Sunday, July 16, 2017
UV 2720-10000 Sanctified Imagination
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
Genesis 1 v 27
All the beauty, nobility, power, grace and love of God is present in some form in each human since we are created in His own image. The word image comes from the word- imagination. God imagined to create the universe and all in it including man and all other creatures of the sea, land and sky. We too need to imagine in order to be like the Creator. It is the “im” in impossible that makes the impossible possible. We imagine that which is impossible for man to be possible for God. We need to imagine ourselves walking and talking with God as Adam and Eve walked with Him in the garden of Eden. We need to imagine ourselves surrounded by the angels and archangels in heaven. Faith is sanctified imagination. We need to be able to visualise with our inner eye the invisible, the immortal, glorious kingdom of God where there is no sin, no separation from God, where there is neither suffering nor death nor tears.
We need to visualise as having received the fulfilment of the promises of the Lord. This is the reason we thank Him even before it happens. We call into being by our faith that which is not as if it is. We need to imagine we are children asking our Father in heaven that which we expect or visualise or need. It is this kind of faith that pleases the Father, the kind of faith that Jesus manifested during His walk on earth. Jesus imagined that the gospel would reach the uttermost parts of the earth, give hope of salvation to all mankind despite the power of the establishment, the priestly authorities of the Jewish faith as well as the temporal authorities of the Roman empire being hell bent against Him and His message of hope. Jesus imagined that He would do it with a motley band of men He called disciples whose training, education and qualities left little to imagination. He imagined He would do it without much means or finances.
Which are the areas we need to apply our sanctified imagination? All the significant areas of our lives: our marriage, our families, our children and their future, our workplace, our colleagues, our subordinates, our friends circle, our enemies, our cities,our nations, our world. When we focus our imagination on any or all of these areas, the presence and the power of the Lord in us begins to bring into being or into reality that which we ask or expect or need or something much better than these. We need to exercise sanctified imagination in a responsible way as the very word “sanctified” would imply. It should be not to pander to our lusts or worldly desires but to magnify the name of the Lord, to augment the faith of others, to meet the needs of people including ourselves. The basis of sanctified imagination is not illusions or delusions but a verse or portion of scripture like an uni-verse. Sanctified imagination can also be used to enrich our understanding of various biblical stories, parables and incidents by envisaging oneself as part of the story or parable or incident as a contemporary witness. Imagine being present for instance, as part of the crowd as Jesus resurrected Lazarus or fed the 5000, or was Himself crucified or present with the disciples in the post resurrection incidents.
Prateep V Philip