Dear Friends in Christ,
What comes to your mind when in worship you hear words like:
Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise…
O, worship the King all glorious above…
Let us come before the Lord in prayer!
You are forgiven, forgiven indeed!
Lord, carest Thou not that we perish?
This is my Body which is broken for you…
Go out into the world in peace and be of good courage…
Does anything come to your mind at all? Is there a picture that forms that makes the words you hear and speak in worship something tangible, something with shape and form? If so, the formation of those pictures is the function of our imagination.
Imagination has been defined as “the ability to form a mental image of something that is not perceived through the five senses. It is the ability of the mind to build mental scenes, objects or events that do not exist, are not present, or have happened in the past.” The above words and phrases may be quite familiar to us who worship the living God in a congregation of His people gathered for that purpose; but do those words evoke some sort of imagery in our mind’s eye that charges them with a vision that transcends the hearing and meaning of the words? If so that is a function of one’s imagination.
To some the notion of using our imagination in worship seems flakey or worse yet, liberal! Those of us who in a former life were associated with a mainline denomination remember the debacle that was set off by the suggestion that we “re-imagine” the church. For others, imagination is associated with the make-believe of child’s play as if what is imagined is completely lacking in reference to reality; if it’s imagined it must not be real.
Beginning this Sunday Mary and I will teach an adult Sunday School class entitled “Fanning the Flames of Childhood Imagination.” We are going to talk about the role and significance that imagination plays in human life. We’ll also talk about cultural assaults on the development and exercise of the imagination of children as well as ways in which imagination can and must be developed. I am particularly interested in the role that imagination plays in the work and worship of adults. As I’ve implied above one cannot fully enter into the wondrous work of worship without some exercise of a sanctified and Spirit-guided imagination.
Though I think that there will be a great deal that parents of children will glean from the class I also think that all followers of Jesus Christ who confess that they are created in the image of God will be inspired and challenged by a discussion of the important role that imagination plays in the life and faith of the believer. I hope many of you will attend the class.
This Sunday will also inaugurate the countdown to our Confirmation Sunday on April 24th. Beginning at New Worship this week we’ll hear two of our confirmands read their statements of faith to the congregation and then they will be baptized. Beginning next week we’ll hear two confirmands read their statements at each of our two worship services and then, on the 24th we’ll hear the final three before the covenant questions are put to these young people and the Session is asked to take action on their petition to become formal members of Beverly Heights Presbyterian Church. It will be an exciting Sunday and the run up to the 24th will be wonderful, too.
‘Looking forward to seeing you on the Lord’s Day. Until then, I remain,
Faithfully in Him,
Posted on Fri, April 1, 2016
by Administrator filed under