This Sunday is Palm Sunday. We read through and studied the gospel reading for this Sunday in class this week. From the gospel of Luke (19:28-40), we read the story of the procession into Jerusalem:
After Jesus had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. When he had come near Bethphage and Bethany, at the place called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of the disciples, saying, “Go into the village ahead of you, and as you enter it you will find tied there a colt that has never been ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ just say this, ‘The Lord needs it.’” So those who were sent departed and found it as he had told them. As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, “Why are you untying the colt?” They said, “The Lord needs it.” Then they brought it to Jesus; and after throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it. As he 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 king 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.”
One of my classmates asked us to draw an image that came to us from this passage, one that speaks to where this passage is going. I have always been captivated by the closing line spoken by Jesus, “I tell you, if these [people] were silent, the stones would shout out.” It is such a powerful image of creation crying out praises to God even if we human fail to keep it up all the time. So I drew a pile of rocks with a speech bubble and the word LIFE! proclaimed loudly in the speech bubble. Because ultimately that is where the procession of palms ends a week later: rock tombs opening up and shouting life as Jesus is risen.
I don’t know about where you are, but in this little corner of the world we are starting to see spring. It has been raining and the smells of spring are in the air. Green is beginning to sprout and I will not be surprised if trees start to bud soon. Seeing green pop everywhere always brings to mind the song “The Color Green” by Rich Mullins.
And the moon is a sliver of silver
Like a shaving that fell on the floor of a Carpenter’s shop
And every house must have it’s builder
And I awoke in the house of God
Where the windows are mornings and evenings
Stretched from the sun
Across the sky north to south
And on my way to early meeting
I heard the rocks crying out
I heard the rocks crying out
Be praised for all Your tenderness by these works of Your hands
Suns that rise and rains that fall to bless and bring to life Your land
Look down upon this winter wheat and be glad that You have made
Blue for the sky and the color green that fills these fields with praise
The rocks cry out, the colour green cries out, sun rise and rain fall bless the name of God.
We’re headed to the celebration of Palm Sunday and then on to Holy Week and the great Tridiuum services. But at the end of the day, the rocks cry out along with us: Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Life!