Archive for May 24th, 2023

Written by Mark D. Roberts, a contemporary author and speaker.

In Genesis 1 God creates the universe out of nothing. God doesn’t base creation on any existing model or universe. Rather, the cosmos is a physical expression of God’s imagination. What God sees God speaks into being. The creation of human beings is like the creation of everything else in that it is an expression of God’s imagination. But God’s vision of humankind is different from everything else in the universe because people are created in God’s image and likeness. Human beings are uniquely like God. Part of this uniqueness is expressed through the authority people have over everything else on earth.  Now, if we were created in God’s image, and imagination is part of this image, then part of our human DNA includes the imagination. The human imagination is not only a great gift of God; it is also an aspect of the image of God.” [Matthew Ristuccia and Gene Veith, Jr., “Imagination is a facet of the image of God”]. Why has God given us this special gift? Genesis implies that this is part of God’s plan for human beings. After creating the man and the woman, “God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth’” (Genesis 1:28). In order to do the work God assigned to humanity, we need many gifts and abilities, including imagination. We need to be able to see what does not yet exist so that we might labor to bring it into existence. We might call this sort of imagination “creative imagination.” Even as God’s imagination contributed to creation, so it is with us, though on a very different level and in a very different way. When a sculptor imagines a new sculpture, they can’t simply speak it into existence as God did in the first creation. Rather, their imagination leads to weeks, months, or even years of work. (It took Michelangelo three years to sculpt David.)  Genesis 1 reminds us that imagination is not only for people like Michelangelo, unusually gifted artists. Sometimes we think that way, thereby devaluing our own creative gifting and calling. To be sure, some people have extraordinary imaginary ability, whether in art (Michelangelo), literature (Tolkien), music (Beethoven), cooking (Child), or technology (Jobs). But every human being created in God’s image reflects God’s imagination. If you stop to think about it, many “ordinary” human tasks actually require extraordinary imagination—things like raising children, managing a staff, designing a product, or leading a church. 


Written by Mark D. Roberts, the author of today’s meditation.

Gracious God, it is truly a wonder to think that you created us in your own image. Right from the start, we are special to you, special in all of your creation.  Thank you for creating us with the capacity for imagination. Thank you for giving us this gift so that we might effectively and imaginatively do what you have given us to do: being fruitful, multiplying, filling the earth, and exercising authority over it. Help me, I pray, to learn to be more imaginative in the work of my life, whether I’m in the office, the study, the workshop, the classroom, or the store. May I be creative in my core relationships, with family, friends, neighbors, and folks from church. May I learn to use my imagination to serve people in the world, whether by painting murals, feeding the hungry, freeing the captives, or embodying the love of Christ. Amen.

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