I made a comment to a friend yesterday about having a long weekend off work at the end of this week. His response was "oohh that's nice". I think he'd forgotten that Easter weekend means bank holidays for me now – while last year I was working for the church, when Easter is not a lovely four days off but a really busy time.
This time last year I was running all sorts of events for children, teens and adults exploring the themes of the Easter story. One such event was "Experience Easter" where I had to explain to groups of 8-9 year olds all about Palm Sunday. The thing that struck me, and that has stayed with me a year later, was about stones. I'd mentioned Luke 19:40 – ‘"I tell you," he replied, "if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out."’ And one thoughtful 9 year old told me that one stone did cry out: the tombstone on Easter day. I was blown away by the simple truth in that.
Each of us will share that news in our own ways, whether it's chocolate coated, by doing actions to Easter songs, or like I'll be doing, getting up before the sun comes up to watch the sunrise at the cross above the town I live in, to celebrate and pray for my town, and have a bacon sandwich for breakfast.
This Holy week let's be the stones that tell the story. But rather than jumping from hosanna to halleluiah, let’s journey together through the Easter narrative: the ride into Jerusalem, the women anointing Jesus with expensive perfume, the washing of the disciples feet, the last supper, the denials and betrayal, the trial, beatings, death and sorrow. We do this before that long wait on Holy Saturday so that on Easter Morning, we can be the stones that shout out that Jesus is alive, then and now.