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If the stones could speak...

Today is what is generally known as Palm Sunday. It does have another name, that of Passion Sunday. It is the Sunday that leads us into Holy Week, the final days of Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem and the cross. We all tend to know what happened that day when Jesus rode into Jerusalem, but it is actually a little different in each of the gospel accounts. Luke tells us that it was a colt that Jesus rode and that the colt had the cloaks of the disciples thrown on it before Jesus began his ride. There is no mention of palms or palm branches, just cloaks begin spread on the road by people. Luke also tells us that it was the multitude of disciples who began to praise God joyfully and there were no Hosannas coming from the disciples. After being challenged by some Pharisees who were in the crowd, to tell the disciples to stop, Jesus answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the stones would shout out.” The last verses of our reading this morning tell are entitled Jesus weeps over Jerusalem. These few verses always make me feel sad. Jesus, who came to restore the relationship between the people of God and God, looks upon the city realising that all he has done appears to be in vain. As Jesus faces what he knows will be the coming days the frustration and lack of recognition must have hurt. Letting the stones speak will become our focus over the next few days of Holy Week. I believe that stones can indeed speak. They can speak when there are no others around to speak for them. The photo on the front of the pewsheet today shows us a scene from the city of Aleppo in Syria. It is following the bombardment of that town during the Syrian war. As you look at that picture, the stones are indeed speaking of the death, injury and destruction that had been experienced in that place. This picture is not the only picture where the stones are speaking. Stones can speak of more than just war and destruction, they can also speak of nature, of natural disaster, they can speak of humanity’s progress and creativity in using stones to build and support. Marg Edwards has taken some amazingly beautiful photos of the landscape that has been fashioned by or features stones. Our world is full of stones that speak. I wonder what they are saying to us as we enter this time of reflection leading to the cross. Jay Robinson

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