April 14

Read: Luke 19:28-40

In this familiar and powerful passage, the Pharisees taunt Jesus on His triumphal entry into Jerusalem.

“Teacher, rebuke your disciples!” the Pharisees scream, after Jesus’s followers shout, “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”

“I tell you,” Jesus replies, “if my disciples keep quiet, the very stones will cry out.”

Keeping quiet has never been my strong suit. And a penchant for social justice is stamped into my DNA. In 7th grade, when the entire class took a career aptitude test, my friends’ results came back with possible matches for careers as teachers, nurses, lawyers, or bankers. Some friends had multiple suggestions for future career paths. My results came back with one entry only: Peace Corps.

So, when I graduated from college, I served for a year as a VISTA volunteer, the domestic arm of the Peace Corps. That year I lived below the poverty level, slept at a gospel mission, used food stamps, and worked on behalf of abused mothers and their children. It was an eye-opening glimpse into the underbelly of our neighbors’ lives in 20th century America.

Now, more than ever, we Christians must use our voices to rise above the rabble and to be “living stones” fighting for and demanding justice for all people in all places—and also for rights and issues that affect the oppressed (including abused women and their children, homeless families, orphans, widows, un- and under-educated, refugees, and LGBTQ peoples, to name a few).

As we raise our palms high today to celebrate Jesus’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem, let’s ring out our Hosannas loud and clear.

Dear Lord, help us to risk raising our voices to be living stones, true Jesus people. Amen.

-Ashley Sweeney

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