Day Eight: You Are Created in God’s Image

God’s image shines through your life. You are God’s beloved and cherished child. Accept the love you have received and share it with others.

At New Year’s, the media bombards us with messages about weight loss, diet, resolutions, and self-improvement. If only we could be transformed to become the people we are meant to be, we would be happy and we would be loved these messages promise. Today’s affirmation asserts that deep down you already have everything you need for a joyful, creative, generous, and abundant life. You are created in the image of God. And, so is everyone else. You are loved and loveable and will experience love that transforms and heals in the year ahead.

“Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness,” reflects God’s vision for our lives. Like the Holy Adventure we call God, we are dynamic, creative, and relational beings. Like God, we are new every morning and abundant in possibility, regardless of our current life situation.

Adventurous spirituality banishes shame: we deserve to be here and we deserve to be loved. In this very moment and for all time, we reflect God, and we are constantly receiving insights and intuitions to change our lives and the world. We are made to give and receive love. And, this gift is given to all of God’s children. In touch with our true identity, we have everything we need to succeed, prosper, and serve God. Regardless of what others have said about you or your own negative self-talk, you are God’s beloved child, reflecting God’s beauty. And God rejoices in you.

A chant I learned at the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation in Washington DC simply proclaims, “I thank you God for the wonder of my being.” You can adapt this chant to say, “I thank you God for the wonder of my body,” “I thank you God for the wonder of my imagination,” or any aspect of your life for which you are grateful. And, you can adapt it to say: “I thank you God for the wonder of all being” or “I thank you God for the wonder of her [or his] being.” Each moment and each life is filled with God’s creative love and wisdom. Even when we cover ourselves with darkness, God’s light shines in the gaps, guiding our way the moment we open our eyes.

Throughout the day, open yourself to God’s vision and presence in your life with the following affirmations:

I am created in God’s image: I am beautiful and beloved.
I thank God for the wonder of my being.
My life reflects divine beauty and wisdom.
(Another person’s) life reflects divine beauty and wisdom.

In the course of today’s adventures, experience your own divinity and holiness. You are, as Emerson proclaims, “a bard of the Holy Spirit,” constantly receiving and giving God’s blessing and wisdom to others. But, just as important, experience the divinity and holiness of your brothers and sisters. See God’s presence beneath all of its disguises and seek to bring it forth to give and receive blessings. You are blessed so that you can be a blessing to your world.

(For more on this journey, see “Holy Adventure: Forty-one Days of Audacious Living,” published by Upper Room.)

About Bruce Epperly

Rev. Bruce Epperly, Ph.D., serves as Pastor at South Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, Centerville, MA. Prior to coming to Cape Cod in 2013, he served on the faculties and often in administrative and chaplaincy roles at Georgetown University, Claremont School of Theology, Wesley Theological Seminary, and Lancaster Theological Seminary. Bruce is currently a professor in spirituality, ministry, and theology in the doctoral program at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington D.C. He has served as pastor or interim pastor of congregations in Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. He is the author or co-author of over 35 books in the areas of theology, spirituality, ministerial excellence and spiritual formation, scripture, and healing and wholeness, including Process Theology: Embracing Adventure with God; Finding God in Suffering: A Journey with Job; From Here to Eternity: Preparing for the Next Adventure; and A Center in the Cyclone: Clergy Self-care in the 21st Century.