Quote of the Day #11, Karl Barth
We ought not to speak of more than muddling and obscuring. Man does not cease to be man even when his whole environment and he himself cease to remember God and fall victim to the overlooking, forgetting, mistaking and falsifying of his honour as man. Hence the honour itself, precisely because it is not his but the reflection of the glory of God falling upon him, cannot be lost. It belongs to the character indelebilis of his human existence. It is not overlooked, forgotten, nor misunderstood by God, not even where a man tramples it underfoot, or where it is trampled under the feet of others, or where it is misused when a man is exalted or thinks that he can exalt himself as a demigod. That man was and is and will be from and in the hand of God, this precisely, no less and no more, is his honour, the special honour of every man, which he cannot alter, which eh cannot diminish nor augment, which he cannot discard nor lose, which cannot be taken from him by others, just as he himself cannot create it or maintain it for himself.
Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics III.4 S. 56.3. Honour
If you can wade through his dense prose (which is an admittedly difficult task), this is a beautiful passage about the image of God in humanity. I love this picture of that which God gives and therefore no one can take away. Too often, I think we forget this essential truth. ”So God created humanity in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” Nothing changes that. No amount of injustice, discrimination, hatred, indignity, or harshness of words can take that away from you. God gave you his image and nobody else gets to have it from you. If we can understand this fundamental fact, how can we hate each other? how can we execute? how can we kill? how can we commit violence? how can we steal? If we understand that everyone has this honor of God, how can we do anything but unconditionally, unequivocally, and unabashedly love one another?