There are no glass slippers or alternate realities. The divine imagination allows us to see things as they really are – to engage reality in the way Jesus desired when he announced a new kingdom and a new way of life. Embracing God’s imagination for us and our communities connects to our longings in very practical ways. Whereas idealism often remains disconnected and disembodied from reality, living out of our divine imagination is living out the reality of the kingdom in the here and now. It is taking on the eyes through which we were created to see all along. Some may call this discerning and living out God’s will for your individual and communal lives.
Jon Huckins with Rob Yackley, “Thin Places: 6 Postures for Creating and Practicing Missional Communities.” 115,116.
The celebration of Pentecost is one of my favourite moments on the church calendar. The down pouring of the Holy Spirit on a community of Jesus followers in Acts 2 is beautiful, distinctly missional, and fully empowering, transcending the barrier of difference in the name of a diverse, God ordained unity. (For some great thoughts on this see this post by Geoff Holsclaw and this one by Christina Cleveland).
All the coolness of Acts 2 is a glimpse into the divine imagination of God. One of my favourite words in the Bible is “Ruach,” Hebrew for “breath of God.” It shows up in Acts 2, when Peter is quoting the book of Joel to describe the events that were taking place in the upper room where the Holy Spirit was showing up!
It was the Ruach that was moving on the formless earth in Genesis 1:1. It was the Ruach, the ‘breath of God’ which gave life to the lifeless dust/clay of the earth in Genesis 2:7. That breath gave life to humanity. In most places where the Hebrew word Ruach is used, it is connected with the creative work of God.
Imagination and creativity go hand-in-hand.
This breath of God, this spirit given to all at Pentecost empowers a creativity that intimately connects us to our Trinitarian God. It is intimate because the Holy Spirit is God. God is the Trinity. And, in Acts 2, we see the Holy Spirit at work in community, creating unity by way of a dynamic reconciliation of diversity that our world, to this day, so desperately needs.
When we find ourselves, as individuals or communities, living in our heads and/or disconnected from the world around us, we may be drowning in the emptiness of our own ideals. Divine imagination, God’s imagination is the ordained participation between a creative God and a broken people seeking to reconcile a broken world.
So when you find yourselves entrenched within the bleakness of nitty gritty reconciliation, stand firm, for you stand with God in the depths of divine imagination. Interestingly, that is where you may find resistance in those who are grounded in their own ideals.
Where do you see opportunity for reconciliation in your place and time? How can you move past ideals and into the dynamic imagination of God?