Sunday, March 28, 2010

30 Days of Hearing -- Silent Stones

I have never heard a stone speak out loud. Some -- ones that were especially pretty or interestingly shaped -- spoke of beauty to me. But not with a voice I could hear with the large ears affixed to the side of my head.

But I thought about stones speaking this morning when our worship leader read the Lucan passage of Jesus' Palm Sunday entrance into Jerusalem --

When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen: "Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!" "Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!" Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, "Teacher, rebuke your disciples!" "I tell you," he replied, "if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out."

The idea of stones crying out captures my imagination every time I heard that passage. Here's all this human hubbub going on and Jesus says, "if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out." Is he speaking metaphorically or are his words, like Paul's in Romans 8:22 (We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time) literally true.

A few years ago, moved by this passage, I wrote a poem about this. Now, I am no poet (as my poet friends will attest), but still, I offer it as a reflection --

Yes, we stones
stayed silent as the master
passed. Silence is our nature,
we sit and bear witness. Let
God's other creatures with gaping
mouths shout Hosannas. We sat
silent the next week long and then ...
.. then came the loud creatures again,
picking us up, hurling us, our Hosannas stillborn, other
words flying Heavenward. We at last found our voices,
filled with tears though
they were.

He answered, "I tell you,
the very stones would cry out."

-- Brent

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