9th April 2013

Ain’t Gonna Let No Rock Cry In My Place

“’Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!’ ‘Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!’ Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, ‘Teacher, rebuke your disciples!’ ‘I tell you,’ he replied, ‘if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.’”
Luke 19:38-40 (NIV)

In the latter years of his life the Rev. Dr. John Stott was described by Billy Graham as “the most respected clergyman in the world”.  I had the great privilege of being present at his final public sermon on 17 July 2007 and just five years later he passed away.

It was Dr. Stott’s last wish that his ashes should be buried in Dale, a village in Pembrokeshire, on the very tip of south west Wales. A gravestone of rough-hewn Welsh slate now marks the spot where his ashes lie buried, and is inscribed with his own words”:

Buried here are the ashes of
Who resolved
Both as the ground of his salvation
And as the subject of his ministry
To know nothing except
And him crucified
(1 Corinthians 2:2)

 Even in death John Stott is providing a witness to his Saviour through his gravestone. This reminded me of the incident in Luke 19 where Jesus said to the Pharisees that if his disciples keep quiet about him “the stones will cry out.” John Stott could no longer preach about Jesus, but his gravestone is “crying out”.

Another respected clergyman was the Methodist D. William Sangster. His preaching ministry was ended by a disease which progressively paralyzed his body, including his vocal chords. On the Easter just before he died, he painfully wrote a short note to his daughter: “How terrible to wake up on Easter and have no voice to shout, ‘He is risen!’ Far worse, to have a voice and not want to shout.”

Both of these late preachers got me thinking about my witness for Jesus. I’ve neither lost my voice, nor have I died, but do I speak out for Jesus or do I keep quiet? One thing is for sure, I do not want to be replaced by a stone because I haven’t borne witness to my Saviour. In the words of Ron Kenoly’s song, ‘Ain’t Gonna Let No Rock’:

Christ has risen from the dead
But if our praises cease
If we hold our peace
The rocks will cry out instead
I ain’t gonna let
No rock out praise me
I ain’t gonna let
No rock cry in my place”

While there’s life in my body and breath in my lungs, I will ‘…declare with [my] mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord…’” (Romans 10:9).

Father, please grant me the desire and the confidence to witness for Jesus, and please give me the appropriate words for whatever opportunity comes my way.


barryrobinsonAbout the Author:
Barry Robinson is an Elder in and pastoral worker in the Greater London area, particularly the Camberwell and North London congregations of the Worldwide Church of God UK.

Local Congregation:
Worldwide Church of God Camberwell
The Salvation Army Hall
105 Lomond Grove

Meeting time: Saturday 10:30 am

Local Congregational Contact:
Barry Robinson
mail: barry_robinson@wcg.org.uk

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