Read Luke 19:28-48
It is in a small town in Minnesota, named Nisswa, where the ever-popular Nisswa Turtle Races are held. Every Wednesday during the summer months, the people of Nisswa and the surrounding communities gather together to witness this dashing event. It’s big excitement and big business. Vendors rent turtles while others sell turtle products. And the fans gather early, placing their chairs and blankets on the best viewing sites. In one recent contest, there were 435 turtles registered to race in 15 turtle heats.
Tensions mount as racers take their marks. And as soon as the announcer shouts Go! the crowd goes wild. People stand, jump, and wave their hands in the air, all in hopes that their turtle will act, well, unturtle-like. The frenzy grows and finally reaches a boiling point as the winning turtle moseys across the finish line. Yeppers. The things we get excited about. Turtle races in Minnesota. Hockey games in Canada. Worshiping God in life.
Or do we?
In today’s reading we find Jesus, the long-anticipated Messiah, making His triumphant entry through the gates of Jerusalem. The miracle-working Teacher has arrived, and the crowds are ecstatic.
Then the crowds spread out their coats on the road ahead of Jesus. As they reached the place of where the road started down from the Mount of Olives, all of His followers began to shout and sing as they walked along, praising God for all the wonderful miracles they had seen. Luke 19:36, 37
The lame could walk. The blind could see. The dead were alive. And the One who made it all possible was now in their midst. It only made sense that there would be excitement. Only, that's not the way some of the religious leaders saw it. Teacher, get this crowd under control! they warned Jesus. And His answer to them couldn’t have been more appropriate.
He replied, If they kept quiet, the stones along the road would burst into cheers! Luke 19:40
I imagine these stones were just daring the people to keep quiet. There’s something inside of all creation that longs to respond to its Creator. In Romans we’re told that, [even the whole] creation (all nature) waits expectantly and longs earnestly… for God. In Psalms we’re told that, The heavens are telling the glory of God. And again in Psalms, All the earth shall bow down to You and sing [praises] to You.
And the thing is, our Creator not only desires our praise… He also deserves it. Whether we see miracles with our own eyes, as did the people in our reading, or simply gaze in awe at a glorious sunset, Almighty God deserves our praise. And when we praise Him, we’re not only exalting Him in our own life, we're elevating Him to the world.
And the rocks will just have to wait.
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