Jesus Raya

March 22, 2021

Lenten Devotions

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

– Genesis 1:27

I remember my high school religion teacher telling me about how she used to wonder what God looked like. She told me that as a kid, she had heard Genesis 1:27 and acknowledged that all of us were made in the image and likeness of God. Hearing this, her young self concluded that if we took this statement to be true, then it must follow that God looks like us. In her case, God looked like a young Black girl.

What a revolutionary concept. I remember taking this information and just sitting with it. It was a lot to take in not because God as a Black girl is radically different from the way we portray God now, but because I had never sat with how powerful the statement “we are all made in the image and likeness of God” actually is.

In this society, image is everything. What we look like often decides the levels of advantages and disadvantages we are able to enjoy/are faced with in this world. This “image” can refer to race, ethnicity, size, ability, etc. Although we are all said to be created in God’s image and likeness, we have somehow created a hierarchy where one image is deemed more preferable to the rest. This goes directly against the meaning of the statement that we are all made in God’s image and likeness. For isn’t God perfect? And are we not then all perfectly made?

I would like to challenge you to imagine God as something other than what you have traditionally imagined. Perhaps this change is a change in gender. Perhaps this change is a change in race. Perhaps God takes on ALL of those things that you look in the mirror and wish you could change about yourself. Would imagining this change in God change your perspective on who you deem to have the “perfect image”? Would it make you more accepting of the images of those who do not look like you? Would it make you more accepting of yourself?

I am not here to tell you what God looks like. All of this is simply to reinforce what we all need to embody. We have all been perfectly made in God’s image and likeness. Never let anyone (including yourself) tell you otherwise.
- Jesus Raya ’22
Cal Lutheran Student

Univ Chapel 202021 theme (2)