Albert Einstein is known as a brilliant scientist, but he also had a free, joyful, and creative side. I suspect that one of the personal qualities that made his groundbreaking scientific discoveries possible is the trust that he put in his mind to wander and ponder new possibilities. “I am enough of an artist,” he once said, “to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.”
As we enter stewardship season here at Mount Pleasant Presbyterian Church, we will be talking a lot about the power of the imagination. As a spiritual discipline, imagination is not an exercise in flights of fancy or make-believe. It is, rather, a bold act of faith that looks beyond what is to what may be. The Danish theologian Søren Kierkegaard, for example, saw the imagination as the “wings” of our faith, something given to us by God to lift us up and elevate our existence. When we consistently imagine the world not as it is, but as God intends it to be, that image begins to impress itself upon us. Consciously and subconsciously, we begin to walk toward that good image…and that’s when good things really start to happen.
My prayer is that we will approach our call to stewardship at Mount Pleasant Presbyterian Church in this way. I hope the wings of our imaginations will lift us above what has been to envision the new things that God might do in and among us. In the days and weeks ahead, imagine the kind of church you would like us to be, the kind of church God wants us to be. Keep that image present in your mind, and visualize our church doing the kinds of things you feel called to do.
IMAGINE a church that welcomes everyone in Christ’s name, where we all stand equally before God in faith and hope…
IMAGINE a church that selflessly serves the people of God, loving them as Christ has loved us…
IMAGINE a church that worships God with joy and passion, a church that is led by the Word of God and the influence of the Holy Spirit…
IMAGINE the kind of church you believe God is calling us to be… and then commit yourself to that vision! Led by your imagination, give yourself – mind, body, and spirit – to these heavenly goals. Imagine what can be, and then help God make it happen.
Blessings and peace,
Rev. Dr. Peter Bynum