Ezekiel 17: 22-24
22 Thus says the Lord God:
I myself will take a sprig
from the lofty top of a cedar;
I will set it out.
I will break off a tender one
from the topmost of its young twigs;
I myself will plant it
on a high and lofty mountain.
23 On the mountain height of Israel
I will plant it,
in order that it may produce boughs and bear fruit,
and become a noble cedar.
Under it every kind of bird will live;
in the shade of its branches will nest
winged creatures of every kind.
24 All the trees of the field shall know
that I am the Lord.
I bring low the high tree,
I make high the low tree;
I dry up the green tree
and make the dry tree flourish.
I the Lord have spoken;
I will accomplish it.
Do we use our imaginations enough when we think about our churches?
When asked to re-imagine what church could be - do we simply imagine our local church denomination - exactly like it is currently (in structure, form, and shape) but with 25% more attendees and a 33% bigger budget? Or are our imaginations more limited even than that? Can we only imagine a church that is treading water - holding steady?
We need to think bigger, using the God given gift of our imaginations, to imagine what church could be, what church already is if we stopped to look.
What’s described in Ezekiel is not a caged bird looking at a mirror… it is expansive boughs wide enough and strong enough that every kind of bird can live there.
Are we re-arranging mirrors in the birdcage when we should be opening the door?
How can we develop and adapt church so that an ever wider variety of birds can rest there? And not just birds, lions, tigers, bears!
Let’s take an inventory of our resources, let’s look around our local communities, let’s keep imagining.
Help us to expand our arms out wide
like the boughs of an expansive tree.
Help us make room where a variety of nests
can settle and form.
Let’s re-imagine church and re-imagine our part in it.