A Contemplative Lenten Experience: don’t let the rocks cry out
Scripture: Luke 19: 29 – 42 ESV
29 When he drew near to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount that is called Olivet, he sent two of the disciples, 30 saying, “Go into the village in front of you, where on entering you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever yet sat. Untie it and bring it here. 31 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ you shall say this: ‘The Lord has need of it.’” 32 So those who were sent went away and found it just as he had told them. 33 And as they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, “Why are you untying the colt?” 34 And they said, “The Lord has need of it.” 35 And they brought it to Jesus, and throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it. 36 And as he rode along, they spread their cloaks on the road. 37 As he was drawing near—already on the way down the Mount of Olives—the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works 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!” 39 And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” 40 He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”
Palm Sunday, its the day we remember Jesus entering into Jerusalem amongst cheers and praises. The people had witnessed and heard about all the miracles this Rabbi had done. They heard his teachings and longed to be in his presence. This same Jesus was among the people who journeyed into Jerusalem in preparation for the celebration of the Passover. They couldn’t but help see this Rabbi as their savior, the one who would deliver them.
It is believed that as the pilgrims journeyed to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover they sang the Psalms of Ascent (Ps 120 – Ps 134). They recounted what God had done and is doing with shouts and acts of praise. It is in this setting that Jesus is hailed as their savior and king.
The Israelites were focused on their current circumstances and visualized Jesus as their deliverer. Jesus’ love was by far greater than what they had imagined or dreamed about. Jesus, son of David, who comes in the name of the Lord came to establish and help them (us) recognize the kingdom of God. A kingdom that was far greater than the kingdoms of this world.
We too have been given the privilege to praise God. Praise Him in our circumstances knowing that His love for us is greater than what we can hope for. Praise Him because He knows our circumstances. Praise Him because He will deliver us. Praise Him for what He has done and praise Him for what He is doing.
When the Pharisees objected to the people equating Jesus as their deliverer Jesus retorts saying “And if they (we) keep silent the stones will cry out“. We are created for praise and for worship. So let’s not lose our privilege. Let’s praise.
This is a visual of praises rising before our king. The crown in the center represents the king. The white figures surrounding the crown are the outlines of people with arms raised up in praise. The people are interlaced among palm branches singing ‘Hosanna’ (meaning save us). This king is the king of all kings not just of the Jews. He is worthy of all praise., He is worthy of our praise.
Here is an activity sheet you can use to spend some time in praise. Think of different things you are grateful for. Write it down in the spaces between the people and palm branches. Jot down names of people you would like to thank God for in the spaces representing people.
the above are some of the images colored by people ages 6 and up from different parts of the world!