Donkey-Back Riding

16 Apr

When our children were younger, on vacation, sometimes we would go horse-back riding.  Colorado, Oregon, southern Indiana.  If you enjoy that pastime I would not recommend coming to Ethiopia to fulfill your passion.  Not many horses here, but lots of donkeys.  People use them instead of pickup trucks.  There are so many that you need to watch your step on some roads.  And you are right if you said, “Surely they did not go on a donkey ride!”  But Jesus did.  Into Jerusalem.  Somehow, here, with all the donkeys around it is a little bit easier to visualize it.

A king would have chosen a war-horse to make his triumphal entry.  As they sang, “Hosanna, Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.”, they laid down their garments and palm leaves, heralding a king.  But Jesus had chosen a donkey.  Just a common little beast of burden.  And he stopped to weep for the city he was entering.  He stopped to weep for the kingdom he was ushering in.  Into a world that understood pride, power, greed and conquering heroes on the backs of war horses, he would offer humility, love and compassion.  He would have seen the suffering and inequalities across the ages:  Jerusalem, Addis Ababa, or Your City, USA. 

His invading army consisted of twelve men with two swords between them.  And he said that armament was sufficient.  Across time His army has grown – not by or for the purpose of conquering cities –  but by conquering the hearts of mankind.  Each conquered heart becoming filled with a passion to help the invasion spread to anothe heart.  And all invasions require sacrifice.  The war and the battle still rage but the invasion started with one man who went “donkey-back” riding sharing hope with hearts.

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