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“Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and news about him spread throughout the whole countryside. He taught in their synagogues and was praised by everyone. Jesus went to Nazareth, where he had been raised. On the Sabbath, he went to the synagogue as he normally did and stood up to read. The synagogue assistant gave him the scroll from the prophet Isaiah. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written: The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me. He has sent me to preach good news to the poor, to proclaim release to the prisoners, and recovery of sight to the blind, to liberate the oppressed, and to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. He rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the synagogue assistant, and sat down. Every eye in the synagogue was fixed on him. He began to explain to them, ‘Today, this scripture has been fulfilled just as you heard it.’”
Message: Dream (July 7, 2019)
In the beginning….before life, earth, even light and dark…
God had a dream…a vision of what might be…and God spoke…and there was light.
And it was good.
Oh, to be divine…
to get it right every time…
and to find it good.
How many of us when we try to create…something, anything, find ourselves saying not, “It is good.” but rather asking, “is it good enough,” and finding ourselves saying, no, no, and once again no.
How many of us find our imagination limited by our insecurities, before we even pick up a pen, paper, paintbrush, measuring cup?
How many of us when considering our creativity, think of it in the past tense?
I used to draw, I used to color, I used to be creative…
We treat creativity, and imagination, even dreaming as if it is something for childhood, something we grow out of.
Barbara Brown Taylor, a master storyteller, and preacher, tells a story of the loss of imagination
A friend of mine clearly remembers the summer he lost his imagination. He was eleven years old, a distracted fifth-grader who yearned for the last days of school so he could return full-time to the fields of play. Memories of the previous summer spurred him in, long days spent lying on his belly in the backyard, racing miniature cars and trucks with his friends. When the last bell of the school year rang, he ran home to get everything ready, and the next morning he hauled it all outside. With the early sun heating up behind his back, he sat down in his special place surrounded by special toys and waited for the delicious feeling to creep over him, but nothing happened. He picked up his favorite truck and ran its wheels over the ground. “Rrrrrr!” he roared, as he had done so many times before, but it was not the sound of an engine this time. It was the sound of a boy’s voice pretending to be an engine, he was suddenly self-conscious. One by one he tried all of his old tricks, but none of them worked. The bridge to his old world was gone. He no longer had access to it, and the lost opened up a hollow place inside of him. He looked at his toys and saw what he had never seen before: they were small and cheap, a child’s toys. It had all been a silly game. Standing up, he dusted himself off and left the fossils of his dream lying in the yard (Taylor, The Preaching Life. pg.38).
Have we lost our imaginations, left them behind in the dust of childhood?
What would it take to unearth them, dust them off, clean them up, oil them, and use them?
What would it take to set free again, your holy imagination, your ability to see what is not yet, but might be? To see the realities of this world and the possibilities of God’s kindom?
Think of Jesus, a carpenter, standing before his neighbors, his family, inviting them to see not Jesus, the carpenter, the son of Mary and Joseph, the brother of James, the eldest of six or more, but rather to see Jesus, the son of God, divinity embodied. To see Jesus, filled with the holy spirit, sent to preach good news to the poor, to proclaim release to the prisoners, and recovery of sight to the blind, to liberate the oppressed, and to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.
His neighbors…couldn’t see it…they saw only the carpenters son, and they tried to drive him off a cliff. It’s part of the story we didn’t read this morning. No one said creativity, holy imagination was safe.
The disciples had the imagination to see that Jesus was different…for he saw them differently. Instead of fishermen…he saw fishers of people.
Instead of tax collectors and cheats…he saw children of God.
Instead of political zealots, outcasts, and misfits…Jesus saw men (and women) who would follow, who would change the world with love.
Have we lost our imaginations for what the kingdom of God might be?
Have we lost our imaginations for what we might have to give?