Preaching Prophetic Imagination

Recently, our Faith Table listened to a Walter Brueggemann discussion of “What is a Prophet?” Brueggemann’s book, Prophetic Imagination, was written 40 years ago, but it is creating new discussions about how faith leaders can help their members navigate a cultural environment of conflict and false narratives. The concept of prophetic imagination can help us look beyond the discouraging noise and conflict.

Prophetic imagination is the ability to see a reality that is different than that of the “Empire” (or government, culture, country, political party). It is the reality that God calls us to see. Throughout history, we can see God’s work in movements to improve lives – driven by ordinary people who imagined a different reality.

Brueggemann warns us that “Prophetic preaching is dangerous work, not only because it has a subversive edge but because it requires an epistemological break with the assumed world of dominant imagination. This break makes us aware of our assumptions we have not recognized or reflected upon.”

What if we could help others view the world through the lens of God’s intentions for humanity? This view is transforming – it changes everything we see and enables prophetic hope to lead to prophetic action. Can you imagine it?

“Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe”– St. Augustine

Susan Bolduc
Colorado Springs Faith Leaders Table
First Lutheran Church

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