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Monday, April 14, 2014

The Stones Cry Out: The Hope of Easter for All Creation

The Stones Cry Out: The Hope of Easter for All Creation
On the Edge of Elfland
Beeston, Nottinghamshire

entry into jerusalem

By David Russell Mosley

At my church on Sunday we heard a sermon on Hosea 11 and Luke 19.28-48. For those who have read my inaugural post on this blog, it will perhaps come as no surprise that what stood out to me in the Luke passage comes at the end of what we typically call the triumphal entry.

Christ is seated on his donkey, the crowds are throwing down garments (not palms in Luke's version) and are shouting, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” (v. 38). The Pharisees rebuke Christ asking him to keep his disciples quiet. Our Lord responds, however, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out” (v. 40). The very rocks and stones beneath their feet would proclaim Christ for who he is. Even the world in which we live is aware of who Christ is and what role he has come to play in the cosmos.

It is easy, and not entirely wrong, to become focused exclusively on what the Incarnation and death, burial and resurrection have to do with us humans. However, we must not forget that the gospel is for the entirety of Creation. The Apostle Paul writes in the letter to the Romans, 'For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now' (Rom 8.19-22). Creation also has something to gain from the return of Christ and this they will gain through Christ through us.

For many of the Church Fathers, humans were seen as a microcosm of the Cosmos or Universe. We are material like rocks, we seek nutrients like plants, we move and act like animals, and yet we also have reason like the Angels. Because of this, and because God created us in his image and likeness, the Church Fathers believed that God's grace, especially in theosis, or deification, flows through us and out into the rest of Creation. They also believed that Creation is good, it is a gift God has given to us and it is our job to help raise it up. The Fall, however, broke our relationship with Creation, just as it did our relationship with each other and with our Creator. And so, as the Apostle Paul writes it has been, 'subjected to futility'. Creation now longs for Christ's return just as we do.

Therefore, we must remember as this week we prepare ourselves for the cry of 'Christ is risen!' that the good news of the gospel is not for us alone, but that it is for the entire Creation which will be made new, just as we will be made new, when Christ returns.

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