"Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children." Eph 5:1
A look-alike is a living person who closely resembles another living person. In popular Western culture, a look-alike is a person who bears a close physical resemblance to a celebrity, politician or member of royalty. Many look-alikes earn a living by making guest appearances at public events or performing on television and film, playing the person they resemble.
It has been reported that today there are over 10,000 Elvis impersonators performing all over the world. These impersonators come in all sizes, shapes, ethnicity and even gender. There is a black Elvis, a Mexican Elvis, a female Elvis,a Greek Elvis an Indian Elvis and even a child Elvis. There are Elvis contests and festivals held in various parts of the world at different times of the year. One can catch a tribute show on the Vegas strip where Elvis lives on portrayed by the various tribute artists who have graced the stage.
Having just returned from Branson, Missouri I too have witnessed several Elvis impersonators during my week long stay. All of these portrayals were intended to be comedic and were not in my opinion doing service to the memory of "the King". Over acting, poor singing, bad hair and costuming made for great comic relief but failed to bring any dignity or meaning to the now deceased Elvis Aaron Presley. This type of impersonating made a joke out of the life and legacy of Elvis.
"One would have to wonder if all these poorly done impersonations have a negative effect on the original? How many poor imitations does it take to devalue the original work?"
Anyone who has ever made copies on a copy machine knows the importance of using a clean original before attempting to make a copy. Each subsequent copy degrades in quality until a point where it becomes unusable. Making copies of copies would cause you to have a less than pristine finished product.
Graphic artists tell us that in order to reproduce a graphic it is best to start with a large, good quality original in order to provide the best reproduction in a printed work. This article, in order to reproduce properly, is preserved in its original quality via Adobe portable document format. An actual picture is taken of the original and preserved for later reproduction. It is amazing what modern technology has accomplished.
If one is not concerned about quality then any copy will do. Copies of copies are acceptable even unto the third and forth reproduction. It does not matter the quality only the content. As long as the content can be recognized from the original then it is considered good enough.
Perhaps this explains the less than quality performances I witnessed from these "Elvis impersonators" in Branson. Perhaps a "good enough" representation of the original was all the impersonator had in mind.
"And God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them." Gen 1:27 (ASV)
When it comes to our Christian worship good enough is not what God is looking for in His representatives on life's stage. He is looking for EXACT duplications of His life and character. Good enough is not the standard by which God measures our performance as Christians. He looks toward the original as the example. We must model Christ-like behavior and attitudes in order to be true ambassadors for God.
The bible clearly states in Genesis that we have been made in God's own image. Male and female created He them. This is not by accident or happenstance for God was working His desire to have fellowship with His creation. It was for this purpose we have been created to bring glory to God. After the fall of man it was required for Jesus to come and reset the clock so to speak making it again possible for the created to worship the creator in both spirit and truth.
Those who discount the bible account of creation render unto man incalculable hardships and miseries for they remove the God from man and place man amongst the animals. When we know our rightful place in God's plan then and only then are we able to live above the fray and become children of God.
It is this lowly estate that the enemy wants to relegate us to that has brought about all manner of hardships upon humankind. It was for this reason that Jesus came to die to restore the rightful order of things. He made a way back to God. A way for us to be like Him.
Looking Up Not Down:
"Let us keep our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith." Hebrews 12:2
The best Elvis impersonator would make every effort to not only look like but also sound like and perform like the original. He would attempt to accurately represent the original artist. Much time and effort would have to be spent studying the original in order to present a good reproduction.
"We too must spend time with the original in order to model our lives like Him."
Unlike the Elvis impersonators we have a living example whom we can call on at anytime to get performance reviews. Taking time to talk to God in prayer, reading His word and being led by the Spirit of God are all helps to makes us like Christ.
"When you know what an original looks like it is far easier to spot an imitation."
There are many impersonating the life of Christ but we are called to imitate that life. Taking care to be modeling our life after the author Himself rather than a derivative work of someone else. Let us not copy a copy but mirror the original. Our worship should be an exact duplication of the original Jesus. The author Himself lives within us to work and to do of His good pleasure. He wants for us to become all we can be by being transformed into His likeness.
"But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord the Spirit." 2 Cor 3:18 (ASV
The biblical narrative is full of hope and love and joy for all mankind. God wants so much to have fellowship with you and I that He made a way for it to happen. All me must do is believe His story and let Him rewrite our story.
Many of us have fallen prey to foolishness of our thinking and we have left the good road for a road far less rewarding. Turn again to the God of our father's and let Him restore unto you the joy of salvation in your heart. We are made a little lower than the angels created by God in His own likeness in order to bring glory to His name.
What a lofty position we occupy. We are not to be scrounging around in the dust and dirt each day of our lives for we have been redeemed from the corruption of the world through the blood of Jesus Christ.
"For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." Ephesians 2:10
This is why it is called the Gospel for it means 'good news.' The good news is that we do not have to live like animals or in fear and distrust. God has reordered our lives so that we can fulfill the promise of doing good which He Himself has prepared for us to do. After all He did say "It is good"
"God saw what He had made and it was good..." Gen 1:31
Let us allow God's Spirit to renew us according to the image of our creator, that we might grow in grace and in Christ's likeness.