When Stones Shout
Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, order your disciples to stop.” He answered, “I tell you, if they were silent, the stones would shout out.”
—Luke 19:39–40 (NRSV)
MATT LANEY | Shouting stones are a sad commentary on humanity.
When faithful people forget to praise God in the face of tyranny or fail to offer an alternative vision of love matched with justice, and stones must shout in their place, well, that’s a damn shame.
Therefore, I wonder if stones are constantly on the verge of shouting because who isn’t tempted to heed the Pharisees’ warning not to rock the boat, to dial it back, to play it safe, to keep quiet. Besides, even the most ardent, tireless justice warriors need sleep every now and then.
I’ve remained silent on occasion, preferring someone else to take the risk of opening their mouth. Sometimes, I have spoken up while others hushed up. But if stones shout it means all people failed to unmute.
Holy week ends with a stone, a tombstone, placed like a definitive period on Jesus’ life. When humanity lost its voice, that stone testified to the greatest injustice ever committed.
To hear the tombstone’s testimony, we must walk with Peter (whose name means Rock) and the other disciples through the valley of shadows known as Holy Week. May the words of stones not fall on inattentive ears.
PRAYER All it takes for evil to prosper is for people of conscience to keep quiet. When evil has, it’s because people did. Lord, have mercy.About the Writer:
MATT LANEY is a United Church of Christ minister and the author of Pride Wars, a fantasy series for young readers.

Source: “Running from Empty” | 2023 Lent Devotional by the Stillspeaking Writers’ Group, made up of United Church of Christ ministers and writers who collaborate on resources for people in the church, outside the church, and not sure about the church.