In the Middle East stones are representative of protest. Whenever protest happens, it is accompanied by stones – usually being thrown. There are certainly many of them around. After living in the Middle East, seeing stones used in this way, I came to appreciate a new meaning to the story in Luke concerning Palm Sunday:
As he was now drawing near, at the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” And some of the Pharisees in the multitude said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.” (Luke 19:37-40 RSV)
I remember speaking to a group of pastors in the Middle East during a very difficult time – a time of great protest. I used this passage and asked them – “Are you listening to the stones? They are speaking!” I went on to encourage these pastors to go home to the United States and not be silent about some of the difficult things they saw. If they were silent the stones would be speak louder.
I think of people with disabilities living in poverty and the injustice they feel as they are not valued, not included, left out. Who is speaking out for them? Are we silent?
One of my first messages as I began at cbm Canada was that we need to speak louder. The message of Easter is profoundly about Jesus demonstrating that all people have value in the eyes of the Kingdom. Let’s shout that message in everything we say and do. If people don’t listen, maybe we have to see what it means to pick up some stones and let them talk for us.