When Jesus entered his final week, he approached Jerusalem to a chorus of praise. Men, women and children spread palm branches across his path and lifted their voices, singing, “Blessed is the One who comes, the King in the name of the Lord, Peace in Heaven and Glory in the Highest.”
But some of those who were present were skeptical. The Pharisees among them spoke to Jesus addressing him as “Teacher,” imploring him to rebuke his followers. Such praise and adoration, they contended was blasphemous. Jesus’ response was clear. “If these remain silent,” he said, “the very stones will cry out.”
All of creation praises Him. If we open our eyes we will see it. If we listen we will hear it. The early morning mist rising from the lake, the ocean wave crashing upon the rocks, the butterfly flying from its cocoon, the bird building its nest, the rain gently soaking into the soil, the seed sprouting its green stem, the leaves bursting from bare limbs, flowers exploding upon the hills, waves rolling on the endless ocean, thunder in the dark clouds that gather on the horizon, the cosmic galaxies extending beyond human comprehension, billions of stars and planets unknown to the human mind. All of creation is a cathedral of praise.
We add our voices, amplified and accompanied with guitars, drums, organs and pianos. We lift our choruses and sing the compositions of the masters in an attempt to join with what God has already established. And when we do, we feel the exhilaration. Something in our nature affirms that this is right. This is who we are. We are made in his image and he desires our praise just as he inhabits the praise of everything He has made.
David wrote in the Psalms, “Let the sea resound, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it. Let the rivers clap their hands, let the mountains sing together for joy; let them sing before the Lord.” (Ps. 98:7-9). “Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it. Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them; let all the trees of the forest sing for joy. Let all creation rejoice before the Lord, for he comes.” (Ps. 96:11-13). Isaiah wrote, “You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands” (Isa. 55:12).
The stones will cry out!