Next week the College will hold our annual Imago Day, with this year’s theme being “Made Unique; Same Worth”. Imago Day is a play on words from a Latin expression ‘Imago Dei’ meaning ‘the image of God’ and the Bible reveals what this means. In Genesis 1:27 we read "God created mankind in his own image...male and female He created them", this is not referring to the physical shape of humans, and the entire Bible consistently reveals what this means with people holding a unique moral, spiritual and intellectual place in creation.
Humans are unique in their place on Earth, yet they are also unique in their differences to each other which is another important aspect of God’s plan. These differences mean that we bring different ideas and abilities to situations - seeing things differently is appropriate and good. Different interpretations of situations, words and actions occur because of the unique history and perspective of each person. However, it is very important to know that God gives us the lens to use for people and situations because He made us and values us all equally. God values our uniqueness.
It is sad when differences are used by people to create value because once value is put on something it means that there is also a lack of value on other things. This will turn into a lack of value for a trait and ultimately for the person with that trait. The value of unique characteristics is constructed and perpetuated by people – sometimes in their own mind or sometimes by others and sadly often believed by people.
Recent press coverage of attitudes of boys towards girls in schools in Australia are very concerning and indicate a warped view that is based on these young men having what appears to be a consumer attitude that doesn’t respect or give value to young women or relationships. Developing an understanding in students that ‘everybody being made in the image of God gives all people their true value’ will require many conversations. Young men and women will develop their attitudes from all of their “educators” – parents, friends, teachers, media, leaders, etc – and the challenge will be to overcome the strong message of Australian culture which is not in line with the value that Jesus places on people. I suggest that culture warps the view of all people in that culture.
We would love for students to value their unique combination of culture, appearance, family, abilities and challenges and accept that God uses this in developing their purpose and we will continue to share the incredible value of each person as shown through Jesus’ birth, life, death and resurrection. All people, not only children, will have genuine peace and hope when they are confident in being made unique – different to everyone else – yet at the same time having the same worth as everyone else.
Made Unique; Same Worth