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.
A UNIQUENESS LIKE NO OTHER
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.
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.
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
OUR UNIQUENESS REQUIRED A UNIQUE SAVIOUR
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.”
OUR UNIQUENESS MAKES US FAMILY
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;
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.
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