The last post slipped away by mistake before I even started. Read on!
“I would be cautious of using the word ‘imagination,’ for with an UNINFORMED IMAGINATION Jesus is merely a FIGMENT of our IMAGINATION.. But when the imagination is surrendered along with the heart and mind, it becomes a unifying bridge that opens the scriptures in a new and meaningful way.” Michael Card Biblical Imagination
I am getting my thoughts from Michael Card’s article on Biblical Imagination. My study time is taking me into a deep well or revelation. What prompted this journey? To some it may be an obscure subject, somewhat inferior to other forms of expression. NT Wright says it better than me:
“The arts, the imagination, our capacity to create beauty ourselves, is not simply incidental to what it means to be human. For generations now, many Christians have really believed, and acted on the belief, that the arts, the imagination, are the pretty bits around the edges, the kind of decorative border, whereas the middle, the main bit, whatever it is, is the kind of solid, stodgy, chunky bit in the middle which is Christian truth, dogma, belief, and ethics, and all that stuff, and then you can kind of go away and play sometimes around the edge if your lucky.”
Without freedom of expression in the lives of Christians, we might as well relinquish our passions to Hollywood or Madison Avenue to convey creativity. Wait, they already are doing this. Why? The church has either copied the form of the world or retreated so far back into a shell of ambiguity that we have lost the luster, the grace and the glory of Jesus Christ manifested in us and through us.
I was a frustrated creative who allowed this passion in me to be subjugated/crushed under people’s opinions, deep rejection and insecurity. Now….I am enjoying this journey, hoping to see creativity restored to Christians so that God’s glory will amaze and astound us in unique expression.
Michael Card’s article above is worth reading. Some great quotes moved me right into Holy Spirit revelation. As I am read, my notes do not always reflect what is being said but what I am hearing and what Holy Spirit is revealing to me.
The subject of imagination can be quite touchy. Many Christians would rather be entrenched in routine week by week as a spectator in a performance based church setting. I know there is a better way but it will take brave leaders who are surrendered to the glory of God, without trying to legislate it or manipulate the flow of meetings. It will take creative leaders who raise up new expressions in a gathering besides just the usual: songs, preaching, maybe altar ministry.
Looking at Scripture, I can see that imagination is generally presented in a negative sense. Yet, as I read the article, my eyes were opened to SEE that it is not the word imagination but actually the problem with the heart as most references in Scripture reference heart or imply heart when speaking about imagination.
“When we imagine, we are working with our hearts and minds to create images. Working in concert, they are connected by a bridge, which is imagination. Imagination seeks to re-integrate and reconnect the mind/heart from the Fall where they were fragmented.” Thoughts from Michael Card
Well there you have it. Imagination is excellent but as in all things, our focus is Jesus. We desire to bring Him glory. We follow the leading of Holy Spirit who seeks to glorify the Son. We engage with Scripture, alive and real, allowing its narrative and story to grasp our heart. This is done through study, prayer, meditation, and in worship. Images come, Thoughts form and the Word of God is alive.
So here is what I imagine. A group of people flowing in unity in Holy Spirit as the divine leader. One mind, one accord to being glory to the Son. Preaching flowing from interpreting the dance. Artists revealing process as they talk of dreams and revelation. Prophetic songs flowing from psalmist who open the heaven’s wide so that corporates we may ascend into His presence. Step by Step……..I love walking in this direction. Some of this will be flowing in Kenya on the next trip.
There is so much more to come as I am just starting out. More study on imagination. Then at some point, Holy Spirit directs me to study the Renaissance.