“The Purifying of Imagination” – William Temple

“Worship is the submission of all of our nature to God. It is the quickening of the conscience by his holiness; the nourishment of mind with his truth; the purifying of imagination by his beauty; the opening of the heart to his love; the surrender of will to his purpose—all this gathered up in adoration, the most selfless emotion of which our nature is capable.”

– William Temple, Archbishop  of Canterbury 

Did that quote stop you in your tracks? I don’t think I’ve read a more complete definition of worship, tying the nature of God with ours.

The Purifying of Imagination

According to Temple, part of our worship comes through God’s work in our imagination. Dwelling on God and His beauty purifies our imagination. We express our worship and our imagination in a way that glorifies God.

But, imagination has gone wrong. Thousands of years ago, God saw us clearly. He “observed the extent of human wickedness on the earth, and he saw that everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil. ” – Genesis 6:5 (NLT)

We’ve all experienced impure imagination. A brief scroll through Google images may bring something up that grieves you. A brief stroll through an art museum might show the sinfulness of Man instead of the beauty of God. Outside of God’s grace, we don’t need to look much further than our sinful selves.

Pure imagination begins and ends with God. He is the source. He is the One we wish to magnify through our creative expression.

How are you worshiping God through imagination and creativity?



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