as i've been reading the texts for the next two sundays (palm sunday and easter) i have been struck by the stones that i have found there. this sunday, Jesus enters jerusalem on a colt, with the people waving branches and shouting. it is a revolution, of sorts, or at least a protest. but there are pharisees in the crowd, and they aren't pleased. they tell Jesus to make the people stop saying things like, "Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord." but Jesus replies, "if these people kept quiet, the stones would do it for them, shouting praise." or, you may be more familiar with the translation, "these stones will cry out."
a few verses later, jesus is weeping over jerusalem, apparantly troubled by what he understands to be the fate of the city, and he says some pretty harsh things, and one of them is that "your enemies will not leave a single stone in place (luke 19:44)."
so what is the rightful place of stones? we will hear about another stone next sunday in john 20 (it also occurs in luke 24). something about a stone being rolled away. there seems to be an awful lot of talk about stones here in these stories. what's the deal?
i have many thoughts at this point in the week, as i approach my sermon on sunday. sometimes the hardest work of writing a sermon is eliminating all the things you won't say. but one of the questions that is bouncing around my spirit right now is: are the rocks crying out? have we/i become so silent that the rocks are crying out? have i lost my voice, somehow? have i become content to let the rocks speak for me? have we as Christ-followers become a silent sub-culture for the most part?
and what about the rocks that build, piling them on top of each other? the cathedrals and towers and churches and muli-purpose rooms we build, funneling our finances into bricks and mortar, buying into the modern myth of "if we build it, they will come." what about those rocks? what will remain when no rock is left intact? what voice will we have then?
i don't want the stones to speak for me. i, for one, want to be louder than the stones, warmer than the stones, livelier than the stones. i want to be full of spirit, full of life. i want to move and be moved. i want to last longer than the stones!