As the world eagerly embraces the release of Taika Waititi’s “Thor: Ragnarok”, it’s a powerful reminder that kiwis can compete with the best. But, more than that, the film shows our enduring appetite to create imaginative worlds beyond our own, which shine a light back on our reality. As we’ve journeyed through the Apostle Paul’s letter of encouragement to the young church in Colossae, I’ve been impressed more than ever just how important it is for us to exercise our spiritual imaginations at full stretch, that we might come to understand the unimaginable riches we have in Jesus.
It may seem far-fetched watching Thor battle a green rage-monster in a far off galaxy, but Paul presses our imaginations even harder with his description of the Gospel in this letter. Paul says we live under a Big Sky, a sacred canopy which reshapes our perspective on every aspect of our lives and relationships, as well as our ultimate future. At the start of the letter, he reminds the Colossians that, in Jesus, we see the God who spoke creation into being, who brought order out of chaos, who spread out the heavens like a tablecloth, and who set the stars in their allotted places. For Paul, putting Jesus in proper perspective is fundamental for understanding our own lives, because it is this Jesus who has bound himself to us, who calls us his friends, and who invites us to share in his resurrection life now. Once we are established on this foundation, Paul says, why fool around with the frail and powerless things that we used to trust in?
This week we continue our journey under the Big Sky Paul paints for us in Colossians. It shows us that the key to the Christian life is engaging our spiritual imaginations about who Jesus is and what he’s done. Once we really grasp that, we can put our full trust in him, leaning the whole weight of our identity and aspirations on him, and the rest is detail.
At the beginning of chapter 3, Paul encourages us to get up high and see life from God’s perspective. Not to let our ambitions be earthbound, but to see everything from where Jesus sits. We’re called to judge everything from the standpoint of the new creation to which we now belong, not by the standards of the old world order that we buried at our baptism. So today, I invite you to let your imagination expand to fit the world Jesus has called us into, a new creation that has dawned with his resurrection, and will one day be revealed in its fullness when he returns. As G. K. Chesterton put it: “The trumpet of the imagination, like the trumpet of the Resurrection, calls the dead out of their graves.”

Rev Jonny Grant