April 4, 2017
As he [Jesus] rode along, people kept spreading their cloaks on the road. As he was now approaching the path down from the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the deeds of power that they had seen, saying, “Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest heaven!” Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, order your disciples to stop.” He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the stones would shout out.” – Luke 19:36-40
Reading a blog about the sounds of the natural order caused me to pause once again at Jesus’ declaration. We now know the universe and its components have many associated sounds. The sun which gives us warmth murmurs a sound from rushing of flaming gasses. Even the ground we walk on vibrates as a detectable sound.
The scene is the “Triumphal Entry,” with Jesus on a donkey colt entering Jerusalem as people spread their cloaks on the road in front of him. People joyfully shout praises to God, while religious leaders cry out for Jesus to silence the crowd. Yet in only days, other cries echo across the court, “Crucify him! Give us Barabbas!” Fear and division too often powerfully motivate people. We see it all the time. Fear causes us to recognize “otherness” of people, rather than our commonalities. Division pits groups into “us” and “them,” “conservatives” and “liberals,” “traditionalists” and “progressives.” We experience it all the time.
Yet, Jesus reminds us of the power of praise and the witness of the world and creation. As the “Holy Week” progressed from “Hosanna!” and shouts of triumph to “Crucify him!” and the cries of tragedy, sacred texts record that the sun cried out with darkness, rocks cried out, shaking the very earth, graves opened, the Temple cried out, rending its curtain from top to bottom. Even the cross bore witness to the Centurion’s proclamation, “Surely this was the son of God.”
Creation will cry out in the only ways it can if we keep silent and refuse to put our faith into words of praise and actions of loving worship. How will you cry out this Holy Week? I look forward to our journey into Jerusalem and into the most Holy Week of our life in faith! –Yours in grace and hope,
Rev. Steven Davis, Minister of Administration & Church OperationsSubscribe