Posted by Dr. Wade Smith on May 26, 2017
The drive up and down I-35 is familiar to anyone who lives in central Oklahoma. While construction detours often frustrate and result in extended travel delays, there are times along the interstate where the peaceful rhythm of driving offers time for reflection and observation.
Recently, I returned to Norman from Texas. Interstate traffic was light as the sun began to set behind a bank of clouds. As the setting sun approached the horizon, a picturesque sunset offered magnificent shades of yellow, orange, red, purple and blue. I detected the work of an artist displaying a unique masterpiece to all who would notice. I offered a word of thanksgiving to the Creator for revealing the beauty and grandeur of His divine glory and majesty.
Then, I remembered that we are God’s workmanship. The climax of creation is not a sunset, but the creation of men and women. Genesis 1 proclaims that you and I are created in the “Image of God.” As “image-bearers” we are created to cultivate and nurture life on the earth and with each other.
The Psalmist declares that each of us are fearfully and wonderfully made as the Lord forms and weaves us in our mother’s womb. A beautiful sunset is marvelous, but it pales in comparison to the beauty and wonder of each person.
The New Testament picks up on this imagery as well. In Ephesians 2 we are confronted with the reality of our “lifelessness.” The sin and darkness of the world have robbed us of the life intended by our Creator. Yet, God being rich in love, mercy and creativity sets about to restore and renew life in us.
By grace through faith in Christ Jesus, the Spirit of God breathes new life into us. This miracle offers forgiveness and second chances for those beaten and worn down by the selfishness and brokenness of this world.
The Apostle Paul then announced that all who have received this gift of grace are the “workmanship” of God. “Workmanship” is translated from the original language from a word that is transliterated “poema.” Thus, in Christ Jesus, we are the “poema” of God.
Wow! What a beautiful image! We are the poem that God composes. We are the sunset that God paints. We are the masterpiece that God sculpts. We are the workmanship of God!
The craftsmanship and artistry of God are displayed through the good works of people. Those being shaped and formed by God manifest the work of God in their lives by serving others and doing good. Feeding the hungry or offering a drink to the thirsty are beautiful poems. Visiting the sick or the imprisoned are magnificent paintings. Welcoming the stranger is a masterful sculpture.
I am learning to be more appreciative of the beautiful Oklahoma sunsets, giving thanks to the Lord for these majestic works of art. I am also learning to be more aware of the beautiful masterpieces the Lord is painting on the canvases of our lives. The Artist is at work and it is a blessing to watch!
So, let us give thanks for how the “Image of God” is uniquely revealed in each of us and how through Christ the “Poems of God” are wondrously being written in us.