Misfits on a Mission, Finding Identity in Jesus

Swimming Lessons, Week 1: “Garden Culture”

This message kicks off a new teaching series exploring the ways we are formed and malformed by culture. In this first message, Pastor T. C. lays a foundation for the series by starting where the biblical story starts: in Genesis chapter 1. In the story of Genesis 1 and 2, God creates humanity in God’s “image.” This “image of God” (Latin: imago Dei) is less about attributes humanity possesses and more about a calling with which humanity is blessed. God blesses humanity by calling them to be divine representatives on earth, royal stewards of the creation. Humanity is called to co-create culture with God—to reflect into the creation the loving reign of God, and to gather up the praises of creation and express them to the Creator.

This imago Dei calling with which humanity is blessed also a reflection of the nature of God. God is a loving community of persons, unity with diversity. In the same way, God created humanity male and female to reflect God’s unity with diversity. The creation also reflects the unity with diversity of the Creator. Humanity is called to celebrate the unity with diversity of the creation, including the partnership (not patriarchal domination) of men and women.

Finally, this imago Dei calling with which humanity is blessed is a mandate to cultivate the flourishing of creation (shalom). The Garden is a glimpse of God’s intent for the world. God intends there to be wholeness, fruitfulness, harmony, and justice. God intends people to be rightly related to God, to one another, to themselves, and to the rest of creation.

All of this forms the foundation of a biblical understanding of how God intends culture to work in and through our lives.