April 7, 2023 • Life for Leaders
Scripture — Luke 19:40 (NASB)
But Jesus answered, “I tell you, if these become silent, the stones will cry out.”
The Pharisees have angst over the crowd’s energy and proclamations about Jesus. They demand that Jesus rebuke his disciples. Were they afraid? Nervous? What were they afraid of? Helmut Thielicke says: “There are really only two ways to take a thing seriously. Either you renounce it or you risk everything for it.”
I love the spaces of silence. Today is a day traditionally marked with silence and hard waiting in the journey between Good Friday and Easter. In this in-between space, I find a seed of silence that invites me to be attentive to what it contains.
Our verse comes at the heels of resounding hosannas to Jesus and claiming him as the king who comes in the name of the Lord. The multitude of women and male disciples are magnifying not only his words but his miraculous witness. They lay down their cloaks and Jesus parades on a borrowed donkey in this procession.
While this passage is usually highlighted during Palm Sunday, I want to draw attention to the silence that the Pharisees and Jesus name. The Pharisees have angst over the crowd’s energy and proclamations about Jesus. They demand that he rebuke his disciples. Were they afraid? Nervous? Annoyed? Helmut Thielicke says: “There are really only two ways to take a thing seriously. Either you renounce it or you risk everything for it.”
The tension heightens in a crowd that won’t remain silent and risks everything before the authorities to identify with Jesus. The Pharisees in turn demand that they be silenced. Jesus claps back a type of “You can try but….” Even if you did silence them, the stones would cry out.
In the silence, even the stones would cry out.
Let’s pause there on this silent Saturday.
What would your stone say about your story with Jesus? What would your stone shout out? The crowds had, as the elders say, a testimony to cry out. Yours is a story that has a testimony and is also a story that is still being written.
This is not the end.
You are a living stone, my friend.
In our silent waiting, how has Jesus accompanied you in a season of suffering or grief?
Journal about this time, as a way of holy remembrance, just as the crowds declared their encounters with Jesus and his deeds of power in their lives.
God of the speaking stones, help me to remember that even darkness cannot dampen my story. Help me remember that my story is hidden in yours and yours in mine. Jesus who awaited resurrection in the pit of darkness, thank you for becoming well acquainted with my grief. In your fragile humanity you chose to be silenced for a time, because you thought we were worth fighting for and dying for. We wait in silence with you and for you. Amén.
Banner image by Amy Tran on Unsplash.
Find all Life for Leaders devotions here. Explore what the Bible has to say about work at the unique website of our partners, the Theology of Work Project’s online commentary. Reflection on today’s Life for Leaders theme can be found here: Idolatrous Work (Habakkuk 2:1-20; Zephaniah 1:14-18).
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