Living in Christ’s Image

Living in Christ’s Image

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I remember once coming across a vintage ad from the 1930’s that said, “Get fat for your husband.” I don’t think this company would last a week nowadays.

When this vintage ad was popular, being heavy was associated with being wealthy—a status reserved for the small number of individuals during a time of war when food was expensive.

Nowadays, the fad is to exercise and stay slim. Why? Because popular figures in the media tell us to do so.

In chapter 1 of Saint Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, we read the most amazing account of our identity in Christ. He starts off by telling us that, “He chose us before the foundation of the world.”

God was thinking about you, before you were born, before your parents got married, even before he started creating anything at all.

To put this concept in perspective, imagine that the coach of Barcelona came to your place and told you that you had been chosen to play for the team. Out of all the people in the world, you were hand-picked to play for Barcelona. They left all of the amazing South American soccer players and chose you. How special would you feel then? There would be no way to hide your excitement from all of your loved ones and acquaintances on social media. That is exactly what God has done for each one of us—multiplied by millions.

He created everything around you. You are the center of His creation. In the book of Genesis, He said “let there be” this or “let there be” that. But when it came to creating humans—as if drum roll was playing in the background to introduce the most important event in creation—He said, “Make man in our image, according to our likeness.”

Then He repeats, “So God made man in His own image” and “in the image of God, He created him; male and female He created them.”

I don’t know if you see it, but when I read these verses, I imagine God as a proud parent standing on the hospital bed, so excited about his new son or daughter. And in the midst of his excitement, he is saying to his wife, “Look he has my nose; look she has my eyes.”

And in excitement, he is repeating it again and again in case she didn’t hear it the first ten times. I think it was the same with God when He created us. He was so excited not only about our nose or eyes but about everything we are.

So I think the key to realizing our image is to realize our identity. We have been chosen before the foundation of the world. We have a secret admirer who has been so busy for the last million years thinking about you, not concerned with with ever-changing fads and trends. His image of who you are does not change in the last million of years and will never change. Let this simple yet profound fact satisfy any need you may feel to please people by trying to look or act a certain way. Take care of what God has created and go in peace.

To share the message of living in Christ’s image with your people around the world, Saint Shenouda Monastery’s production team, Asaph Tunes, is releasing an album entitled “In His Image.” This album reminds young people of the great privilege that God freely gave to humanity to emulate His image and likeness. Each track in the album is a journey of one of Asaph Tunes’ young artists in understanding this fact in his or her life. To listen or learn more, visit http://www.asaphtunes.com/video/.

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About author
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Father Anthony St. Shenouda

Rev. Anthony is a Coptic Orthodox monk from St. Shenouda Monastery in Australia. He completed his Doctor of Philosophy on the subject of the Arrow Prayer in the Coptic Tradition. In the monastery, Father Anthony collaborates with many young people to produce Orthodox books and music.