The Stones Are Singing

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Some people in pulpits are skeptics as well as believers. I am one of them. Of the 12 apostles, I feel the deepest kinship with the Thomas, who refused to take someone else’s word for what lay beyond his empirical verification. But there are moments when someone shows up unexpectedly to coax a Thomas into the realm of the Ineffable. Dennis Aubrey’s Via Lucis description of his day in the Romanesque Church of the Magdalene was a moment like that. It wasn’t until early this morning, that I noticed the Via Lucis site still recommends a link to the sermon evoked by Dennis’s “Elle Chante, Pere!” (The Stones Are Singing.) The words of Jesus about the stones — “if these [people] keep silent, the very stones will cry out’ — has always been close to my heart.

“Sermon “The Stones Are Singing” at Shepherd of the Hill Presbyterian Church, Chaska, MN

“The Search for reason ends at the known; on the immense expanse beyond it only the sense of the ineffable can glide. It alone knows the route to that which is remote from experience and understanding. … We sail because our mind is like a fantastic seashell, and when applying our ear to its lips we hear a perpetual murmur from the waves beyond the shore.”

Abraham Joshua Heschel, Man Is Not Alone: A Philosophy of Religion.

— Gordon C. Stewart, Chaska, MN, March 12, 2019.

Sojourners Today

This morning Sojourners chose to publish last Sunday’s sermon (posted yesterday on “Views from the Edge”) on it blog, “God’s Politics:  a Blog with Jim Wallis and Friends”. Click THE STONES ARE SINGING for the Sojourners post to read and hear it, “like” it (If you do :-)), post a comment,or send it to a friend by email.

Once again, special thanks to Dennis Aubrey and Via Lucis (click the link for today’s Good Friday photos) for permission to use his magnificent photographs and written description of his time in the Basilica of Mary Magdalene in Vezelay, France.

Reading Dennis’ words from the pulpit near the end of the sermon, I had to stop. It was as though years of trying to understand had come together into a single moment. When  the Gospel writer has Jesus respond to his critics with “I tell you, if these keep silent, the very stones will cry out,” he is quoting from the Scriptures of his Jewish faith – Ode against the Chaldeans in the Book of Habakkuk “The stone shall cry out from the wall, and the beam out of the framework shall answer it. Woe to him that builds a town with blood, and establishes a city by iniquity.” (Hab. 2:11-12)