Reactivate Forgotten Images to Retell the Present

Regardless of our faith lineage, the liberating narrative of the Hebrew scriptures has much to teach us about deceptions that false authorities lord over communities. Imperial powers of scarcity, violence, and competition introduce a death

The task of prophetic imagination is to cut through the numbness, to penetrate the self-deception, so that the God of endings is confessed as Lord… The deathliness among us is not the death of a long life well lived but the death… [of] wanting all knowledge and life delivered to our royal management.  The Prophet must

  1. reactivate symbols “out of our historical past symbols that always have been vehicles for redemptive honesty”
  2. Bring to public expression those fears and terrors that have been denied so long and suppressed so deeply that we do not know they are there.
  3. Speak metaphorically but concretely about the real deathliness that hovers over us and gnaws within us, and to speak neither in rage nor with cheap grace, but with the candor born of anguish and passion.[1]

HIstorical numbness can keep us from live encounters with present pain. How does your community connect to history? Who are the ancestors for your community? What cultures hand you this moment (your own tradition, as well as the traditions of those who have lived before you in this particular place)?  How might the historically hidden stories of women, children, and minorities be lifted up to help reimagine this present moment?

How might you candidly call out deathliness in your community with anguish and passion using the imagery and memories of those who have gone before you?



[1]Brueggemann, Walter. Prophetic Imagination: Revised Edition (pp. 45-46). Fortress Press. Kindle Edition.

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