Greetings in the name of God who invites us to imagine and dream!
This coming Sunday we enter the season of Advent. Our advent theme this year is, Dare to Imagine! To imagine is to form a mental image or concept of what could be. To imagine is to dream about and envision the life or world that God is inviting us to pray for and work toward. The advent resource we are using this year extends an invitation to us. “As we begin a new church year, let’s dare to imagine our path forward with God toward God’s dream for our world.”
I am grateful for this Advent invitation. So much in our world today seems out of sync with God’s dream. Many in the world are fleeing homelands that are unsafe to live in. And the passage for them to a new home is long, difficult, uncertain and often dangerous. Floods overwhelm both British Columbia and Eastern Canada and we wonder if this is another sign of the stress that our planet is suffering. For British Columbia the earlier droughts and fires this year intensifies that wondering. Climate Crisis is a headline that grows more frequent and intense. Relationships between settler and indigenous communities, although they show signs of healing, continue to struggle and experience seasons of deep stress and even violence. Tensions in our own families, church communities and broader community continue as we face the stresses of polarization around differing opinions about Covid vaccines and safety protocols. We also face personal health challenges and struggle to find the answers we need as our health care system lives through its own struggling health.
In this present time in which we live we need a church and people of God who will dare to imagine and dream about the world that could be, and who will then dare to join God in the mission of transforming the world that is, into the world that God is making new.
Imagine families, churches and communities that dare to imagine and then dare to join God in bringing imagination to reality.
Imagine a world that supports those neighbours struggling through floods and fires, and then decides together to make the lifestyle changes that will help heal our earth.
Imagine a world where settlers and indigenous peoples live as neighbors in mutual relationships of respect and understanding. Imagine what it would mean to live that dream.
Imagine a world where we continue to worship together despite our differences, where we make the adjustments needed, and give our hearts and hands to each other instead of judging and distancing from each other.
So much in our world seems out of sync yet so much in the world is also good and right. May we give thanks for what is good, name and lament what is wrong, dare to imagine what could be, and then join God in God’s mission to heal and transform the world.
I love the benediction recorded in Ephesians 3:20-21, and the big truth it names.
20 Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.