Don't Make the Stones Cry!
Have you ever heard a stone cry out? Me neither. But Jesus said that if we don’t use our voices to praise Him, God will give stones a chance to do it for us.
This was Jesus’ response to the Pharisees’ disgust with the outrageous display of a crowd gone wild about Jesus as he entered Jerusalem. The Pharisee told Jesus to silence his disciples. There was no place for such disorderly conduct in Jerusalem.
And Jesus told the Pharisees that the very stones under their feet, stacked to build their homes and border their roads were waiting to shout praise to their Creator if the world went silent about what God valued.
The stonees still wait.
But sometimes it feels like they won’t have to wait much longer. Sometimes it feels like the Pharisees are winning. The loudest voices we hear today aren’t used to praise Jesus, are they?
What about our voices? Where do we raise them to honor Jesus?
I’m not talking about obnoxious behavior where pushy people speak arrogantly about a faith that has little substance. Nor am I talking about protests for or against anything.
Instead, I’m asking myself, where do I raise my voice for Jesus? Where do I speak the words of faith I believe? Where do I keep the stones quiet?
And my answer comes back to humble me yet again in this journey to Easter . . . . Not enough.
I remember Palm Sunday last year. I remember the sadness I felt about the doors of our churches closed for this day. When our churches are closed, does it close our mouths as well? Are we so practiced with praise inside the walls of our worship places that we don’t know how to take it to the streets like the people did for Jesus so many years ago?
Don’t get nervous. I’m not advocating we take to the streets again. I’m not sure a show of force makes the impact that one voice could make at the right time. Proverbs 25:11 calls words spoken in the right circumstances, “apples of gold in a silver setting.”
I want to share some golden apples. I want to look for the openings where a “right word” makes a difference. I want to raise my voice as my very own palm branch to honor Jesus as if he were walking into my neighborhood. I want to do my part to keep the stones quiet.
Maybe it’s one of the lessons we need to learn during this pandemic. That we have been pushed out of churches on to the streets where the people God wants to reach are. That God will give us opportunities if we use them. Maybe we are acting like stones and God wants to give us our voices back.
So I’m not going to just raise a palm branch this Sunday; I’m going to raise my voice as well.
I’m going to serve up some golden apples.