Exercising our prophetic imagination

From the Heart

Almost every Sunday in our congregation’s worship, I call us to be a community of radical hope. I am not talking about radical politics here, but rather the radical effect on our hearts when we fully imagine the just and loving world we want and need, rather than the unhappy world we have.

Walter Brueggemann reminds us of the prophetic cycle in the stories of the Hebrew Scriptures – the books some call the Old Testament. Over and over again in these stories, the prophets come among the people and remind them of the good and just world that is within their reach – if only they will turn away from the deadly dominant culture. The prophetic voices remind the people not of what will be, but rather what might be and could be.

Brueggemann calls this the “prophetic imagination” – this liberating imagination calling the people away from the dominant narrative of power and exploitation, and towards a narrative of liberation, freedom, and justice.

Brueggemann says this prophetic imagination is still vitally important in our days because we too are hoping to escape the destructive narrative of consumerism, injustice and exploitation. We can imagine and hope for the better world we want and need.

This is radical hope. We can invite one another to leave behind the destructive old narratives. We can find ourselves in new stories of justice and love.

May it be so,
Reverend George Buchanan