And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness… So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. – Genesis 1:26-27
Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. – 1 John 3:2
Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; – Exodus 20:4-5
And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these. – Mark 12:29-31
As we await Jesus' coming in this season of advent and set before our eyes His incarnation, we ought also to look forward to the day when we will see Him again in glory. At His first coming, Christ made manifest the fullness of God in flesh. The apostles beheld Him and extend His manifestation to us through the proclamation of the Word. If we receive the Word and confess Him, we receive eternal life and show forth the glory of His coming. We become incarnate words: images of God rescued from death.
Death came into the world when we denied God's word, when we did not hearken to His voice. In that day our eyes were opened. We saw that we were naked, and we covered His images. We hid ourselves from His presence. At His coming, He calls us out of hiding and gives us His Word once more. He sheds blood to cover our shame. We who sat in darkness have seen a great light in which we can no longer hide. We are covered by the very true Image of God to walk in the light of His Word.
What began as light will end in sabbath on the coming Day of the Lord. The eternal and resurrected Son of God will be revealed once more, and we will be changed. Beholding what we have not beheld, we will become what we have not been: true and unblemished icons of His nature, living icons in which are the Spirit of life. Therefore, as we await His coming, let us guard ourselves from idols: false images which have no Spirit in them. We are called to love one another. We are called to love God's images and to serve them. If we serve that which has no Spirit, we submit ourselves once more to death and cover our faces from the radiance of His glory.
At the incarnation, the name of God came to rest in His temple forever. We are His temple, the place where His glory dwells. We are one body, the living tabernacle of the High King. So then, let us offer Him our prayers, our songs, and the fruit of our hands. Let us love one another as those who love face to face. May we never look away in shame and seek a false image. May we never deny Him who is our covering, who has done away with all shame and all falsehood by His coming. May we not prolong this season of advent and, by hating to look on Him, commit the sin of Cain and subject creation to further labor and groaning. If we look to Him in repentance, He will look on us in mercy and reveal Himself to us. By this revelation we ourselves will be revealed, and with us the glory of all creation.