Prophetic Imagination

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God”
Matt 5:9

Jamie gave a fantastic message at church on Sunday about our calling to be peacemakers. We looked at Matt 5:39-41.

Jamie shared how there are 3 responses to violence: passivity, violence, or Jesus’ way.

He talked about how in each of these instances, Jesus made both the other options look silly. In that culture, you couldn’t hit someone on both cheeks without implying equality. If someone took all your clothes, the shame was on them, the one who made you naked. If you walked more than one mile with a soldier, they could be flogged for potentially causing an uprising. Each response is calculated, not violent or passive, but creative and disrupting.

“Violence is for those who have lost their imagination… We need more of the prophetic imagination that can interrupt violence and oppression.”
[Shane Claiborne]

Walter Brueggemann coined the phrase prophetic imagination. I think that is what Jesus is doing in this passage. Finding ways to take peoples mind off the violence all around us, and remind us that there is a better way. I think our world needs more people who will dare to use their prophetic imagination to change the situations around us. It wont be easy… we look for the quick-exit plan… there is none with this method that I can see. It will take work. But isn’t it worth it? I fear we give up too easily on situations that could be pacified if only we worked harder.

4 thoughts on “Prophetic Imagination

  1. Thanks for this. Sent me in a new direction. I’m looking into what you’re saying here about the ramifications of turning the other cheek and walking another mile in Jesus’ culture. I’d love to know the source this guy used find these things out. If you can put us in contact that would be great.


  2. Glad I helped stimulate some new thoughts! Jamie is the pastor of Glasgow Westend Vineyard, I’m not sure where he got his information. You can get in touch with him via the church office email, westend.vineyard AT virgin DOT net
    Hope that helps! I’m finally reading What About Hitler, wanted to read it after you review, was only released in the UK at the start of December. Hard going!

  3. Yes, I agree. The problem is that there is a great deal of antipeace, anti-shalom, anti-grace (for want of better words) around the place – sadly even in church – so to become a peacemaker today is to invite choas and trouble.

  4. Joe – suprised to find a comment on an older post! How’d you come across this blog/post? I’m interested in your comment… could you maybe expand a bit more on what you mean?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *