Living with the nuisance of transformation

Genesis 1:27 says that human beings, male and female, are created “in the image of God.” While, Colossians 1:15 convey that Jesus Christ is the “image of the invisible God.” Thus to say that we are created in the image of God is to say that we are created in Jesus Christ.

That is why over the course of our exploration of this belief in our spiritual formation we are always reminded over and again with the realization that to be spiritual is to be human and that life is the arena of the journey towards being more fully human and that our human existence finds its basis, origin, and form in Jesus. He is our prototype and fulfilment.

However, that in itself is but a portion of this greater reality as we have come also to learn that even now we are gradually being transformed and our lives and all its facets are being pieced together to re-orient us with the startling reality of God’s future that has been inaugurated by Jesus Christ, the kingdom that approaches even now and sets our present lives within the context of God’s reality –which culminates towards our transformation to Christlikeness: to becoming indeed fully human!

The Eastern Orthodox understanding of salvation presents a very fascinating insight that is encapsulated in the theme of Christ’s incarnation to which church historian, Bruce Shelly writes:

The great theme of Orthodox theology is the incarnation of God and the re-creation of man. According to Orthodoxy when man sins he does not violate the divinely established legal relationship between God and man; he reduces the divine likeness –he inflicts a wound in the original image of God.

Salvation, therefore consists, of the restoration of the full image. Christ, the incarnate God, came to earth to restore the icon of God in man. The major themes of Orthodoxy then are rebirth, re-creation and the transfiguration of man[1].

But for now, I cannot say that I am enjoying this transformation, for if that is the ultimate goal –then that would mean also going through what Christ has gone through…

…the path of following Christ is costly, it is impractical, full of difficult choices that most of the time overwhelms me; not to mention a path paved with pain and tears…for even Christ himself, lived and was lead into asking: “Eloi Eloi lema sabachthani?” (Mark 15:34)

This is a question that I often ask myself as I now face the dire consequences of decisions that I regret doing, of sins that I committed without thinking, of relationships that I hurt because of my selfishness. Hence, transformation is not bliss it is enduring perseverance in the hope that all will be well, and that when all is said and done we will always have Jesus, therefore to live a life that looks forward to this transformation is to always pray: “Father, into your hands I commit…” (Luke 23:46)

[1] Shelly, Bruce. Church History in Plain Language (Waco: Word, 1982)  p.161


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