Imagination at Christmas

Because we do not get to see, smell, taste, or touch the events of the gospel story, we must visualize it.
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What Luke records requires imagination, and we miss something if we don't employ our imaginations as we read his account. Because we do not get to see, smell, taste, or touch the events of the gospel story, we must imagine it. As O'Brien says, the gospel takes us to a world where God comes to earth as a human, where humans make choices to trust in one who dies on a cross, and where a stone rolls away and the Lord rises from the dead. We don't generally see such things. So, we cannot believe without imagination. Believing means we envision what is recorded as real history. Luke helps us by introducing us to real people who experienced Christ's coming in the midst of their doubts, hopes, sorrows, and joys—just like us. We enter through our mind's imagination to a real kingdom invasion. God comes to us, which changes everything. And as we enter, we gain certainty.

So use your imagination as you read the gospel accounts this Advent season. Jesus said that "the kingdom of God is in your midst" (Luke 17:21). There really wasn't a Super Bowl-like party on earth at Jesus' coming. The world tried to ignore him. But the people close by saw him and God made sure their stories were recorded. So let's dig into the songs, sorrows, and joys surrounding Jesus' birth. And like Luke intended, let's use our imaginations to gain greater certainty as we enter Christ's kingdom.

Brad Reardon is a pastor and JoHannah Reardon is the managing editor of ChristianBibleStudies.com. She blogs at www.johannahreardon.com and is the author of seven fictional books and a family devotional guide.

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