There is a scripture that states, “The stones will shout out.”
In short, the passage has to do with Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem and the idea that if his followers are silent then the stones will shout out in praise. While the thought of stones shouting out is a fascinating image, I have often wondered, what would make stones shout today?
I recently had the opportunity to spend time in Zion National Park. And yes, the stones shouted out in beauty. For those of you who have been, you know what I mean. Zion encompasses some of the most scenic canyon country in the United States, thanks to the flow of the Virgin River and its tributaries. There are high plateaus, stunning sandstone formations and free-standing arches. Plus, my favorite, eyebrows.
I visited over a 4-day period blessed with magnificent weather. The crowd wasn’t too overwhelming, and there were a number of hiking trails from which to choose.
If you haven’t been, I highly recommend it. It’s a short 3-hour drive from Las Vegas to Zion and that drive is filled with impressive scenery.
But what else, I wonder, might make stones shout. Well, every day we are reminded about the unrelenting gun violence wreaking havoc on our nation. In 2020, 45,222 people died from gun-related injuries in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Firearm Fast Facts Report at cdc.gov, which was made public in December of 2021. That’s a 15% increase. While there’s a ton more statistics offered with this report, suffice to say the total gun deaths equate to 124 per day!
Remember, Jesus talked about the stones shouting out when his followers are silent. For a nation that claims to be a Christian nation, far too many of us remain silent about ever-increasing gun violence.
This time, not in praise or beauty, I hear the stones shouting out in grief and pain for Uvalde, and Tulsa, and Philadelphia, and Phoenix, and...
Editor’s Note: Brady Abel is United Church of Sun City pastor.
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