Return to God’s word for the purpose of “hearing and seeing” Christ in the text. Fix your gaze on the illumination. Ask God to open the eyes of your heart and enable you to see what God wants you to see.
Yesterday I wrote about how in visio divina people are drawn to different aspects of the image, and how that “conversation” with the artwork can lead us towards discovering something about God. Today I ask myself what I personally am drawn to.
The cross is obviously forefront in the image, but it’s not just because its the biggest or the brightest. It seems to me to becoming out of the frame of the image. The rightmost part seems to be behind the frame, but then the cross is angled so that the top and left parts seem to be coming towards me.
I think that “coming forth” speaks of the significance of the event. I imagine that people who were actual witnesses to Jesus’ crucifixion likely thought of it as the end. “Well, this is how his story is settled, and his promises are dying with him.” But Jesus isn’t confined by that image…his crucifixion is something that we believe has changed the world, and continues to do so today. It transcends that moment in history and comes forward into today.
I think the same can be said for how I view Christ. So easily Jesus is “settled” in my mind: “I know what happened with Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. I believe it. Now that that’s settled, I can get back to living my life.” But Jesus won’t remain boxed in by history, and he won’t remain boxed in by my mind. Jesus breaks forth, and if I am going to have a meaningful relationship with him, I had better be prepared for that, unsettling as it may be.
© Crucifixion, Donald Jackson, 2002. The Saint John’s Bible, Order of Saint Benedict, Collegeville, Minnesota. Scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible, Catholic Edition, © 1993, 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.