Today we meet the author Marcus Borg, a noted theologian, New Testament scholar and a leading authority on the life of Jesus. His voice on imagination is important for our Advent Adventure. In 2014, just months before he passed away, Borg wrote his final book called: Convictions: How I Learned What Matters Most (which I highly recommend). The last paragraphs of the book (and let that sink in… the last written words from this great author and theologian) are about imagination.
“In modern English, ‘imagining’ may seem to be a frivolous activity, not serious, even escapist. We sometimes think, ‘Imagine if you won the lottery,’ or ‘Imagine that a spaceship landed in New York City.’ For many, the imagination is about fantasy—imagining something wildly improbable. But the imagination in another sense is much more important. It is where our images reside—our images of what is real, what life is about, and how, then, we should live. In this sense, consciously or unconsciously, everybody lives, or tries to live, in accord with their imaginations.
For Christians in particular, the imagination is the home of our images of God, the Bible, Jesus, salvation, and more. Together, these images combine to create a vision of God’s character and dream. They matter greatly, for they shape what we think the Christian life is about. What’s it all about? What’s the Christian life all about? It’s about loving God and loving what God loves. It’s about becoming passionate about God and participating in God’s passion for a different kind of world, here and now. And the future, including what is beyond our lives? We leave that up to God.” (Borg, Marcus J.. Convictions (p. 232). HarperOne. Kindle Edition.)
And there we have it. Our Advent adventure into Imagination takes us to the “home of our images of God.” And what can we find there, in our “homes”? Passion for God and participation in “God’s passion for a different kind of world.”
We began the week with a man at the piano playing John Lennon’s “Imagine” at the site of deadly terrorist attack. Why did he do that? Because he wanted to bring hope, because he could still imagine a world not scarred by violence. We continued with the visions of our “wild souls” because that is exactly what this world needs, courageous, wild souls. Imagine a world where we love like God loves; imagine the kind of world that God envisions and be willing to work for it.
The Advent Adventure into Imagination continues next week… have a great weekend.
Grace and Peace at Advent,