Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest! — Luke 19:38
I live in Bethany. Mary — Lazarus and Martha’s younger sister — has been my best friend since, well, I guess since forever. Mary and I have been anxiously waiting for the Passover celebration. Every year we watch what’s going on in Jerusalem from our perch on the Mount of Olives. But this year, Mary and I are allowed to walk the short distance from Bethany to Jerusalem! Lazarus, of course, will accompany us because of the crowds. Still, Mary and I will be in The Temple during the preparation for Passover!
Mary’s family friend, the Galilean named Jesus, arrived last night. The rabbi and his friends often stay at Mary’s home. It’s always lot of fun when they are around. Lots of singing. Lots of laughing. And, as always, Martha prepares lots of delicious food!
Jesus and his friends are going to Jerusalem today, also, so we will follow them from Bethany — over the Mount of Olives — to Jerusalem. I nudge Mary and say, “Look! Jesus is riding a donkey! Where did it come from?”
Mary shrugs her shoulders and joins in the singing. Soon we see other travelers picking up palm branches and waving them in Jesus’ direction. They are singing a praise and thanksgiving song from King David: Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna!
Hosanna? Really? Mary and I look at each other dumbfounded. How many times did Jesus encourage us to sit closer and learn from him? Could it really be that Jesus — Jesus the one we call our friend — is the Messiah? The Messiah God promised to save us from the Roman tyranny? It makes us giddy to think that the time has finally come!
And so we, too, shout Hosanna to Jesus.
And we wonder what the Pharisees are saying to Jesus that makes him wince and his face darken.
Imagio Divina — Divine Imagining — encourages us to enter to stories of the Bible using our imaginations for God to talk with us. Begin by reading a piece of scripture, closing your eyes, and allowing yourself to enter the story. Who is there? Choose a character that you identify with and become him or her. What do you see? What do your smell? What do you hear? What do you touch? Allow yourself to weave the scripture story into your imagination, braiding the biblical details with those you see in your mind’s eye. Many journal their journeys into antiquity following their Imagio Divina practice. For everyone, prayer is the natural conclusion.