Imagination is vital to the human experience. Imagination is not just the play space of children and the child-like. Imagination is not solely a realm of the creatives, designers, and innovators.
You might not think you have an imagination, but you do.
We use our imaginations when we read, when we hear someone tell a story, and when we consider what we might have for dinner tomorrow night. When you recall memories from your past, when you anticipate the future; that’s imagination.
Imagination is the place where possibility resides, where potential arises, where new horizons emerge, and where adventures await the courageous.
But fed with a steady diet of hypnotic distraction and the daily grind, our imaginations are dulled. We stop noticing, stop wondering, stop anticipating. We stop imagining.
Without the imagination, we stop fully living.
A story from the Gospels that has always captured my imagination is when Jesus answers the question, what is the kingdom of God like? [Matthew 13, Mark 4, and Luke 13].
According to Luke (NIV), Jesus says, “It is like a mustard seed, when a Gardener took it and planted it in his garden, it grew and became a tree, and the birds perched in its branches.”
This story inspires me to imagine something more than I see. The kingdom of God is more than we expect. When Jesus sows the seeds of the kingdom the result is more then we anticipate, more than we can imagine.
All through the story of King Jesus, he invites his followers into the story of his new world. We are included in the imagination of the kingdom of God. We see what the world does not yet see.
We shouldn’t be surprised. We have been imagined by a creative God who made us in his image. We are beautifully designed as God’s carefully curated centrepieces of creation.
We aren’t meant to passively adorn the walls of His world; we are invited to participate in God’s cosmic re-creation project as artists and creators of his renewed world.
We are invited to enter into God’s story of renewal and restoration. And we are invited to live with a kingdom imagination.
What does it look like for your local church community to live imaginatively? To breathe imagination in the way that we love God, love one another, and love our neighbour?
Not being boring is a start.
The kingdom of God is the inbreaking of colour and light and life and beauty and justice and freedom and a whole new story to live by!
We live now in a way that points to a new world that is not less, but more than the best of life now. We live now as vocal, living witnesses of the world to come. It means living as proactive authors of God’s imagined future.
We practice this by noticing more, wondering more, celebrating more of what we hear and see of God at work in and around us.
We live it out by each one of us stepping into the opportunities that God invites us into in our vocations, neighbourhoods, and relationships.
We collectively live now as people inspired with an imagination of a new life. So, what is God is inspiring in your imagination?