Rocks

I’ve been thinking about rocks.

I don’t usually think about rocks at all.

Lately I’ve found myself thinking about them a lot.

It all started this past spring when PB and I started a landscaping project.

We were in way over our heads, but had no choice because every landscaper we contacted was scheduled into 2022. We spent a lot of time wandering around the garden center looking at trees and bushes and plants. And rocks.

One day the owner took pity on us and came out to help us make decisions about landscaping stones. An hour later, our heads were swimming with information about stones, rocks and boulders. He wasn’t just a good salesman, he was absolutely passionate about rocks and became more animated as the minutes ticked on. We learned the pros and cons of every type of landscape stone. We heard stories of how he hunts for and finds rocks with unusual shapes and colors. We were given a tour of his prize boulders.

When we finally got to the car I shook my head and said, “That guy was nuts!” PB and I agreed that we had not met many people with such fervent excitement about anything, let alone rocks. As we drove out of the garden center I commented, “If only more Christians were as excited about Jesus as that man is about rocks.”

In the days that followed, something weird happened. I started seeing rocks everywhere. I began to check out my neighbors’ landscaping stones. I noticed boulders at the end of a friend’s driveway. I saw a pile of rocks in a field and was tempted to go pick up a few. Then PB and I took off for a few days and we came home with a stack of rocks in our car. What was happening?

I think I’ve figured it out.

The crazy garden center guy drew our attention to something we previously hadn’t paid any attention to. His enthusiasm and joyful energy struck us as a bit over-the-top, yet we had to admire his desire to share what he loved and to open our eyes to what we had been missing. Sure, I drove away shaking my head and calling him crazy, but now I’m picking up stones from the side of the road and figuring out how to build a rock wall and archway in our backyard.

So, what if more Christians were as excited about Jesus
as my landscaping friend is about rocks?

Would our warm passion for Jesus
and our sincere excitement about our faith
naturally bubble over in our conversations?

Would our desire to share what we love
cause some people to see what they’re missing?

Would Jesus start showing up everywhere they look
simply because we drew their attention to something
they hadn’t really paid much attention to before?

Would people begin to become interested
just because we were brave and bold enough
to be a little over-the-top?

They may shake their heads and call us crazy.
But a few may start building their lives on the true Cornerstone.

“Welcome to the Living Stone, the source of life!” 1 Peter 2:4 (Message)

For Crying Out Loud

Have you ever heard of a talking rock? I’ve heard of a pet rock, rock and roll, rock of ages; one of the kids at church even told me, “You rock!” But I’ve never heard an actual rock say anything. They are usually pretty quiet.

As Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, people became caught up in the moment. They cheered for Jesus, waved palm branches, laid a red carpet. As usual, the Pharisees were tsk-tsk-ing. The church leaders were repulsed by this jubilant show and told Jesus to rebuke his followers. Instead,  Jesus rebuked them! He said, “If the people kept quiet, the stones along the road would burst into cheers!”

Has it ever happened? Have the people God created ever been so silent in their praise for Him that the rocks just have to step in and give a cheer? It did happen, just five days after the Palm Sunday party. Skip ahead to Friday at about 3:00 p.m. The Lamb of God took away the sins of the world, and the Lion of Judah roared from Zion, “It is finished!” Please don’t ever think of those words as a wimpy, defeated, surrendered whisper. Matthew says Jesus shouted those words – a giant, victorious yell!

It was quiet. Aside from a few weeping women and some soldiers milling about, it was deathly quiet. There was no “Hosanna!” or “Halleluia!” from the disciples. In fact, there were no disciples. There was no “Blessed be the name of the Lord!” from the crowd. The crowd had gone home. So the stones cried out. Matthew put it this way: “The earth shook and the rocks split.” The Greek word for rocks is petra, which means BIG rocks or boulders; not pebbles or skipping stones. Rocks were the only part of creation that got it! They heard the victory shout from the cross and couldn’t bear the silence, so they cried out until they split.

May the people of God never be silent! For crying out loud, we can’t be shown up by a pile of rocks when it comes to praising our Risen Savior!