As we enter into the final week of Lent this Sunday, we will reflect upon Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem. Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem on a donkey is a reminder of how Jesus’ humility and ministry were focused on those who were marginalized. He emphasized compassion on those who were in desperate need of forgiveness and grace. Jesus’ ministry had been filled with many highlights, but he encountered a great deal of criticism, threats and insults because of his theology for life and his philosophy on accountability.
In spite of the challenges and threats on his life, Jesus rides into Jerusalem amidst shouts of praise and the waiving of palms. Those that had given Jesus a hard time could not stand to hear these shouts, and asked if he would silence them. Jesus responded: “I tell you, if these were silent, the stones would shout out,” Luke 19:40. This still holds true for us today even after the Resurrection. If we do not praise Jesus, the rocks will cry out. As we look around our communities, the rocks are crying out. We are not celebrating the power and the person of Jesus like we should.
This Easter season we need to silence the rocks. The rocks are crying out in our school systems. There are people who can help our failing children, but rather than intervening, they stand idly by doing nothing. The rocks are crying out in our criminal justice system, where the system seems to favor those from a certain class and racial backgrounds. The rocks are crying out in our churches, where there are preachers and pew members who exploit and manipulate the word of God.
The rocks are crying out when we witness injustices and see people hurting. Rather than showing compassion, forgiveness and grace, we stick our heads in the sand. The rocks sound like they are having a concert in so many churches, with the preacher preaching the truth; the choir singing praises; and the pew members sitting there as if they are listening to crickets. Silence the rocks. If we do not silence the rocks, we cannot actualize the power of Jesus Christ in our lives or in the life of someone else. We need grace to silence the rocks. The devil knows this. This is why there are evil spirits that lurk in our families, communities and our world—wanting the rocks to cry out, instead of us.
We cannot allow anyone to stop our praise, our power in Christ from going forth. We cannot permit people who are bothered by our recognition of who Jesus Christ is to make us keep our mouths shut or our hands in our laps. We need to silence the rocks. Grace will give us the faith to overcome fear. Grace will give us the strength to overcome issues of shame and inadequacy. Grace will give us the courage to waive our palms, even though there are others who want us to remain silent. We cannot let the rocks cry out on us.
When we silence the rocks, we can experience the glory of God, we can get through difficult situations. We can do the impossible if we are willing to give God the praise.
Let us open our mouths, lift up holy hands, and do whatever it takes to silence the rocks.