let me know what you think below in the comment section and feel free to share this someone who might benefit from this Pastor’s Desk.


  1. MIchael

    Good Pastor’s desk Dr C. I think your premise regarding loneliness is right – in this day where being friends with thousands and electronic connections to millions is somehow normal I don’t see people being more connected – I see them being less connected to family and friends and it is a tragic thing resulting in tragic ends.
    We all need God’s plan for family.
    Thanks for the great work!

    • Wendy

      Here, here Michael!!!

  2. LYDIA

    Unique, to be unique. This concept I often pointed out to my students years gone by. We are all totally and completely unique. Not anyone of us on this earth has ever been nor will be like the person that we are, being created in God’s image. There is not another clone of ours running around nor ever has been or will be. Which then makes us very special as you pointed out Andrew.
    To be in the state of aloneness or lonely I believe are two different things. A person can be alone and love it. A person could be lonely, yet God didn’t make us a solitary individual to live on an island. God is Trinity, so no loneliness there.
    It’s when we stop looking inwards and start to look outwards, touching the hearts of others, this is where community dwells and loneliness disappears. It’s when we realize that typing on our keyboards is fantastic but we still need to have human interaction of others to make our world ‘real’. Just as we need to hear God’s voice, we also need to hear other people’s voices otherwise some could slowly die inside.
    Love this text Andrew: ‘Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in His holy habitation. God settles the solitary in a home;’ Psalm 68:5-6a.
    Amen to that!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


For those unfamiliar with the story of the Bible who may be seeking to remedy that unfamiliarity, I would recommend that they start reading in the New Testament. It is there that they will be introduced immediately to Jesus who is the central character of the whole Bible. For many novice readers of the Bible who then attempt to read the Old Testament of the Bible (its first 39 books), it initially seems like they are reading a completely unrelated story which seems to describe a completely different God. But with a little patience and persistence the reader will begin to suspect that this is not a different story but is in fact the prequel to the New Testament. Then a strange supernatural thing happens as they continue to become acquainted with the lives of the patriarchs, judges, kings and prophets, as these characters interact with enemies, giants, angels, strange heavenly beings, and GOD Himself. The reader begins to see in a similar way to what a photographer could not previously see clearly until his camera’s focus was adjusted to make the picture clear — the GOD who created, acted, spoke and judged, frequently referred to Himself as ‘us’, ‘we’, ‘our’, and at times seemed to have conversations with divine characters identified as ‘the LORD’ and ‘Me’ and ‘His Spirit’ (Isa. 48:16). And this all begins to sound very reminiscent of the GOD described in the New Testament as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. With a growing knowledge of the Bible and hunger to understand it, the follower of Christ discovers that literally for thousands of years prior to this day there have been many many others who have also walked the journey of discovery through the mysterious pages of the Bible and have each made a startling discovery about the human Jesus’ pre-existence throughout the pages of the Old Testament.


The One who spoke the world into existence entered materially into His World and “split time in half”. He came to rescue the world because a great betrayal occurred. One of His chief agents was filled with self-deception and conceited envy and manipulated a serpent to his bidding in destroying the very last and highest of the Lord’s “very good” creation. Disappointingly she fell for it – and her husband who supposed to protect her failed in his most basic of responsibilities. Their fall from innocence and into grace plunged that was momentarily and formerly under their vice-regency. The world had now gone rogue. When the Eternal Son of God submitted to His co-LORD, the Holy Spirit placed Him into a virgin’s womb by uniting his consciousness and sinless essence with the ovum of this young virgin. In doing so, Immanuel relinquished none of His sovereign power or prerogatives but chose to lay aside His glory and become fully human. And for those who came to recognise who He actually was, it ever caused them to fall down at His feet in adoration, or shrink back from Him in terror. The side-effect of those who who adored him was a new ability to sleep. If you have trouble sleeping because of worries, you too can discover how an acquaintance with the Lordship of Jesus the Christ can also help you to sleep better. 


Today, “Jesus Christ is Lord” sounds like a bumper sticker or part of an ancient church liturgy but when Christianity was founded if someone uttered these words it could literally mean death! ’o christos ’o kurios “Christ is Lord” was a risky thing to declare when the only safe thing to declare was ’o kaiser ’o kurios “Caesar is Lord”! Yet it was upon these words that the earliest confession of the Church was founded. For the early Christians, this was not a glib, throw-away line uttered during a church service or something stuck on the backside of your donkey (or chariot if you were wealthy).  


