It is important that Christians provide thoughtful and loving engagement in all aspects of life. The incarnation of Christ I believe, demands this of his people. God willingly embraced the fullness of humanity by participating in Jewish culture, communicating in its language, rejoicing in celebrations and grieving at funerals. God not only revealed himself in Jesus, a first century Jewish teacher, but he also blessed humanity to look upon his face, in whose image and likeness we were fashioned. God willingly embraced humanity and because of this embrace, humanity discovered not only who God is but also what it means to be fully human.
Humanity is sacred. We all, regardless of our ethnicity, nationality, politics, economics, gender and sexual orientation are all sacred because we are the image bearers of God. God created the universe outside of himself over a period of time and in this creation he placed humanity which is the sole reflection of God. Schaeffer commented that the “reasonableness of the incarnation...turns on this point-that man, as man is created in the image of God.” The God who is personal created a personal humanity that is distinct from all creation. There is a gulf that is fixed between man and plants, man and technology, man and apes; as God presented himself not as one of these, but as one who bore his image and personality. This is the sacred nature of humanity.
This is where our treatment of one another begins. If you spend any length of time with another person then you discover that they possess similar hopes, dreams, struggles and pains as you do. You discover that beyond all the multitudes of cultural varieties, ideas and materials that separate us, we are looking at a family member with whom we share a common ancestor. Laws are built upon this reality whether legislators are willing to ascent to it or not. Our sacred character as humans is why our laws demand that we not steal or covet, lie or murder, disrespect or break covenant. When we violate what is evident in all our relationships or written in legislation; we violate the sacredness of our humanity. We deny our sacred and unique identity.
The incarnation calls us to be fully human. Humanity is called to embrace the sacredness of her character and become what she was supposed to be prior to the arrival of darkness, despair and death. It is the call that Jesus gave to his first century hearers as he embraced not just the despair in which humanity sat but also bringing with him what living, speaking and loving as a human is supposed to be-a reflection of God. Our culture is looking for their question to be answered, “What does it look like to be human?”
This past Sunday, President Barack Obama gave a very emotional speech regarding Newton. Newton in a brief period of time presented to us what humanity becomes when an individual forgets the sacredness of humanity, both in himself and others. President Obama in a small way exhorted his hearers to question whether we are doing enough as humans to guard the sacredness of humanity in which he stated,
” This is our first task -- caring for our children. It’s our first job. If we don’t get that right, we don’t get anything right. That’s how, as a society, we will be judged. And by that measure, can we truly say, as a nation, that we are meeting our obligations? Can we honestly say that we’re doing enough to keep our children -- all of them -- safe from harm? Can we claim, as a nation, that we’re all together there, letting them know that they are loved, and teaching them to love in return? Can we say that we’re truly doing enough to give all the children of this country the chance they deserve to live out their lives in happiness and with purpose?”
I agree with President Obama in his statement that we will be judged as a society on how we care for our children. But more than that, we will be judged as a society on how we truly sought to protect the sacredness of all humans-American and not. This judgment on society will not only rest with the protection of our children but also how far we are willing to go to value life at all stages, protecting one another from the ideas and actions of those who view life not as sacred but disposable- so that all have “the chance they deserve to live out their lives in happiness and with purpose.”
The sacredness of humanity is undeniable in our relationships and legislations. We discover that in the midst of horrific circumstances that our humanness is not only fragile but we discover that it is to be guarded. We are men and women crafted to reflect our Creator, accomplishing astounding acts of love and care with Jesus providing humanity the clearest representation of what being human is to be.
But if humanity is so sacred, if we are image bearers of God, then what explanations do we have regarding the events last week?
 Francis Schaeffer, Verifiable Facts and Knowing from the God Who is There, Crossway, Wheaton, 1990.
 President Barack Obama, Remarks by the President at Sandy Hook Interfaith Prayer Vigil, http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/12/16/remarks-president-sandy-hook-interfaith-prayer-vigil, Dec 16, 2012.
Copyright Arrowmakers 2019