Our Christian Imagination

We serve a God who allows us to try and create, again and again.

God imagined and then created something out of nothing.

God spoke a word, and then there was light.

God spoke a word, and the light was named to differentiate from the darkness.

God spoke a word, and the waters broke and there was sky and seas.

God spoke a word and the land produced plants and trees and all sorts of vegetation.

God spoke a word and there was more light, some greater, some lesser.

God spoke a word, and creatures came into being, some to explore the air, some to roam the land, others the depths of the sea.

God spoke and these created beings heard their command to bear fruit and multiply. Reproduce more of who or what you are, and it was so, and God said, “It was good.”

Then God spoke and the crowning glory of his physical creation came into being. God created humans in his own image. And he gave them dominion or responsibility to represent him on earth, to respond as he would, to steward his creation and cause all things to flourish.

Then there was sin, and there was darkness on another day, but God was not done with his world or his human creation.

God continued to speak, variances of light continued to shine and break forth every day, the Spirit continued to hover, the people continued to breathe in and out that Spirit. We continue to live.

In this year of our Lord, when there is so much darkness and death all around, we must honor God. We are more than a year into a global pandemic unlike anything this generation has ever seen. It is easy to forget our beginnings, our purpose and God’s goodness to us. It is also easy to forget that we first meet God as Creator.

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We serve a God who creates something out of nothing, creates light when there is darkness. We serve a God who is thoughtful, organized and intentional with all his creations. We serve a God who allows us to try and create, again and again.

A CREATIVE CHURCH

When we first learned of the pandemic, we were encouraged to stay home and we were not allowed to attend church. I felt out of rhythm. Since I was a child, I’ve always attended church. Worship service is more than a mindless routine for me—it is a sacred, spiritual practice. It provides fellowship with other believers, an opportunity to hear the preached word, to join in the intercession for believers and to participate in the sacraments. I miss going to church.

However, I have also been disheartened that so many leaders and so many churches in the United States have tried to force (some better than others) a model of worship into a virtual space without expanding their Christian imagination to consider what might God be asking his humans to create in this season. What new things can be birthed out of this darkness? What areas—inside of us individually and within the church body collectively—need our creative care? Where is the rest of creation groaning for our stewardship and attention?

I believe that God is inviting his people to plant seeds of repentance and speak God’s truth with the power and authority of the Holy Spirit in this season. I believe that God can provide the water of refreshment that we need, and exchange beauty for these ashes. If God were to look around this present darkness and ask the prophets of our day “Can these dry bones live?” those who are humbly submitted to God and those who have a Christian imagination can respond confidently, “God, you know that they can.” Then we model our creator, God. We imagine and then we speak the words of goodness we want to see in the land and among the people. Then we ask the Holy Spirit to breathe breath into us and revive us again.

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