Sunday, April 1, 2012

silence on Palm Sunday

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On this Palm Sunday, I sit in church and I hear the reading of the Passion, the different voices of people in the congregation playing the roles of those from those who surrounded Jesus on that last day.  The passer-by says, "Aha!  You who would destroy the temple and and build it in three days, save yourself, and come down from the cross!"  And then the priests and other leaders begin to chime in, "He saved others, but he cannot save himself."  (Mark 15: 29-32)

And then, there is the Voice absent.  The Voice that doesn't defend.  The Voice that doesn't explain.  The Voice that extends grace by saying nothing at all.

I suppose one could argue that Jesus, hanging on the cross, the crown of thorns piercing his skull, the nails tearing apart His hands, the life blood dripping down His whipped and torn body, didn't have the strength to summon up a defense.  But something tells me that even if He could have, He wouldn't have.

Jesus knows that some things are better left unsaid, that what comes next often explains it all, and grace comes in the form of us being able to come to our own realizations about things.

And on this Palm Sunday, as I think about how limited I am in extending grace to others, how I often hoard forgiveness in my heart, unable to part with it because somehow I let myself believe that giving up anger means giving up justice or being right.  All the times I have said, "I forgive you," but I didn't really mean it.  All the times I let angry words and actions root in my heart, the stones of my defense and prideful "how dare they"s overrule the stillness of God's grace for me.

And on this Palm Sunday, in the silence of His own defense, I begin to trade the stones for living water.  I receive fully the bread and wine and let His grace for me crush the walls of carefully constructed pride and self-righteousness.  I let the silence fill me to the brim and I think about His sacrifice and the fact that if I truly honored it, I would live it out.

I would sacrifice pain for forgiveness.
I would sacrifice being right for the opportunity to love.
I would sacrifice pride for humility.
I would sacrifice my image for His.

Sometimes the silence says more than words could ever...

Linking with Michelle at GracefulShanda for On my HeartLaura for Playdates, and Jennifer for Godbumps.

17 comments :

  1. And then, there is the Voice absent. The Voice that doesn't defend. The Voice that doesn't explain. The Voice that extends grace by saying nothing at all. Oh I want this absent voice too...great post...blessings~

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  2. I agree with you, Jen. I believe He CHOSE not to speak. And oh, to live that way, the way He did! I love this post and the message He is conveying through you. Blessings to you!

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  3. I'm not good with silence. Always wanting to fill it with something, but you are right about silence. It says more than my ramblings ever can.

    On a lighter note, I mentioned you in my post today, and how I'm very happy you aren't crazy...you know, cause that story never gets old.

    Love you.

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  4. He showed us so many lessons by his silence. For, it is words that condemn, words that tear down, words that show the nature of our heart. I wish I could follow his example better for my words trip me up all the time. I believe ,if we control our words, our heart will follow, or at least he will begin to change our hearts. I'd love to sit and talk with you..I feel our hearts can relate on so many issues.

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  5. "Jesus knows that somethings are better left unsaid, that what comes next often explains it all, and grace comes in the form of us being able to come to our own realizations about things."

    Oooo-- I love this post. Yes, some things are better left unsaid. I appreciate the grace of being able to realize things on my own and am glad when I allow others to do the same....I agree, too, that He could have spoke had He chosen to because He did speak a few times on the cross..but things like Father forgive them for they know not what they do...today you'll be with me in paradise...and a few other phrases...but none to defend Himself or to explain... thanks for the insightful post.

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  6. wow Jen we both thought about Jesus being silent ( I posted on this too) He must be telling us both something. I guess I better listen. Good thoughts here today.

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  7. "trading stones for living water" - simply beautiful truth! I so get the not wanting to let go of justice and being right. Yet, it isn't an earthly transaction, is it!

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  8. Well, your voice spoke an encore this morning. I read a post recently on "Just Following Jesus in my Every Day Life" that spoke to living a crucified life. One specific line grabbed me above all, and it was this very thought expressed here.
    Just letting the accusation being made without defense is difficult for me, I admit it. But I want to be more like the Savior, and in that desire, I am trying so much harder to let the silence speak.

    (This is beautifully written, btw. )
    I've done about a billion "face lifts" on my computer lately, plus blogger did the update thing. Suddenly, I'm seeing blogs that had gone "missing". I don't like the upgrade, but THAT part of it was good for me. I'm glad to see yours.

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  9. Very good, I need to learn from Jesus and remain quite, in the face of adversity.

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  10. Definitely silence sometimes speaks louder than words. I've never thought of Christ's silence on the cross in this way before, Jen. Thanks for this insight!

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  11. To know when to speak and when to extend grace through silence. I want that voice. Thank you, Jen.

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  12. Someone else wrote about this on Sunday, think it was Jean Wise. And this is a sacred echo, the revelation of Jesus being quiet. How the quiet speaks. I too, want to extend grace through silence. May it be so.

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  13. Thank you for the challenge to extend grace by saying nothing at all. My boys need me to know this and practice it!

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  14. Thank you, Annie, for sharing your heart, and thank you, Jen, for sharing Annie with us.

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  15. ooh, i need that voice absent. i need that in my life. beautiful, Jen.

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  16. I leave too many things unsaid. This is all too true. What a sweetly written post, Jen. Isn't it amazing how He never stops teaching?

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