As we flip the page (or swipe the screen) on a new year, possibilities abound. What will January bring? How will our kids grow? What sorts of goals lie ahead? What will happen at work? How will the calendar fill up? All these questions fill us with wonder and a bit of worry.
NT Wright, an Anglican (Episcopalian) Bishop and prolific author, recently published a narrative biography of Paul. If you would like to read it, it’s yours for the borrowing. Tucked away in a paragraph is a sentence that grabbed hold of me as soon as I read it: “[Paul’s task] involves nothing short of that hardest conversion of all, the conversion of the imagination” (pg.219). Wright writes a seemingly simple line. Or maybe not.
The conversion of the imagination is the hardest.
How do we turn our thoughts, dreams, and visions to see what isn’t there yet? How do we imagine a future that is simultaneously different that our current reality and keep ourselves from visions of grandeur? After all, I imagine that I could be a pilot, but I have yet to successfully parallel park.
Six years ago, could we have imagined the practicalities of Sunday morning with lots of young feet and hands? A different parish administrator and director of music? The holes left by the deaths of faithful saints? Visitors who are seekers and skeptics? The way the Youth Gathering challenged and changed those who went? The generosity of being gifted Evangelical Lutheran Worship?
With the Holy Spirit’s aid, the trust that comes from being a child of God, and the strength of being part of a community of faith, pray with me: O God, convert our imaginations this day and may we desire what you desire for us. Amen.
A blessed 2019 to all!
Rev. Rachael C. Dietz