Early in my training as a preacher I was warned off ‘flights of fancy’ and ‘imagination’. It was well intentioned – we don’t want to read into silence or the gaps of Scripture, we don’t want to add detail where there is none in Scripture. We don’t want to seek to put in that which is not there intentionally. Preachers have licence to preach God’s Word faithfully and powerfully but not to change it’s tone, content or focus.
But it made me a dull speaker – illustration became laboured, teaching dry.
I had a conversation yesterday which reminded me of why imagination (correctly constrained) is helpful in Scriptural engagement. Imagination enables us to step into the world of the original recipients of God’s Word and hear what they heard and feel the impact and importance of the that Word in it’s original context. Imagination is somewhat a bridge from the past to the here and now.
So, for the next week – this blog will imagine this… passionate voices. Perspectives (constrained by the text) from those around the edges of Jesus deliberate, determined and glorious walk to the cross and out of the tomb. It is a bit of a personal project that I would value feedback on – because I want to be a better preacher, communicator and proclaimer of God’s Word today.