Brief message for Earlham School of Religion weekly worship yesterday on our theme for the fall: Imagine


What comes to mind when you hear these words?
Imagine what God is calling you to this year.
Imagine how you may be shaped and changed.
Imagine this community and where God is leading it.
Imagine the world and God’s reign moving in strength.

When we are little children, imagination comes naturally, it flows out of us as we create forts, search under leafy corners for fairies, or dream about being something when we grow up. There is something sacred, something precious about a childhood imagination.  It is free and flowing. Creative and beautiful. Unfettered by insecurity, doubt or fear. It seems that it’s God given…a sacred space to explore what might be. A container where Divinity can touch humanity.


Imagine we could tip-toe or stumble into that sacred moment. Yes, now, as grown-ups. We know that Santa isn’t real and that it was our parents that put the money under our pillow in exchange for our tooth. We know that life isn’t easy and that God isn’t a magic wand in the sky. But we also know, I believe when we remember, those gifted moments where we feel the Divine meeting us in the present moment and nudging us, opening us, showing us what God incarnate can be.

What might you imagine? Or let me rephrase that question: what is God stirring in your imagination? What visions, hopes, dreams, and spaces is God opening up in you? For who you are and where you’re being led. For the Earlham School of Religion community and the God-given gift of each of our journeys meeting and intertwining here. For the world as a whole, the areas of brokenness that move you to compassion, the commitment to justice and change, and the gentle engagement with the things you care about.

Let God’s imagination run wild in us!

 Listen! It’s the voice of someone shouting,
“Clear the way through the wilderness for the Lord!
Make a straight highway through the wasteland for our God!
Fill in the valleys, and level the mountains and hills.

Straighten the curves, and smooth out the rough places.
Then the glory of the Lord will be revealed,
and all people will see it together.
The Lord has spoken!
Isaiah 40:3-5

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.

I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”

 And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!” And then he said to me, “Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.” And he also said, “It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega—the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty I will give freely from the springs of the water of life. All who are victorious will inherit all these blessings, and I will be their God, and they will be my children.
Revelation 21:1-7

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