2018 presented a calendar gap for Christians. 2017 was universal Easter where everybody had a party on the same day. This year the wounds in the church show, the West looks for sunrise a bit early.
For the orthodox, this is Palm Sunday. For most Americans, today is Easter Day. To the American majority, I say: “He is risen!” For the rest of us, the global church, those who worship in solidarity with the persecuted East where Jesus was born, lived, died, and lived again, here is a fable.
The Palm Sunday Donkey on Easter
The donkey that carried Christ on Palm Sunday chewed his feed thoughtfully. That had been something.
“Blessed is He . . .” and greenery everywhere. When you are a donkey in a town where people know the Scriptures, there always is expectation. You aren’t likely to say anything, but if you do, then it is always worth hearing. Humans cannot say that about their words. Not one donkey who ever spoke made an ass of himself, but the human race? Not so much.
Donkeys show up. When the good God decided to become a man, a mark of real humility, if you could have asked this particular donkey, the donkey showed up even if most people did not. God came to a stable, not to a palace and the donkey was there.
Want to win a war? Get a horse. Want a prince of peace? Find a donkey.
Warlords come in chariots, the prophet had it right: the Prince of Peace comes on a donkey.
Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion!
Shout, Daughter Jerusalem!
See, your king comes to you,
righteous and victorious,
lowly and riding on a donkey,
The life of a donkey is a burst of awesome with waiting. The Palm Sunday donkey waits. For what?
He is not sure as he chews the feed. People are hiding, running around. There are protests over killing the Man, but frantic activity does not change things. Eastern folk mediate, wait, know God will act when He acts. Perhaps this is why God made the East the place for coming, living, dying, and . . . whatever comes next. Westerns star horses, fast moving, getting there, but maybe ahead of schedule.
The donkey chewed some more. He was patient. People were shouting that Jesus was here, there, and dead. The donkey waited and kept looking to the East. The talking, the manger, Palm Sunday had been big: nobody could miss them and they had come in God’s go time. It was early in the morning when a light filled the stable. The earth shook and the donkey lifted his ears.
Yes, not on demand, not on cue, but in God’s good time, the Son had risen in the East. It is unexpected when a donkey talks, good news when the King is born in humility, and better news still when the Prince rides the a peaceful donkey. The Palm Sunday donkey went to sleep. All was well and would be well.
Moral: However long it takes, look to the East. The Sun will rise in the East.