I really dislike the expression ‘moving forward’. So many people say, ‘moving forward’ from the meeting, the experience, the…. whatever! Has anyone stopped to think that time continues. We can’t go back. Even if we are reflecting, or for that matter mulling, we are in the continuum of time, and unless we have a mythical time machine, we just can’t go backwards in time. Our only option is to ‘move forward’.


I have long said that my primary role as a shepherd-pastor is to help people to die well. To do this, as I have often said, requires that we learn how to live life well. Of all the normally uncomfortable subjects that Christians find it difficult to talk about, death should not be one of them. But it is. This is because, of all the world religions, only Christianity has a positive view of death. After all, we have a divine Saviour who confronted and conquered death. As a result the original apostles mocked death.
“O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”
¶ The sting of death is sin,
and the power of sin is the law.”
(First Corinthians 15:55-56)
These apostles refused to be intimidated by death which was ultimately evidenced by their martyrdoms. The apostle Paul could look forward to his death with the obvious lament that he would no longer be available to help those he had led to the Lord (Phil. 1:23-25). But he could face his impending death with the assurance that it would mean that he would immediately be in the presence of his Lord — and so should we! And like Paul, we too should be be able to talk about death in a very different way to those who do not know what we know.


A suburban home in Australia is shrinking in land size even though the average house size is headed in the opposite direction. What hasn’t changed is fencing around the block of land in order to separate it from a neighbour’s property. Broken fences, overgrown hedges and pets jumping fences are a known source of conflicts. We value our privacy. Those fences are boundaries. To go over them without permission will be trespassing. Renting, owning or owned outright – our home is our safe haven. When we chat with neighbours across the fence, there is a sense of security that comes with standing on our own patch of land. A little piece of Australia over which we have custody, albeit temporal.


Each of these uncomfortable topics in this brief series of articles are uncomfortable because there they carry a sense of embarrassment or even shame attached to them. But this particular topic also carries a good deal of pain associated with it – in addition to any feelings of embarrassment or shame. This pain may involve a sense of failure, betrayal, rejection, and humiliation. Divorce rarely effects just the two people involved in ending a marriage. Divorce can scar people like little else can. It can scar socially, financially, emotionally, relationally, and even a person’s physical health – and sometimes do so permanently.


All of us feel sad at some point – even people who are usually happy most of the time. Usually though for most people there will be some understandable reason for it. This might include the loss of a loved one, a certain disappointment, an accident, or sympathy for someone. This kind of sadness is temporary. But there is a kindness of sadness that lingers which leaves a person drained, teary, thinking dark thoughts, and feeling desperately lonely. This is usually when we consider someone is experiencing ‘depression’ and it is one of those things that Christians find difficult to admit to or even talk about.


There are some things that Christians can’t and don’t talk about – but probably should. So, I would like to pastorally share some thoughts about this taboo topic of doubt in what will be part 1 in this short series of pastor’s desk articles of four taboo topics that Christians can’t talk about.


Resilience was one of the predominant character traits of the early Christians. They called it being steadfast. For these early Christians being ‘resilient’ meant being able to keep going despite set backs, discouragements, betrayals, unforeseen circumstances, lack of energy, motivation, and resources. Like a weary hiker looking down a long road that leads to the mountain range they must walk over, being resilient in life means putting one foot in front of the other, and then doing it again, and again, and again, and so on. God knows that today, in what many are describing as “Post-Christendom” (and the resilient among us prefer to think of as Pre-Christendom) to be resilient is to live with a purpose, to stay focused, to live for others, and to strive toward a good, honourable, goal. With so many reasons to lose sight of the true purpose of life the tendency is to be tricked into believing that life right now is too hard. But the truth be told – people need to know how to be more resilient. Leaders especially need to be resilient right now. Churches assuredly need to be resilient at this time. With the recent interference into churches by government through the measures they said was “to keep people safe” — it has actually depleted people’s ability and willingness to be resilient! Here’s what leaders, people, and churches can do about it.