Reflection for Today ▶️ ⏩ ⏹️
The Son | who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
— Colossians 1:15
The earthly son of God is the image of the invisible God. Therefore to encounter the son is to encounter God. In his letter to the Galatians 1 Paul tells them (and through them, us, the readers) ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus,2 and in his letter to the Romans he says The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ.3
Logically then, this universal sonship in faith implies that to encounter each other is to encounter God. I'm twisting the language here, taking some poetic liberty, but only very little. After all, Jesus himself says ...love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. Jesus had a wider scope of sonship, even than Paul. He didn't ask that people believe in him to become sons of God, only that they love their enemy, the other. In the Jesus sense of sonship Christians and non-Christians alike are offspring of the living God, and to see each other is to see God.
Each of us has the potential to be the image of the invisible God. Each of us has the potential to see the invisible God in the other. All this brings to mind the beautiful words of George Fox, written in 1656 and still considered the bedrock of the Quaker faith,
"...walk cheerfully over the world, answering that of God in everyone." 4
1 The epistle's authors claim to be Paul and Timothy, but authorship began to be authoritatively questioned during the 19th century. It remains one of the disputed letters, no longer listed among the seven genuine Pauline letters. See the introductory note here.
2 Galatians 3:26
3 Romans 8:16-17a
4 Read about the history of this statement, "That of God in Every Man", What Did George Fox Mean by It?, Quaker Heritage Press, 1970