God Complex | UMC YoungPeople
Connecting young people and their adult leaders to God, the church, and the world
February 2012

God Complex

By: Alexis Williams

We’re told at the very beginning of Genesis that God created everything. After each act of creation, each ordering of the universe into something, God sees that is good. And then God makes a decision. “Let Us make humankind in Our image, according to Our likeness…” (Genesis 1:26a) When God has finished creating humankind, and has blessed them, God sees that it is very good. The Bible’s words, not mine.

So what does it mean to be created in the image of the One who is infinitely creative? To be the image of the One who brought order to the formless chaos, created the stars and the amoebas and everything in between? Don’t get me wrong, I’m actually not a literalist…more in the intelligent design camp. But that still makes God infinitely creative, and us the image of the One who has more ideas than we could imagine. So what does it mean?

I have recently rediscovered an appreciation for the human ability to create, to manipulate objects into something that they were not before. I have a friend that can sit at a piano and make endless notes come from those 88 keys. Songs that will haunt you or inspire you, depending on the mood he is in. I have another friend that can turn phrases into stories that you could get lost in for hours. And still another friend that can sing with such passion, you feel infused with his emotions. That doesn’t include the painters, sketch artists, poets, potters, directors, photographers, etc that live in this world.

To me, that is what it means to be the image of the Creator. We allow ourselves to look at the world just a little bit differently and see the possibilities before us. We press into creation, immerse ourselves in beauty, and maybe re-order things into something that wasn’t there before. We take the emotions living inside of us, and we put them out there for the world to see. It’s being willing to be vulnerable to those around us, and to be vulnerable to ourselves. Once we create something, we have to deal with that creation as something outside of ourselves.

I have to confess, I’ve been living in my head lately. I’ve been focused on teaching during my sermons, increasing my congregation’s knowledge of God. Which is great and has a place. For Transfiguration Sunday, I decided to put some poetry out there…slam or spoken word, however you want to describe it. It was intense and fun….and completely different that giving out knowledge. It was my heart laid bare for my congregation to judge. I loved it. So now, I’m going to do every sermon in Lent in this way. I have no idea if the congregation liked it or not, but it’s the most alive I have felt in a long time. I think that may have something to do with embracing the image of the divine that I was meant to be. I dare you to join me.

Discussion Question: What are some other ways we can more fully embrace the image of God we were created to be?

See more devotions from Alexis and our other Young Adult writers, or find our how you can become a writer yourself at our By Young Adults for Young Adults devotion page.