“The stones would shout out.” I’ve always loved the image that as Jesus made his way into Jersualem all creation needed to praise God. That the need was so strong that like flooding waters that burst a damn, heavy snow that starts an avalanche, a wild fire whipped into fury by dry winds, it couldn’t be stopped.
36 As he [Jesus] rode along, people kept spreading their cloaks on the road. 37 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, 38 saying,
“Blessed is the king
who comes in the name of the Lord!
Peace in heaven,
and glory in the highest heaven!”
39 Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, order your disciples to stop.” 40 He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the stones would shout out.”
In the moment of Jesus’ triumphal entry, just days before his tragic death, everyone got it. The disciples who walked beside him, the bystanders who lined the streets, the people who waved branches and spread their cloaks on the road, all who Jesus was and their need of him. They had clarity about their deep need for a Savior, for someone who would meet them where they were and show them the way to God. Someone who would free them from being trapped in the identities of oppressor and oppressed, have and have not, insider and outsider and set them free to live as beloved children of God.
I know what’s coming next in the story. I know that in less than a week Jesus will be arrested, abandoned and betrayed by his friends, flogged, mocked, and crucified.
We are a fickle species. I am all too aware of the inconstancy of my devotion, the unreliability of my loyalty. I know how easy it is to go from hope to cynicism, action to indifference, certain of God’s love to despair about God’s distance. But for now, for today, I’ll join the crowd in praising God and trusting Jesus. I’ll give thanks knowing that the way Jesus lived is the way of true life. I’ll make my way forward, following his footsteps.