What hath Man wrought?
To her fair works did Nature link
The human soul that through me ran;
And much it grieved my heart to think
What man has made of man.
The poet’s words focus our attention on man’s responsibility for his present condition.
What have we done to ourselves? What have we done to our world?
We were made in God’s image, but we pursued corruption and vice. We crippled ourselves and our offspring. We pursued pleasure for pleasure’s sake, violence for violence’s sake. We let inconsequential differences divide us. We mar creation and make all that is good and perfect mere ruination.
We sought to ascend, to seek higher things, but we only fell farther and became abased (and not in the good way).
We rebel against all that makes us imago dei and have become imago hominis.
But how can one make an image of something he has never seen? How can imperfect man be made perfect if there is no mold, no pattern to go by?
That is where Jesus comes in.
He is Man remaking man in the original image — the image of God. There is no pattern in the universe for man apart from the pattern of God. Only in the divine reflection is man’s original nature truly seen.
When that nature is fully restored, it would be true to say: What man had lost, Man has regained; What man unmade, Man has remade.