“Let us make mankind in our image” indicates there is more than one image God goes by.
When the common patriarch of the three largest Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, was visited by the Lord, three men appeared. In the first book of the Bible, the book of Genesis, we read (Genesis 18:1-2a):
“The Lord appeared to Abraham near the great trees of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent in the heat of the day. Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby.”
As it turns out, God is Trinity, so when mankind was fashioned, it was made in the image of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Being made in their image, we might actually get a better understanding of ourselves when we study how the Trinity operates.
So, the Trinity went to work when the earth was formless and empty. Together they tackled the creation of the universe. The Father got the Word out famously commanding (Genesis 1:3): “Let there be light!” while Jesus put the Father’s Words into action and while the Holy Spirit hovered over the surface of the deep, transforming chaos into beauty. The Trinity’s workmanship is remarkable, and the way how their different approaches in the creation process collaborate to craft universes is simply mind-boggling. Let’s delve deeper into the legacy the Trinity left behind: creation.
Naturally, we can detect God’s triune fingerprints all over His creation, starting with the elementary building blocks of life discovered by the British physicist J. J. Thompson in 1897. Venturing into the interior of an atom to crack the building code of matter, curiously, not one, not two, but three elements make up all matter there is: Neutrons, Protons, and Electrons. All matter is coded in a consistent style: triune!
Similar to the different nature of each member of the Trinity – the hovering Spirit, the commanding Father, and the action-packed Son, also the elements significantly differ from one another: Neutrons are neutrally charged, while Protons are positively and Electrons negatively charged. Differently charged elements collaborate to make up all matter there is. Without delving too deeply into the chemistry of life (I’m definitely no scientist), I can learn from these observations something like this:
We get energy and inspiration from something other than ourselves. We are made to cooperate, bouncing things off of each other. Sometimes that means that even conflicts could be beneficial. By running into each other with different perspectives and points of views we actually may come up with a brilliant idea.
There is something profoundly beautiful in the fact that the elementary building blocks of life are three. We are not made to be alone. We are made for each other. We are made to collaborate. Relationships rock!
“We learn to live, we learn to give each other what we need to survive together alive.” Paul McCartney