We have been reading the book, “Embracing Grace” by Scot McKnight during our Wednesday night small group gatherings. In Scot’s book, he says that we are made in the image of God (all of us). I never considered myself as an image of God. The more I consider the implications of being an image of God; I realize where my value is found. As eikons (icons – images) of God, we are called to reflect Christ at all times. Eikons are important for many reasons. An eikon on a computer is a picture that, once clicked on, leads an individual to a program. For example: When I click on the “W” eikon on my computer, the eikon is highlighted and opens up Microsoft Word.
Another place one might see eikons are in churches. In some Orthodox churches, eikons (or pictures) are used in order to help people remember different events or people from the Bible. These are not worshipped however. Its sole purpose is to lead the person to remember, as I have already said, an event or person from the Word of God. During the dark ages, stain-glass windows were a type of eikon. Many people during that time were unable to read. So the stain-glass pictures were used to teach those who were unable to read about the Word of God. When people saw the pictures, they could be reminded of what they had learned. Eikons are not bad if seen in the right light. It can be a valuable part of knowing God and meditating on the character of God.
I have come to a place where I have to ask of myself, “What eikon am I reflecting?” It is not a “fuzzy, fun” question to answer. It really hits the core of one’s soul. Being an eikon of God is more than just being a picture. It is being a picture and a reflection of God, Himself. As I consider the implications of being an eikon for God, I am humbled. I really am not doing a good job at it.
I wish I could tell you that when I look into the mirror, the reflection looking back at me is an eikon of God. Unfortunately, what I see most is a young, clueless kid who wants more of what everyone else has rather than wanting to be himself. On the outside, I have struggled to be worthy, liked/loved by others, popular, appreciated, and even famous at times. In truth, all of those things are not necessarily bad. If one compromises their eikon though for these things, he or she has devalued their reflection of who God has made them to be. True value is found when we accept and become content in being the eikon we were called to be. My reflection is unique and important to the body of Christ. I cannot allow the eikons of others to take the place of who I really am.
So, tonight, I called a couple of people from the church I go to and asked them for forgiveness. I asked them if they would forgive me for not reflecting the eikon of God. It is humbling to tell another person that you are jealous of them because they appear to be more popular or welcomed or even wanted than you are. As I finished each phone call (and there were a couple important ones), I felt as though apart of the pseudo-eikon I was attempting to reflect was fading away. When at last I made my last phone call, I hung up the phone and, for the first time in a long while, felt as though I was free to an eikon of God, reflecting Him and not others. Now the challenge for myself is to continually keep my reflection in check. For the first couple of weeks, I will probably have to revisit this post and reread all that I have just written. It is my prayer that I will take these words and write them on my heart.
So, I am left to be myself, an eikon of God. It is when we stop reflecting the eikons of others and reflect the eikon of ourselves, we truly able to live and breathe as God had intended. “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Shine your light before all men.” – Reflect God and love others. Can you picture that?