With December we move into a month of imagining. That’s true nearly always, but this month “Imagination” is also our worship and small group theme. How might your imagining open new ways of engaging your spiritual life? December is a central moment in several religious traditions. I think particularly of the Christian and Pagan calendars, both of which involve deep imagining. For Christians it is a time of expectation leading to the birth of light and renewal in the world in the coming of Jesus. And for Pagans it is settling into a time of darkness and expectation at the Winter Solstice, imagining how one might prepare for the year ahead.
Winter is a good time to give ourselves over to the imagination, to make future plans and also to imagine how our lives might be different if we acted more intentionally on our values. Are there rote routines that you have saddled yourself with or ways that fear has kept you from your heart’s desire? How might you imagine a life, a way of being in the world that is more in keeping with the deep integrity at your core?
This is good work for us to do on our own, but it only gets us so far. Real spiritual growth, I find, happens in the presence of others who invite us into speech that helps us better frame our thoughts and feelings. Our Theme Groups are created specifically to do that. They are led by trained facilitators to create safe space for all of us to explore this important and sometimes tender territory. If this sounds interesting and you’re not already a part of a group, check with Jim Steffe, Joy McConnell or Rev. Lisa Bovee-Kemper about finding a group to join. We’re working hard to find room in groups for anyone who would like to be a part of one. As usual, we have resources available for you to reflect on our theme. Visit the Worship Theme tab on our website’s homepage; click on the theme, in this case “IMAGINATION,” and you’ll find links to spiritual exercises, questions to explore, and many resources touching on this theme.
Finally, speaking of imagination I wanted to tell you about an adventure that my wife, Debbie, and I will be taking in January that comes from our own imagining. From January 6 through 27 we will be on a trip to India. It is described as a “spiritual tour” of India, taking us to a number of important cities and landmarks in the north and northeastern part of that country. I look forward to sharing with you some of what we learn on that trip. Meanwhile, I invite you to consider where your imaginings might take you.
Debbie and Mark – Your India trip is with Road Scholar, right? If so, people might find it useful to know you endorse RS. – Michael (RS vet)