Recently on Sunday mornings, we have been looking at the first chapters in Genesis, the first book in the bible. We have been challenged by the story of Creation, and of God creating people in His image.

“ God created man in His own image,

In the image of God He created him,

Male and female he created them.”                Genesis 1: 27

If we have a theme for this new session ahead, maybe it needs to be based on this teaching; that every person is made in the image of God and is valuable in God’s sight. If we really took this teaching to heart then we would, I suspect, treat one another very differently. We would give people the benefit of the doubt, show grace and, instead of gossiping, would be trying to look for the best in one another.

In Jesus’ life on earth he had time for all sorts of people. He spent time with the tax collectors, with religious leaders, with the woman who was bleeding, with prostitutes, with people with leprosy – he mixed with everybody, and treated each one with dignity and compassion, bringing each one his healing touch, a word of challenge, or the word of grace they needed. At all times he seemed conscious of the value and sanctity of life.

In today’s world we seem to have lost sight of this. People are treated casually, as if they don’t matter. Whether it is being badly paid in the work place, or made to go through unnecessary hoops in the benefit system, our culture seems to delight in running people down, and exploiting them.

Jesus calls His followers to live differently – to value life, to cherish each individual, to do what we can. Jesus said “ Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25: 40)   We need to remember that every time we interact with another human being, we are doing this for Jesus Himself.

In the year ahead, our theme is “Valuing one another” and we’ll be considering how we can best put this into practice.

Every blessing,

Fiona Gardner