Small Group Tools
Contemporary Comments 2016
Texts: Genesis 1:26, 27; Deuteronomy 6:5; Genesis 3:8–19; James 4:4; Galatians 4:19; Mark 2:1–12; John 10:10
Do dogs resemble their owners? Michael Roy of the University of California decided to find out. He went to three dog parks, took pictures of dogs and the owners separately, and then asked a group of people to match them up. Without any other clues the participants were able to connect the pooches to their owners with a high degree of accuracy. Others have repeated the same study.
Roy found the results only work for purebred dogs, not mongrels. He noticed some general trends that often held true. For instance, women with long hair are more likely to prefer dogs with long, floppy ears. Heavier people tend to have heavier dogs. Some differences are quite subtle, such as a small comparison in the shape of the person’s eyes. But the bottom line is that we tend to “model our dogs after our own image, as if they reflect a better version of ourselves.”1
Our Sabbath school lesson this week brings out the fact that we were created, not in the image of our dog, but in the image of God. Our heavenly Creator fashioned us with qualities similar (but not identical) with the heavenly imprint of the One who made us. Sunday’s lesson brings out the wholistic dimension of how we were created like our Maker: physically, mentally, and spiritually.
It’s a bit like the research on people and their dogs (though in a much greater way). The similarities we have with our Creator are more numerous than we might imagine. Sometimes we limit the connections we have with our Divine parent—and certainly the fall and introduction of sin did a lot of genetic and spiritual damage. But we were made to be like God in more ways than just spiritual qualities.
The rich diversity within the human family—differences in race, personality, eye and skin color, interests, talents, preferences, hopes, special abilities, body types, thickness of hair, and enjoyments—may all potentially express a bit of the Creator.
Our lesson this week emphasizes the desire of the One who made us to restore us into the divine image. Satan wants to damage any likeness we may have with God. He hates the perfect character of the Lord. But in Jesus we may have the image of the Maker put back in place.
Look around your Sabbath school class. You just might see a touch of Jesus, even in the type of dogs that people own.
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