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
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