Our Easter Holy Week has begun. Yesterday, we celebrated Palm Sunday, joining in spirit Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem – Hosanna! Hosanna to our King! Easter Holy Week honours the faithfulness, commitment, trials, betrayals, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus our King.
When Jesus enters Jerusalem with cheers and accolades, “the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen,” (Luke 19: 37). The Jewish religious leaders tell Jesus to rebuke his disciples – make them be quiet! But Jesus says: “I tell you, if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out!” (Luke 19: 39).
Today’s reflection speaks about stones. And their infinite mystery and power. Did you know that you can balance very different sizes of stones one upon each other when you line up their inner magnetic core with earth’s magnetic field? Stones are ancient. And they “speak” to us. We pick up stones we like to keep, whether little enough to go in our pockets or big enough to go in our gardens.
Can we rejoice today, at the start of our Holy Week, with the joy Jesus brings? Like the stones that would sing out? Yes, even though Jesus faces rejection and death later in this week, his Presence always brings its joy. Even though we are caught in the death of COVID-19, Jesus still brings his joy. Can we find it today? Like the crowds on Palm Sunday, can we “joyfully praise God in loud voices for all the miracles we have seen?”
The following reflection encourages us to find the joy in stones.
Blessings, Rev. Mary
Reflection: The Prayer Bench Holy Week Series.
“If they [disciples] kept quiet, the stones along the road would burst into cheers!”
– Luke 19:40, New Living Translation.
“It was a busy road and those rocks had a busy life, keeping the dust down.”
– Nancy Cocks, Invisible We See You.
The Stones Along the Road
I like stones. I have a black stone on my desk that sits in my hand just right.
I’ve been holding it a lot in these unusual days.
I like pebbles too.
The stone in my hand is blessed by age; it is as old as earth and older.
It is as old as the sun, moon and stars.
Perhaps it was washed by the tides of salty waters;
perhaps warmed by the sun on the sides of a mountain.
Perhaps it is missing a chip, a lost pebble rolling along a road in Jerusalem,
perhaps kicked about by running children selling branches to pilgrims.
Perhaps this little pebble once was lodged in a sandal,
or picked up in the tread of a blundstone boot.
A pebble, then and now, bearing witness to Love still unfolding in the world.
Be a guide for us this week, little pebble.
An accompanying friend in a story oft repeated and ever new.
You were there then, little pebble,
and not just back then.
Stones and stories connect us,
so pick up a pebble,
take up the story.
Be not silent.
If you are able to go out for a walk, take a few moments to pay attention to the ground beneath your feet. Watch for stones. They are tiny witnesses of the Mystery unfolding in these days. I’m sure one or two pebbles or even a rock will make an appearance before the end of the day. Smile when you see one. Say a prayer. Make a cheer. There is Mystery in the ground in which our being is rooted.
Or find a stone in a flowerpot or craft basket or another object resembling a stone. Stand in your doorway or out on a deck holding your stone.
Let it be your prayer stone and offer your cheers or laments.
Really, this is a time for both gratitude and lament. Make prayers today.
Make prayers of gratitude and lament, lament and gratitude.