35th day of Lent

In between rain, work and worship responsibilities, I managed to take the dogs for a much needed walk this afternoon. The purpose was twofold: to diffuse their pent-up energy and to clear my head. Three short sermons and a funeral meditation loom ahead. I found a verse of a hymn a friend posted as humorously encouraging.

This child through David’s city shall ride in triumph by;
The palm shall strew its branches, and every stone shall cry.
And every stone shall cry, though heavy, dull, and dumb,
and lie within the roadway to pave his kingdom come…..

Humorous because I can see myself like a stone lying in the street, wave after wave of worship gatherings roaring by. The reason that I might feel like a heavy, dull and dumb stone, is that there is not much time to breathe and collect thoughts in between each gathering of the faithful this holy week…a problem for musicians and preachers who are expected to creatively inspire.

The truth is, though, one of the reasons I am a Lutheran is because I am mesmerized by the holy week liturgy. It is a vivid portrayal of both God’s great work in Christ as well as the reality of our faith journeys.

So here we are. I took a good deep breath with the dogs and in the quiet walk there were no stones shouting out a sermon to me. But I heard the first lawn mower of the spring, the rush of the flooded creek, a great horned owl, a nesting goose, a pileated woodpecker and a gregarious bluebird. Good enough for the time being. No sermons for tomorrow, so God has more time to speak to this dull stone.


  1. This morning I read the following on the daily devotions (www.d365.org/journeytothecross/)I follow:

    “Even if you do not know what to say,
    Even if you are afraid to shout,
    Go now calling out to your God,
    The Mighty One who is passing by.
    Join with all creation in welcoming
    The Creator and Sustainer of us all.”

    Thanks, I think the “sermon” will be an open conversation with the Lord, talking to him about washing feet, about the “new commandment” on behalf of myself and the congregation.

  2. We must have been walking together (but on opposite sides of the river) yesterday. I noticed still how lifeless the landscape looked — only faint hints at the growth and colors about to burst forth. Seems fitting for this beginning of this sacred week — the warmth and sunshine expected will surely change our view of the landscape as will our celebration of the life we receive in the risen Saviour. May our walks continue to feed and nourish as we travel through this week.

  3. Once upon a time, I was the organist at the church of my childhood. It was a catholic church and Easter was a hugely busy time which I loved. Even better than Christmas.

    Not even quite sure why this came to mind as I read your post but it certainly struck a chord with me. Most definitely relate to the stone but also to the comment you posted:

    “Even if you do not know what to say,
    Even if you are afraid to shout,
    Go now calling out to your God,”

    I have these two pictures in my head of that. One is of a very charismatic looking calling out and the another is of a very quiet inward crying out.

    You got me thinking, Elaine.

  4. And the “quiet inward crying out” has gotten me thinking as I am getting ready to listen to the powerful stories read at the vigil of Easter: the ark and its contents saved in the flood, freedom from slavery and crossing the sea,rescue from the flames of the fiery furnace, dry bones in the desert being raised, Mary weeping at the the tomb…an inward crying out of individuals and peoples. Some at the vigil tonight will know the inward crying out that you speak of.