On that day, says the Lord God, I will make the sun go down at noon, and I will darken the earth in broad daylight.  I will turn your feasts into sad affairs and all your singing into a funeral song; I will make people wear mourning clothes and shave their heads; I will make it like the loss of an only child, and the end of it like a bitter day. — Amos 8:9-10

 

Almost no one came to the Passover meal at Martha’s house.  Jesus and his friends went into Jerusalem for their meal  — Lazarus, too.  It did not feel like a festival preparation day.  Frankly, it was dull.  And strangely dark.  For about three hours the skies over Jerusalem were ominously black.

But after sundown, the friends of Jesus came back to Martha’s house, one by one, defeated and grief-stricken.  Each looked as if they had lost their best friend.

And they had.

Like pieces to a puzzle, what had happened slowly came together as the men told their stories of Jesus’ arrest, trial and crucifixion.  One remembered it this way, while another remembered it that way. Either way, the story was horrific:  brutality and senseless death. As unimaginable as Jesus’ death was to us, the reports of what happened next were strange and mysterious. Nothing less than beyond this world.

Stories were told of how the Temple curtain was ripped in two, from top to bottom!  The earth quaked.  Graves opened and those living dead appeared to many people.  Jesus, they said, called out for Elijah with his dying breath.  Not one of God’s prophets came to rescue Jesus.

Peter arrived.  A brazen boy shouted, “cock-a-doodle-do,” and was silenced quickly by his mother.  Peter’s story had arrived long before he did.  Martha brought Peter food and drink, but was waved away.  Lazarus tried to comfort him, but was pushed away with all the strength that large, sturdy fisherman could muster.

From that day on, the crow of a rooster would always bring Peter to his knees.

Imagio Divina — Divine Imagining — encourages us to enter into 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.

 

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