“Christians have a far, far greater gift to give the disabled than to help them know they are made in the image of God.”
“Let us make man in our image,” God says in Genesis 1:26.
And, oh, what a beautiful image it is. We reflect God in the way we create beauty, love selflessly, and judge fairly.
We love telling this to people who have Down syndrome – we want intellectually impaired kids and adults to gain confidence that, despite their challenges, they reflect the awesome God of the universe. What good news! Yet as good as it is, it is not good enough.
To learn that you reflect the image of God is a high and glorious truth, but it is not a particularly hopeful one.
John Piper put it this way in a recent interview, “Every human is made in the image of God, which means that God’s enemies are created in his image, unrepentant rebels are created in God’s image… to focus on helping people feel created in God’s image is not a saving effort. There is a spectacularly higher, more hopeful message. When we offer Christ, we invite people to be not the created image of God, but the recreated child of God — a new creation in Christ.”
What great news! This is what the Gospel of Jesus offers to all people – whether they have Down syndrome or are champions on Jeopardy; use a wheelchair or can bound up three flights of stairs; are blind or have 20/20 vision.
At Joni and Friends, we believe that although sin has terribly marred the God-image that people bear, it can be fully restored in those who embrace Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
And your prayers and gifts enable Joni and Friends to share this life-transforming message all over the world to people with all types of disabilities. Especially those with an extra chromosome. It’s something we celebrate on World Down Syndrome Day.
God bless you for celebrating with us through your partnership!