I’m big on imagination, mostly for neurobiological reasons. This past Sunday another idea popped up, part of the sermon preached by our new associate pastor. (Say hello to The Rev. Julie Peterson!) She noted that God’s grand vision—holy imagination?—could counter our worrying tendencies.
In her sermon, Pastor Julie admitted that, like most of us, she is a worrier. A necessary-and-problematic part of the human condition, our shared worrying can create an imagined future that requires attention—perhaps even restless over-attention. But that same imagination—this time patterned after God’s own vision for the future—can take us past fretting about anticipated dangers or difficulties.
What might God’s holy imagination consist of? (This is where Pastor Julie’s thoughts connected personally.) Simply stated, God’s vision for the future is grand. Bigger than what my worrying mind might bring to light. Past the boundaries that worry sets up. God loves everyone—always has and always will. God desires life, not death. God continues to create and bless the world. God’s Son makes salvation possible for all who believe. The Spirit visits us everywhere the Word is proclaimed. We can’t encounter God’s holy imagination without seeing and feeling more than our troubled minds could conjure. We have agency and worth because of God’s grand vision—a wide-angle view of life that invites us past small-minded agonizing. We can conceive of a God-inspired future because we’re not trapped by our vexations.
God sends us out from worship each Sunday with that kind of imagination. Not just its invitations to action—forgive, love, witness, bless, sacrifice, redeem—but also as a way of thinking that provides balance to our agonized imaginations.
I’ll continue to enjoy envisioning life, present and future—but now with the added foundation of God’s motivating vision. God’s holy imagination!
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