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By Pastor Paul Gauche

Today’s Word: ‘Imagination’ as in… it’s really okay to use it.

Eugene Peterson will be remembered forever as “the Author of the Message Bible.” He chafed at that description. I can still hear him saying, “I’m not the author. God is the author.” Eugene was a wonderful pastor, teacher, and scholar with a working knowledge of six ancient languages. He engaged original biblical texts with a commitment to integrity, a passion for the overall ‘Message,’ and something we risk losing if we’re not careful: imagination.

Eugene was a founding pastor of Christ Our King Presbyterian Church in Bel Air, Maryland. During his 29 years there, he discovered that the people in the congregation “didn’t understand what they were reading.” So, verse by verse, chapter by chapter, and book by book, Eugene translated the scriptures from their original languages into beautiful, imaginative language that people could understand. The result was and is The Message. Eugene certainly taught me to appreciate what was written in ink on the pages. But he also helped me appreciate what was below the ink and between the pages. That’s where my imagination sparked.

As the ancient-yet-ever-ongoing good news of the resurrection of Jesus captivates us in these Easter days, let’s reimagine these words along with Eugene Peterson from 1 John.

“This is the bold declaration we’re announcing to you and the whole world: that which was from the very moment light was spoken into existence, covering every inch of the creation, what we each have heard with our own two ears, what we each have seen with our own two eyes, what we each have touched with our own two hands concerning the Word of Life – we announce, we declare to you what we have seen, heard, touched, even tasted and smelled, so that our fellowship with each other, with God, with Christ himself, may bring us uncontainable joy.”

Thriving Reflections:

++ In this passage, the “Word of Life” refers to Jesus. How does your imagination help you understand that?

++ How does using your imagination help or hinder your understanding of these ancient words?



Paul Gauche is the Pastor of Life Transitions at Prince of Peace. His posts are part of his #100days50words project, where he blogs about a different word each week. You can follow his project on Instagram (@pgauche) or his blog, Thriving Rhythms.




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