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'Silence is not a gift the stones will give this week'

'Silence is not a gift the stones will give this week'

Sunday April 10

Journey through Holy Week with daily reflections from the Rev Roddy Hamilton

Palm Sunday

Luke 19:28-40

After saying these things, Jesus headed straight up to Jerusalem. When he got near Bethphage and Bethany at the mountain called Olives, he sent off two of the disciples with instructions: “Go to the village across from you. As soon as you enter, you’ll find a colt tethered, one that has never been ridden. Untie it and bring it. If anyone says anything, asks, ‘What are you doing?’ say, ‘His Master needs him.’”

The two left and found it just as he said. As they were untying the colt, its owners said, “What are you doing untying the colt?”

They said, “His Master needs him.”

They brought the colt to Jesus. Then, throwing their coats on its back, they helped Jesus get on. As he rode, the people gave him a grand welcome, throwing their coats on the street.

Right at the crest, where Mount Olives begins its descent, the whole crowd of disciples burst into enthusiastic praise over all the mighty works they had witnessed:

Blessed is he who comes,
    the king in God’s name!
All’s well in heaven!
    Glory in the high places!

Some Pharisees from the crowd told him, “Teacher, get your disciples under control!”

But he said, “If they kept quiet, the stones would do it for them, shouting praise.”


The roadway hardly matters
Other than you travel it this week,

And travel it long and hard,
With shadows deepening on either side.

The cobbles, covered with palms;
Old rags strewn across them,

Offering some act of humanity or humility.
Both are in short supply this week.

It is a long way to heaven from here,
On this roadway that echo with hosannas.

And the storyteller no longer tells his story.
Today he performs his topsy-turvy tale,

Where heaven takes on empire,
And donkeys carry mistaken messiahs.

And the hopes of the people
Are filling with hot air, soon to burst.

The roadway hardly matters,
Other than you travel it this week.

And on this politically charged path,
The authorities demand silence,

But silence is not a gift
The stones will give this week.


Dare us, O Saviour,
That we might be these very stones
Where the roadway cobbles proclaim your truth,
The temple stone proclaims your justice,
The rocks and mountains proclaim your vision.

Where nothing can be kept silent,
And even the silence speaks aloud
On the roadways of Buchas and Borodyanka,
For the universe is with you,
Ready to react to the conspiracy
Stirred in the shadows of religion and politics.

Dare us, O Saviour,
That we might find our voice,
And shout with hurt, and hope,
On the roadways of the world,
For the arrival of the kingdom.


The Rev Roddy Hamilton is minister of New Kilpatrick Parish Church, Bearsden


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