New Church Life March/April 2017 - Page 19

The Stones Would Immediately Cry Out A Palm Sunday Sermon by the Rev. Eric H. Carswell Lessons: Psalm 148, Luke 19:28-40, Arcana Coelestia 5323:3 Jesus answered and said to the Pharisees, “I tell you that if the disciples should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out.” (Luke 19:39-40) P icture what was happening as Jesus rode into Jerusalem. He was riding on a donkey and a multitude of His disciples, followers and many others were rejoicing and praising with loud voices His arrival as king. They spread their outer garments and palm branches on the road before the donkey carrying Jesus. The noise and celebration could have been almost overwhelming. The celebration was so great that people were offended. Some of the Pharisees called to Jesus to rebuke His disciples for the noise, and He replied, “If [these] should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out.” What did Jesus mean by invoking the voice of the stones? Literally it implies a miraculous praise coming from non-living objects. For those who have the eyes and ears to see and hear, all of creation can praise the Lord. We are taught: Nothing ever exists in the created world that does not have a correspondence with things in the spiritual world, and so that does not represent in its own way something in the Lord’s kingdom. It is from there that all things come into being and are kept in being. If people knew that this is how these things stand they would never attribute everything to natural forces as they are accustomed to do. Consequently each and all things in the universe represent the Lord’s kingdom, so much so that the universe with all its constellations, its various atmospheres, and its three kingdoms is nothing else than a kind of stage on which the Lord’s glory as it exists in heaven is represented. (Arcana Coelestia 2999-3000) Many places in the Psalms also convey something of this idea. Psalm 69 includes the words, “Let heaven and earth praise [the Lord], the seas and everything that moves in them.” And Psalm 145 says, “All Your works shall 85