Purple Stones?

What do purple stones have to do with Lent?  Most years, not so much... but this year, purple stones serve as a reminder of our theme for the season.

"The Stones Would Shout" is the title for our Lenten weekly series this year. The phrase comes from the Palm Sunday text.  When some complained about the praises of the children, Jesus replied, "If these were silent, the stones would shout."  Each of the Wednesday and Holy Week services in this series considers two biblical references to stones, and seeks to learn their lessons.

Ash Wednesday (February 13th), has Adam considering the dust from which he was made and to which he will return, in the light of Jesus' observation that "hearing the Word of God and keeping it" (which Adam failed to do) is like building a rock.

"Am I my brother's keeper?" asked Cain after slaying Abel.  Jesus asks whether one would give a stone to a child who asks for bread.  Both deal with hardness of heart.

"Look to the rock from which you were hewn."  Like Isaiah's hearers, slaves making bricks in Egypt needed assurance that the God of their ancestors was still truly present.

Dealing with fearsome foes, David uses a stone to defeat Goliath, while Jesus refuses the temptation of the old evil Foe to turn a stone into bread.

The walls of Jericho tumbled for those who trusted the Lord.  Jesus warns that for those who fail to do so, "not one stone will be left upon another."

At Sinai, the Law was given on two stone tablets.  At Gabbatha ("The Pavement" in Aramaic) stands One who has come to fulfill the Law.

For Maundy Thursday, just as God had provided water from a rock in the wilderness, Jesus prays at a rock in Gethsemane, his sweat dripping like blood and so God still provides for us.

Finally, for Good Friday, at the rocky peak of Golgotha, those "who stoned the prophets" now send the ultimate Prophet to his death, thereby fulfilling God's ancient prophecies.

After Ash Wednesday, each of the Wednesday services will be preceded by one of our famous Soup Suppers.  The suppers begin at 6 pm with the services beginning at 7 pm.  While there are no suppers offered during Holy Week (a traditional time of fasting and prayer), we will celebrate First Communion for 5th graders on Maundy Thursday.  Stay tuned for further details on the instruction class.

Lent is a time of preparation of the heart, mind and spirit to celebrate anew the Resurrection by dealing with the stones in our hearts that keep us from joyfully serving our Lord. Join us!

Pastor Larry