Jesus came to live among us, imagining and inspiring His followers to imagine. Imagine a son who throws his father‘s inheritance away in hedonistic overindulgence coming home and getting a party thrown for him. Imagine a world where the workers who work for the last 10 minutes get the same wage as those who worked all day. Imagine where the poor are blessed, where the mourners are comforted, where God’s kingdom comes on earth as it is in heaven. Imagine that.
But do we? Missing from our modern church life is a wild imagining. Before God made, He imagined. Before we are going to make an impression, we need to imagine. We have become suspicious and fearful of this bold imagination, particularly in evangelicalism. The scientific ways of modernity have sneaked into our theologically rigid and behaviorally legalistic church: “This is how we do things.”
The first thing we learned about God in scripture is He imagined and created. All we know about who we are is that we are made in His image. We are like God, imaginers and artists. To follow Jesus is to begin to ask, “What will the kingdom of God look like if it comes onto the streets of our country as if it is in heaven? What would that mean for our churches? What would that mean for us in our use of money and time? How would it influence our relations with the poor? What would it mean in our relationships with the other side of our political divide? Could we imagine a hug there?” Imagine that as a sign of the kingdom coming across the world‘s television sets.
My four-year-old daughter is already asking how to color inside the lines. Already her imagination is being oppressed and confined. I pray for her, as well as for you and me, that we would let our imaginations go mad, smash lines to pieces and shimmy and shake this world on its head, so we might bring the proactive, agitating, yet gloriously beautiful wildness of God to the streets. Imagine that!
Meditate on Ephesians 3:20. Feed your child like imagination. Go to the zoo. Grab a coloring book. Watch a cartoon. Explore the woods. Give someone you dislike a hug.
Creator God, help me to see the wonder of Your hands, the wonder You have created in me. Help me to see the world as it can be, Your kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.