‘They brought the colt to Jesus,…and mounted him on it’ Mark 11:7
You can never be sure of the weather inEngland, but hopefully it will be kind to this year’s Palm Sunday procession. Last year it was a definite act of witness carrying on with snow fluttering around us! Contrary to popular belief it does snow in theHoly Land, but not normally at this time of year.
We are normally lucky enough to be able to borrow a donkey to lead the procession, as we remember the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. When growing up I remember the whole class hanging on every word of a story called Donkey’s Glory. It tells the story of Jesus from the point of view of three generations of a donkey family. We begin with Trottemenu who carries the Blessed Virgin Mary toBethlehem. Next we hear of her daughter, N’Imah, who accompanies Jesus on so much of his preaching and finally we come to Laban, her snow white donkey grandson, who carries Our Lord into Jerusalem (You can see Laban’s picture on the front of our Palm Sunday booklet)
Jesus chose very deliberately to enter on the back of a donkey. If he had wanted everyone to think that he was a great warrior king he would have ridden a horse. Instead he wanted to show he was a King of Peace, since this is what kings, with peaceful intentions, rode upon inPalestine. Rather touchingly when Jerusalem was freed by British Forces, in the First World War, General Allenby insisted on walking, not riding, into the city ‘to do honour to his master’ Christ.
It is also important to note that this was the first time anyone had ridden on this donkey. This was normal for any beast, being used for a holy purpose, and what could be more sacred than carrying the Son of God. If you look at a donkey it has a cross on its back. It is a charming tradition that this recalls how the Saviour of the World once sat on a donkey’s back. It is true, of course, that Jesus knew, in spite of the enthusiasm of the crowds with waving palms that He was almost certainly riding to his death. This is why on Palm Sunday we always read out the account of Christ’s suffering, on the cross, to prepare us for Good Friday. All of us should celebrate Palm Sunday as the last appeal of love with heroic courage.
Posted By: valerie