After all the people were baptized, Jesus was baptized. As he was praying, the sky opened up and the Holy Spirit, like a dove descending, came down on him. And along with the Spirit, a voice: “You are my Son, chosen and marked by my love, pride of my life.” Luke 3:21-22
God spoke: "Let us make human beings in our image, make them reflecting our nature…" Gen. 1:28
Lately a favorite activity of the toddlers in my house has been trying on other people's shoes. On the surface it's just a game, mostly cute, occasionally inconvenient for the true owners. But on a deeper level, they're trying out what it will mean to be big - to grow up like their brother, sister, parents.
What does it mean to be made in the imago Dei, to grow up into the image of God? From the very beginning, God reveals that an essential part of God's nature is "us-ness," relationship, love. And as Jesus prepares to launch his public ministry, this is the most important thing for him to remember - it's divine love that marks him and shows him to be his father's son.
Let's take a few minutes to talk with God about being marked by his love. Maybe it would be helpful to imagine God speaking those words of blessing and affirmation over you - “You are my child, chosen and marked by my love, pride of my life.” Or maybe it would be more helpful to, like a child trying on her parent's shoes, take people in your life to God in prayer, one by one, and ask God to help you grow into the divine image in your love for them.