With all their obvious diversity, what did these 22 people in last Saturday’s Houston Chronicle have in common? In essence, it was their humanity. They were all human beings, descendants of Adam. The word “adam” comes from adamah, the Hebrew word for “dirt.” In the Bible, this same word refers both to the species (humankind, earthlings, mud-people) and, with reference to the Creation story, to the first individual of that sort whom God made.
As humans, these 22 men and women in my Saturday newspaper all were made from physical elements of the earth. So, of course, are we — and all animal life on earth. These 22 people, like us and many other living creatures on the earth, were animated (thus the word “animal”) by God’s moment-to-moment gift of “breath of life” (wind, breath, spirit). Without that breath of life, like the 22 people in my Saturday’s newspaper obituaries, we all die and return to dust (Psalm 104:20-29).
However, unlike other animals, we humans are made in God’s image — not that we have some special component but rather have a special relationship. For this reason, we can enjoy our Creator’s company and praise him as long as we live (Psalm 104:30-34). And, because Jesus has defeated death and obtained immortality, we can look forward to the Resurrection. Then, from his divine memory-bank, God will recreate us in glorified personal wholeness to enjoy new heavens and new earth forever!