The “Demands of Social Justice” illumination from Amos 4 will be featured in Visio Divina sessions on Wednesday, March 18, at 12:45 p.m. (30 minutes) and 7:00 p.m. (60 minutes) in the Chapel of Christ the Teacher. This Lenten prayer opportunity is sponsored by Campus Ministry and the Garaventa Center.
Commenting on this illumination, local (Vashon Island, WA) artist Suzanne Moore has said, “it is about choice, the alternatives of light and dark, obedience and disobedience…human responsibility for our own destiny as we respond to God’s promises.” (quoted by Susan Sink in The Art of The Saint John’s Bible, vol. 2, p. 83)
In this passage in Amos, says Sink, God laments that despite all He has done to try to draw Israel back into His blessings, Israel does not return. Those attempts are listed: famine; drought; blight, mildew, and locusts; pestilence, war, and defeat. The refrain is the same each time: “Yet you did not return to me.” This refrain unites the seven pieces of the illumination, seven pieces as in the Creation but fragmented and chaotic, not bountiful and organized. “This is a reminder,” says Sink,
…that God did not just try to turn the people’s hearts with plagues and punishments, but first tried to draw them close with all the beauty, order and fruitfulness of the Garden. It is the people’s choice not to follow God that has made creation this way. (p. 84)
On the right-hand side of the page, a vaguely menacing creature (a locust?) hovers over the text.