Today was Palm Sunday. I can’t believe Easter is already almost here. I’ve almost completed my 40 days of Blogging Challenge! For this last week of blogging I decided to focus on Holy Week. I didn’t grow up in a tradition that had services every night the week between Palm Sunday and Easter but as I’ve gotten older I find myself drawn to those traditions. I like to think about what Jesus was doing each day of the week leading up to his death. A lot of what I’ll be quoting this week comes from the book And The Angels Were Silent by Max Lucado which is an EXCELLENT book about the last week of Jesus’ life on earth before his crucifixion.
The Sunday before he died Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey and all the people came out to lay down their palm branches and shout Hosanna as he passed. I can remember making palm branches out of construction paper when I was little kid (I went to Christian School) and waving them in chapel. Lucado spends much of his discussion of that day in this book talking about the man that owned the donkey Jesus rode into town on. Jesus instructs his disciples to find this particular donkey, and if the owner asks why they are taking the donkey to say to him “The master has need of them” and he will give them the donkey. Here is my favorite quote from that passage in Lucado’s book.
“All of us have a donkey. You and I each have something in our lives, which, if given back to God, could, like the donkey, move Jesus and his story further down the road….Your gifts are his and the donkey was his. The original wording of the instructions Jesus gave his disciples is proof: ‘If anyone asks you why you are taking the donkey, you are to say, It’s Lord is in need.’“
I love that idea. We all have something that God wants to use to further his kingdom. And the best part of that is, what he asks may seem to us to be the least important thing about us. I’m sure if you told the owner of the donkey that Jesus wanted something of his, the donkey would not have been his first choice. Donkey’s are kind of stupid, not very fast, and definitely not an animal you think the King of Kings would want to ride on. I hear Jesus asking me to use something in my life for him and I hear myself saying “really Lord? That? Are you sure? I’m much better at _____”
But that is what makes Jesus so amazing. He always does the unexpected. He takes the things about ourselves we may think are not important and makes them the most important gift we could give him. We just have to be willing to trust him with those gifts. He gave them to us; now we need to let him use them. Without that man there was no triumphal entry. His donkey was very important. What is your donkey? It’s important. Let your community/church/family/friends take it; its master has need of it.