The stones will cry out | Community columns
Scripture: Luke 19:39: Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Master, command your disciples to stand still.” He replied, “I tell you, if these were silent, the stones would cry out.”
Message: The stones will cry out
This triumphant entry must be reviewed. The hope for most was that the Roman authorities would be purged and a new political order would be established. This Messiah would bring the Kingdom of Heaven to earth as many believed on January 6, 2021.
But Jesus senses the gravity of this and the misguided political aspirations of the people and even the Pharisees. And the Gospel of Luke makes sure of it: you have to find a borrowed donkey; no tank or army to escort him into the holy city. He comes near Bethpage to the place called Mount of Olives (Zechariah 9:9) where He will proclaim and pray for peace, not insurrection. And finally, the comment of the Pharisees: “Command your disciples to stop this. They say, “We are in power – Don’t overthrow our authority. “And Jesus said ‘even the stones will cry out.’ The stones will tell the truth of Jesus’ mission.
Have you thought about stones? They talk and shout. They tell the story of the earth, the story of the people and the climate. We can carbon date, X-ray and find out what’s underneath.
And on this Palm Sunday, they cry out — they become the way to Jerusalem where Jesus will seal his destiny. We recall the stones used by Joshua, David and Jacob (Genesis 28). The stones recall the words of Jesus to those caught in the act of adultery, “let the guilty cast the first stone”. (John 8).
Today, the stones cry out. They scream in Ukraine. The deaths of over 400 innocent people along the now empty stone streets of Kyiv and over 320 civilians in Bucha remind us of the destruction.
In the most recent Smithsonian Magazine, research reveals the horrific conditions endured by some 12,000 Chinese workers, some as young as 12, while laying track for the Central Pacific Railroad to join at Promontory Summit Point.
The stones cry out in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where from May 31 to June 1, 1921, a mob of more than 1,000 white men descended on the black district of Greenwood, killing more than 300 black men, women and children. It wasn’t until 1996, after a memorial service held at the church, that research began uncovering these gruesome details. Buried under stones and earth were uncovered bodies and unmarked graves.
And the sadness of that time, in our West Virginia Legislature, the majority party tried to impose restrictions on the teaching of this kind of relevant history (SB 498 – The Anti-Racism Bill), saying that it would protect students and ensure that no educator in West Virginia teaches that a race is “inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive.” But that would only apply to public and charter schools. There would be no restrictions for so-called “private” or “Christian” schools. They could teach anything they wanted in any way they wanted with any material they wanted. The backdoor way it nearly passed failed because it was voted on 2 minutes after midnight; two minutes after the end of the session. But, rest assured, these stones will rise again.
Jesus is indeed saying that these stones will cry out. These stones will require a decision from us. Either we have to deal with those who can destroy our faith and our democracy, or use them to build. It is up to us to begin the entry into our Jerusalem.