Sub-Creators

Scripture Reading — Genesis 1:26-31

“Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule. . . .” — Genesis 1:26

When an ancient king built a temple, the crowning moment would happen when he placed an image of a god in that temple. This was usually a great carved statue, placed there to remind everyone of the god’s strength, beauty, and virtue.

As the creation story of Genesis reaches its peak, the Lord God places a living, breathing image and likeness at the center of his creation. God creates humankind in the very image of God. And God gives humankind the great dignity and task of living in God’s image. God rules, so human beings are made to rule.

J.R.R. Tolkien labored for ­decades to create an imaginary world in great depth and detail. We can read about it in his books such as The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Tolkien sometimes described his work as “sub-creation.”

God, in creating us, also created us to create. We are sub-creators, intended to speak, build, tend, and rule in ways that reflect God’s goodness, justice, beauty, and truth.

Just thinking about the majesty and grandeur of all that God has created can profoundly humble us. It is an antidote to our pride. At the same time, it can lift us up from feelings of meaninglessness or hopelessness, for we are created to be kings and queens, participating in God’s rule. We are created for no less than majesty!

Prayer

“Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!” (Psalm 8:1). You have created the world in glory, and you have made us rulers over the works of your hands. Amen.