Chapter 5

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” Genesis 1:26

“When human beings give their heartfelt allegiance to and worship that which is not God, they progressively cease to reflect the image of God. Those who worship money increasingly define themselves in terms of it and increasingly treat other people as creditors, debtors, partners, or customers rather than as human beings. Those who worship power define themselves in terms of it and treat other people as either collaborators, competitors, or pawns. These and many other forms of idolatry combine in a thousand ways, all of them damaging to the image-bearing quality of the people concerned and of those whose lives they touch.” ― N.T. Wright

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “See, the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them as their God; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them; he will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away.” And the one who was seated on the throne said, “See, I am making all things new.” (Revelation 21:1-5)

God of new beginnings, you wipe away our tears and call us to care for one another. Give us eyes to see your gifts, hearts to embrace all creation, and hands to serve you every day of our lives. We ask this in the name of Jesus. Amen. (Revised Common Lectionary)

“Words are easy, help comes at cost. Sometimes the needs of people are so deep that any thought of help is depressing. How do we help children with fetal alcohol syndrome or adults with neither the skills nor the desire to be self-supporting? Often, the only possible avenue is a communal one. We cannot, of course, meet all the needs, but to be blind to needs or unengaged in addressing them contradicts what it means to be in Christ.” – Klyne Snodgrass, NT theologian

“Lord Jesus Christ, who are called the Prince of Peace, who are yourself our peace and reconciliation, who so often said, “Peace to you,” grant us peace. Make all men and women witnesses of truth, justice, and brotherly love. Banish from their hearts whatever might endanger peace. Enlighten our rulers that they may guarantee and defend the great gift of peace. May all peoples on the earth become as brothers and sisters. May longed for peace blossom forth and reign always over us all.” – Pope John Paul II

“My prayer is that the Holy Spirit would sweep into our lives with holy disruption, upending our assumptions and privileges, our greed and selfishness, our pride and our stupor, to empower our work and our witness. Like Zechariah 4:6 tells us, not by might, not by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord.” ― Sarah Bessey

“There is only one head to our body… that head is the Lord Jesus Christ. His desire is that we would function under him who, as our head, supplies us with everything we need to live as God’s people in both the church and the world. THAT is ministry: the person who, with a renewed mind, conforms themselves to the image of Christ by offering their life in service to the world.” – Gordon Fee

“Faith is not a blind thing; for faith begins with knowledge. It is not a speculative thing; for faith believes facts of which it is sure. It is not an unpractical, dreamy thing; for faith trusts, and stakes its destiny upon the truth of revelation.” ― Charles H. Spurgeon

“Christ says, “Give me All. I don’t want so much of your time and so much of your money and so much of your work: I want You. I have not come to torment your natural self, but to kill it. No half-measures are any good…Hand over the whole natural self, all the desires which you think innocent as well as the ones you think wicked–the whole outfit. I will give you a new self instead. In fact, I will give you Myself: my own will shall become yours.” – C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

“Many of my students don’t get the practice of silence. They feel stupid and awkward just sitting there quietly. What, they ask, am I supposed to be doing? And the answer is… nothing. And that’s the point. Unfortunately, we believe that we must be doing something, producing something, for our lives and our very selves to have meaning, worth, and value. Silence challenges that assumption. And in that newly opened space I can come to experience my non-productive self [who I am, not what I do] as valued and loved by God.” – Richard Beck

“Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light.” (Ephesians 5:11-14)

“In a futile attempt to erase our past, we deprive the community of our healing gift. If we conceal our wounds out of fear and shame, our inner darkness can neither be illuminated nor become a light for others.” ― Brennan Manning

“Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us, but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that.” (Ephesians 5:1-2, The Message)

“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.” ― Plato

“Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.” (Ephesians 5:11)

“When we expose (or reprove or convince about) sins, we should be clear in our own theological understanding of the issues and of the reasons why specific acts are wrong. The darkness will not be exposed if the light does not know what it is talking about.” – Klyne Snodgrass

Author Rachel Held Evans could always be counted on to bring a strong opinion to the debate over women’s roles in the church: “I’ve watched congregations devote years and years to heated arguments about whether a female missionary should be allowed to share about her ministry on a Sunday morning, whether students older than ten should have female Sunday school teachers, whether girls should be encouraged to attend seminary, whether women should be permitted to collect the offering or write the church newsletter or make an announcement . . . all while thirty thousand children die every day from preventable disease. If that’s not an adventure in missing the point, I don’t know what is.” (Quoted from, “A Year of Biblical Womanhood”)