The enterprise of developing a beautiful image is vital to Americans. Whether it drives by on a bus or assaults us through a pop-up window, image anxiety is everywhere. It is especially obvious in shopping malls, which have become places of worship not unlike ancient temples or medieval cathedrals. These modern-day chapels are a sight to behold, with their luxuriant foliage, sparkling fountains, and colorfully illuminated vistas. Along with designer jeans and exotic coffees, you can aspire toward beauty.
It must be pointed out however that concern for one’s image is not only for the fashion conscious; it’s also vital for the servant of Christ. Along this line, I once wrote an article titled Christian Image is Everything. The title raised a few eyebrows among my pastor friends until they read it. I made the case that when the Bible talks about God’s image, it is simultaneously concerned with our calling to advance Christ’s majesty throughout the earth. In other words, God’s image is more than reflecting his moral attributes (i.e., holiness, righteousness, love); it’s also our calling to spread his beauty and his fame. In this way, the concept of image has everything to do with God’s purpose for our lives. Such is the topic of the following sermon, which I preached last week at Hope Fellowship titled “The Beautiful Face of Christ.”