Scripture Reading: Luke 19:28-40
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 39-40
I have for years coopted the phrase if these were silent, the stones would shout out. I confess to totally taking it out of context but surely not out of truth. These are words that advocates need to hear. We are called to partner with Jesus in bringing about justice in a world in which principalities and powers* run amok.
The challenge is to speak in such a way that there is actual communication not just voices raised so loud no one even wants to listen and certainly not to speak in language that degrades either we as advocates or the ones with whom we are trying to speak. It is hard to not return anger for anger. It is hard to love ones that defined themselves as our enemies but are children of God also. And to be real honest with you, for me it is not only hard but painful to discuss justice issues with fellow followers of Christ whose positions are markedly different from my own. There is no real communion when Bible verses are the bullets being shot. At these times, I think of Jesus looking down on Jerusalem saying:
‘Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! (Matthew 23:37)
Love is stronger than hate, of this I have no doubt. Resting in that reality is the hope that the day will come when God’s kingdom will come. In the mean time we need to sharpen our ability to love until we are really good at it for it is the only thing that will hasten that day. Practice makes perfect.
Prayer: Lord, lead us forward in our love for each other. Help us cross barriers that hold us back from truly knowing the other. Make us whole, make us one. Amen.
*See Ephesians 6:12
All scriptures are quoted from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of American. Used by permission. All rights reserved.