From the first moment that he proclaims the kingdom of God, Jesus appeals to our imagination. He makes that appeal through the parables of the kingdom, the paradoxes of the gospel, the enigmatic and beautiful signs he gave in his miracles, and in those moments in the gospels when the heavens open and the ordinary is transfigured, seen in an utterly new light.
In the gift of faith and in Christ himself, we glimpse more than we can yet understand. Our imagination apprehends more than our reason comprehends. Now, this is not to say that the gospel is in any way imaginary in the dismissive sense of unreal or untrue. On the contrary, it is so real and so true that we need every faculty of mind and body, including the imagination, in order to apprehend it.
Intrigued? In these three lectures, listen to poet and master teacher Malcolm Guite lay hold of scripture and poetry to proclaim the utter centrality of the imagination for Christian faith and life.
As a teaser, listen to Guite unfold R.S. Thomas' extraordinary sonnet called "The Kingdom", which you can read below:
It’s a long way off but inside it
There are quite different things going on:
Festivals at which the poor man
Is king and the consumptive is
Healed; mirrors in which the blind look
At themselves and love looks at them
Back; and industry is for mending
The bent bones and the minds fractured
By life. It’s a long way off, but to get
There takes no time and admission
Is free, if you purge yourself
Of desire, and present yourself with
Your need only and the simple offering
Of your faith, green as a leaf.