Visio Divina: Lenten Devotions
Friday, April 15
We continue following the story of Jesus’ final hours, as recorded in the Gospel of Mark, with Mark 15:33-39 (NRSV).
Visio divina (divine seeing) is a form of practice where one prays with art or other visual media. When accompanied with lectio divina (divine reading), it can be a powerful connecting experience and a way to go deeper into scripture by using all your senses.
Read the scripture for the week and focus on one word that touches you deeply. Pray and ruminate on the word, allowing thoughts, images, and questions to open up a dialogue with God.
When it was noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. At three o’clock Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
When some of the bystanders heard it, they said, “Listen, he is calling for Elijah.” And someone ran, filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a stick, and gave it to him to drink, saying, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to take him down.”
Then Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. Now when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that in this way he breathed his last, he said, “Truly this man was God’s Son!”
View the artwork, continue praying, and feel free to journal while you pray to help you experience the dialogue between you, God, the scripture, and the image.
Ask God to open your heart to what God wants you to see. What new feelings are you experiencing in response to seeing? What does the image remind you of? What do you like or dislike about the image, and how does that connect to your values or assumptions? How does the image or story connect to your own life or the world around you? Is there an action that God wants you to take or a transformation that you need to make in your heart? Finally, end your prayer by feeling the full power of God’s love and grace.
This watercolor is my interpretation based on feelings that arose during my own reading of the scripture. If you want to go further, create your own image as it relates to your experience of meditating on the crucifixion narration.
Robin Stephenson is a Western regional organizer for Bread for the World and in her spare time likes to dabble in watercolors.
“Forsaken,” by Robin Stephenson.
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