So I was reading some Eugene Peterson today and I stumbled across a chapter on “The Apocalyptic Pastor” He suggest that one of the things the church needs more than anything else is apocalypse. By this he doesn’t mean more “End-Times” preaching, but more imaginative preaching. Here is how he puts it:
Apocalypse is arson – it secretly sets a fire in the imagination that boils the fat our of an obese culture-religion and renders a clear gospel love, a pure gospel hope, a purged gospel faith.
This dove tails with what James K.A. Smith has been talking about the past few years when he writes on cultural liturgies. This is hard work. How do we create striking and provocative language that carefully reflects the truth of scripture to a culture that is blind to its blunt demands and claims?
God, who walks amidst the prayers of your people that rise up like smoke all around you,
We pray today that you would enliven the imagination and language of your people.
Lord we pray that our worship would see the beautiful and terrible throne room;
That we would see created order singing your praise around us and gather them into your courts.
We pray that we would see our idolatry as wicked and detestable as a whore,
That we would see through the veil and find our culture to be as dangerous as a dragon.
God who makes all things new, we pray that we could see your plan is golden and your future as brilliant.
Father, our minds are dull and our tongues are weak. Help us to have a fire inside of us that sees you for who you are.
Terrible and brilliant, like a meteor shower that crashes through the sky all around us. Amen