#Imagine: Week 2 Devotional

December 8, 2020

Mark 1:1-8

“See” v. 2

I imagine a world where queer babies run wild into the ocean. I imagine a world where queerness is everything and everyone. I imagine a world where pink is blue and blue is pink. I imagine a world where our pain is connected and our liberation is free. I imagine a world where peace is the origin of our hearts. I imagine a world where little boys can wear glitter dresses. I imagine a world where we slay every day. I imagine a world where black babies aren’t killed because of their flamboyance. I imagine a world where little black gay boys can prance in the moonlight. I imagine a world where we each don’t have a gender or color to represent our essence. I imagine a world where black gay boys are leaders and achievers. I imagine a world where seeing is believing. I imagine a world where glitter can stain school hallways and truly uplift those who are queer. I imagine a world where our genitalia do not define our success. I imagine a world where we each have ample opportunity to grow, prosper, and flourish. I imagine a world with pink tutus on black boys. I imagine a world where glitter falls from the sky. I imagine a world where love truly is love.

~By TYLER KAHLIL MAXIE (Black Imagination, p. 42, McSweeney’s Literary Arts Fund)

I am grateful for the gift of the imagination of Tyler Khalil Maxie and the many other writers in the collection of essays called Black Imagination.

These essays are my psalms for the 21st century.
They are testaments of hope of the future we all need.

In each essay, Black Imagination looks at the present and creates possible worlds where being Black and fully alive can coexist without the harm of violence. This book declares that my Black aliveness and sense of imagination can challenge the reality that we all live in now.

Writer Steven Dunn in the forward defines Black Imagination as a “reclamation of our bodies, space, intelligence, care, and joy. Black Imagination is a reclamation of our whole damn selves. It’s connection and kinship. A celebration of us.”

This Advent may we celebrate us.
Our aliveness.
All Our humanity.

In hopes for the future that is to come, the future that is arriving.

Let us “I imagine a world where seeing is believing.”

On this second Sunday of Advent, I invite us to imagine, see, and believe.

The opening verses of Mark 1 read:

The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. As it is written in the prophet Isaiah, “See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way;

These opening verses are an invitation to experience the story of the good news of Jesus Christ.

Mark’s use of the word “see” is a call to pay attention and not miss the truth of this divine story.

In this passage, we are once again called to time travel and “see” messengers of the past and present that declare Christ’s coming.

We are called to “see” the past messengers through the words of the prophet Isaiah and Malachi, who proclaimed:

“the one who will prepare the way.
The voice of one crying out in the wilderness.
Prepare the way of the Lord. Make his paths straight.”

In the present context of Mark 1, we “see” the messenger illustrated as John the Baptist, who represents the voice in the wilderness who proclaims a message of repentance and forgiveness of sins.

As people of faith, in this 2020 Advent season, we are called to pay attention and “see” the messengers of our past and present witnesses of the faith as an invitation to experience the future coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

When we embrace and believe this seeing, we welcome a hope-filled imagination for a much different world than our present, a world that is possible.

Recently, author Adrienne Marie Brown shared in a virtual conversation that “It is our responsibility to imagine something other than what we are currently experiencing.”

As people of faith, who turn to these Advent scriptures year after year, we have the responsibility to faithfully imagine and practice the coming of our Lord in a way that does not repeat our church’s divisive and violent pasts but calls us toward a hope-filled future where “love truly is love.”.

A future that “sees” the Imago Dei in all creation and “sees” sacredness in everyone and everything.

Take a moment.
Close your eyes.
Can you see the messenger ahead?

I can.

The messenger is you. The messenger is us.

Beloved, please know that there is no going back to normal after this year. There is only moving forward to a future needed for our grieving, hurting, and loving world.

We must work towards a future that rejects apathy, passivity, and harm and embraces empathy, action, and liberating love that testifies to Christ’s life, death, and resurrection.

I “see” this new world.

What do you “see”?


Who are our messengers today that point us towards the future that we need?
You are that messenger. Take a moment and write down what a hope filled future will look like in the next 3 years.

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