Liturgy of the Palms: Luke 19.28-40, Ps 118.1-2, 19-29
Main Readings: Isaiah 50. 4-9a, Psalm 31.9-18, Philippians 2.5-11, Luke 22.14-23, 56 or Luke 23.1-49
Supplementary Readings: Ps 70, Galatians 3.10-14, Exodus 13.1-3, 7-9; Ps 118.1-16, John 12.20-32
‘Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, order your disciples to stop.” He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the stones would shout out.”’ (Luke 19.39-40)
A geologist friend once conjectured that lasting geological evidence of human habitation on earth was likely to be extremely minimal (radiation and plastic notwithstanding). This geologist’s bleak prediction was that some cataclysmic natural or human-instigated event could wipe us out and within a few thousand years, biological processes would work their decomposing magic and evidence of actual humans would be hard to find. Cheerful? No. Humbling? Yes.
I remembered this conversation when reading Luke’s account of Jesus’ entry to Jerusalem. The religious leaders asked Jesus to control his followers. In response, Jesus suggests that all the shouting, jubilant crowds could be silent, but creation itself would still make noise in adoring recognition of God. Rocks shouting out to proclaim Jesus as Lord is a powerful metaphor for the joy creation takes in the creator.
We are part of the earth, biological beings with eternal potential, and egos sometimes the size of the planet itself. Yet God does not need our adoration to continue being God. Recognition of Jesus as God is not something the Creator needs from us…rather it is God’s gift to us.
We humans are intriguingly creative and potentially wise of course, but perhaps Palm Sunday can be a time for intense humility, a time for us to be awestruck. It’s a day we can let our self-importance go and say with the rest of creation “Wow. It’s Jesus! God is with us!”Jump to next article