Day 40: you’re taking me where?

17 04 2011

youre taking me where?

Donkeys are supposedly stubborn. At least that’s the stereotype. So I wonder how much resistance the two disciples met with, when they untied the donkey/colt from wherever it was tied up, and took it to Jesus. I don’t know that I’ve ever been responsible for leading a donkey anywhere…. I can’t think of a time. But obviously the donkey ended up going on the journey, carrying Jesus into Jerusalem. So, stubborn or not, the donkey played a key role in what we call “Palm Sunday”.

I’d love to know (a) what that donkey was thinking as it was being led to Jesus, and (b) what it had to say after the day was over. And, maybe (c) if Jesus and the disciples talked to the donkey at all. or rubbed its nose… or fed it anything.. or scratched its ears…

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Day 35: needed

13 04 2011

needed

Lord and donkey–those are two words that I would not typically think go together. But then again, Lord and sinners, Lord and manger, Lord and cross, Lord and empty tomb….none of these word pairings fit our stereotype of what a Lord might be. Yet, Jesus doesn’t fit our normal stereotype anyhow. Never did, never will.

This Sunday’s Palm Sunday gospel passage, from Matthew 21:1-11, illustrates this even more. Jesus sends two disciples on an errand to get a donkey. If it’s not shocking enough that the Lord sent for a donkey, Jesus instructed his disciples to tell anyone who asked about it, “the Lord needs it.” Needs? If Jesus is Lord, why does he need anything? can’t he snap his fingers and have things appear? A regal horse, perhaps, instead of a lowly donkey? Why send the two disciples?

It’s part of the Christian faith that I both appreciate and am puzzled at, at times: the fact that God needs people. Including me. God needs us to help carry out the mission he began while Jesus was on earth. Talk about risk-taking. It seems much easier to do things oneself, than to leave it in the often-erring hands of humans. But then again, this is the same God who pairs words like Lord and manger, Lord and cross, Lord and empty tomb, and Lord and donkey.

These phone book pages help me think about the bigger world beyond my circles. The names and organizations listed on these pages (including Christ Covenant Church) represent God’s bigger kingdom here on earth. And even that, this phone book, represents only a small portion of the earth. And though at times it might seem ridiculous that Jesus Christ needs and uses each of us who call him Lord, it is the reality of following this humble King.

God’s blessings as you discern where God needs you to participate in his kingdom. And God’s peace and strength, as you faithfully follow.

Imagine the possibilities, if all of us who call ourselves followers of Jesus Christ, responded in faithful obedience….





Day 34: donkey and a king

12 04 2011

donkey and a king

I am not kidding when I tell you that yesterday (Monday, Day 34) as I read through Matthew 21:1-11, I thought to myself, “So, I need a picture of a donkey. Where am I going to find a donkey?” I wasn’t thinking of a donkey picture for Day 34… more like the end of the week. But, as I walked into the church where Jim and other Christ Covenanters were playing volleyball last night, there was this car with this image on the back.

I’m not sure what the image is supposed to mean. Obviously, something to do with a woman I presume is Mary, an animal that I’m hoping is a donkey and not a horse (hoping so that it fits better with this Sunday’s text), and the cross. A bit odd… not the normal three images we think of together. But for me, it is a reminder that the events in Jesus’ ministry over the past several weeks, and the one of this coming Sunday–these all lead to the cross. And, ultimately, the empty tomb. But for now, the cross.

In the Matthew 21 passage, Jesus sends the disciples to find a donkey and colt, untie them, and bring them back to Jesus. Why? To fulfill Old Testament prophecies about the coming King. Jesus.

The crowd at the original “Palm Sunday” has my sympathy: throwing their palms down, in celebration of the coming king… hoping against all hope that he would finally be the one to overthrow the Romans… and then they would realize, before long, that he was not who they hoped him to be. Their dreams might be dashed.

Jesus isn’t always who I hope he will be for me, either. I’m a little more realistic than to expect him to answer all my prayers all the time in the ways I want.. I realize that’s not practical. But I wouldn’t mind a little more help in some areas. Help as I define it, of course. Yet the Jesus of reality, the Jesus of my faith, the Jesus who rode into Jerusalem on a donkey in the midst of “hosannas”… would die on a cross. For me. And for you. And sometimes that’s a little hard to fathom.