Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” Genesis 1:26–28
The story of creation is an amazing one, the beauty, the power, the immediacy, the poetry. After God made the earth and everything in it, he made the people; made in the image of God the one true God yet both female and male, both infused with the Spirit (the breath) of God and given the holy charge to care for and rule over created things, together.
In an overlapping scene (the story is told a couple of times in the fist three chapters of Genesis), God makes women out of a rib bone of the man who upon wakening utters the first words recorded of humankind, a poem, a love song — from the man to the woman, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” (Genesis 2:23) Beautiful. Mutual. Creative. God honoring.
And then the man and woman chose not trust God. Sin entered the world and along with anything in the universe brokenenss occurs — the natural consequence of sin. From that day forward, the Bible tells us, “all of creation groans,” we too groan, there is enmity and strife, murder, brokeness, selfishness and the exercise of dominion in ways that are wholly different and holy different than that of Kingdom Dominion.
And if the story ended there, it would be really, really depressing. But, it does not. God moves into the story as a human being announcing that God’s restoration project had begun, “the Kingdom of God is at hand, it is among you.” He then modeled that good news in his life, remained faithful to it even in death as he took the consequences of the fall upon himself, and empowered our ability to live into this new way through his resurrection.
Now we live in this already realized Kingdom, amidst the reality that there is a “not yet” component to it — the brokenness still exists until Christ returns, but with the greater reality that we as his followers have the ability to speak healing, resurrection and restoration in the midst of the broken. This speaking plays out in the ways that we care for the planet (that gets broken because of the fall), in ways we care for the least and the marginalized (who are in those positions because of the fall) and so on. Finally, and not at all least, it plays out in the way we value and honor women, not in ways that reflect the fall, but in ways that reflect the resurrection and restoration realities Christ brings.
And that is good news! Not just for women, but for men as well. It is good news for mom’s and non-mom’s, for mom’s who work outside of the home and for mom’s who do not. It is good news for the single and the married. It’s good news to girls and women abused, subjected and objectified throughout the world. It is good news for all of us called to bring an end to these abuses and is even the hope for those who perpetrate these oppressions. The gospel brings light to the world — to your life, to mine and to all who are made in the image of God.
Peace, hope and love