time lapse photography of blue lights

The Ministry of Imagination

“Every totalitarian regime is frightened of the artist. It is the vocation of the prophet to keep alive the ministry of imagination, to keep on conjuring and proposing alternative futures to the single one the king wants to urge as the only thinkable one.” – Walter Brueggeman

The ministry of imagination. Have you ever considered the possibility that your creative work in the world is ministry when it comes from a place rooted in Christ?

In the quote above Brueggeman is not simply referring to “king(s)” in political terms. He is challenging us to be aware on a deeper level of the kings of this world; the ideas, the addictions, the self righteousness, self-focused-ness, the forces that try to obscure the Kingdom of Heaven and our identity as children of God.

In Mako Fujimura’s latest book, Art & Faith: A Theology of Making, he quotes a beautiful passage from Lisa Sharon Harper’s exegesis of Genesis. She writes:

“It’s important to note that God does not obliterate the darkness; rather, God names it and limits it – puts boundaries on it. The boundary is the light.

As children of the light, we are to be beacons and bearers of light. And in an age where the darkness of doubt, fear, polarization and isolation seem prevalent, it is the artists and creatives who must diligently keep alive the “ministry of imagination.” This is the ministry which helps us to envision other possible futures; other ways of being – together.

Lisa Smith