28After he had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. 29When he had come near Bethphage and Bethany, at the place called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of the disciples, 30saying, “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. 31If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ just say this, ‘The Lord needs it.’” 32So those who were sent departed and found it as he had told them. 33As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, “Why are you untying the colt?” 34They said, “The Lord needs it.” 35Then they brought it to Jesus; and after throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it. 36As he rode along, people kept spreading their cloaks on the road. 37As 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, 38saying, “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest heaven!” 39Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, order your disciples to stop.” 40He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the stones would shout out.”
Decent and in order - what do the stones say?
People lining the street - creating a farcical parade - Jesus entering town like one of the kings or officials. Let's pretend and poke fun - let's laugh and enjoy ourselves. Ourselves, this motley group of followers of the Way. No one take yourself too seriously - after all Jesus is determined to go to the most dangerous place for us. Don't think about it too much - it'll scare the crap out of you. We have no idea what he's up to - we think he might have lost his mind - all we've got to keep us going is this colt and some palm branches and the last minute pageantry of the crowd.
"Blessed is the King!" Not just any king... the one who comes in the name of the Lord. Peace in heaven... glory in the highest heaven! Shouting and dancing and waving - pretending. Less about worshiping Jesus and more about mocking the current power structures who ride into town expecting praise.
And the church folk are quick to say, "stop doing that! it's embarrassing us." Tell them to be quiet. They're causing a scene. Have you no shame?
And Jesus' answer - come on now... if they don't shout, the stones will. What do the stones say?
As we enter Holy Week - whether we celebrate Palm Sunday or Passion Sunday or if our congregations all go away for Spring break... what do the stones around us say? I have a feeling that they've speaking because I haven't seen pageantry lately and praise seems far from our lips.
All photographs can be found at To the Clouds Photography.
Search this blog for a specific text or story:
I am grateful for