For some reason the donkey who carries Jesus into Jerusalem never gets much press on Palm Sunday—or any other time, for that matter. This Psalm Sunday, however, I am recognizing something in the donkey that I’ve not noticed before. It started a couple of weeks ago and has been percolating ever since.
I guess I’ve known it for a long time, but one morning, as I awoke, words slipped into my feeble brain to articulate it: Faith is never an escape from reality, but an open door into a new, empowered, transforming experience of that reality, whatever “that reality” might be.
I do not know what prompted that early morning revelation, but it has continued to germinate just under the surface of my consciousness. And, it has prompted a whole collection of questions. For instance, what if I live the next hour resting on the assumption that God really does love me (and employs a host of people around me to incarnate that love)? What if I discipline my thinking to enjoyment of all that is good from moment to moment in stead of blithely indulging my tendency to obsess on frustrations and frightening possibilities?
What if I greet every encounter expecting that Christ is waiting, hidden within it? Or, what if, in addition to expecting to receive Christ in every situation I enter, I expect to bear Christ into every situation. That requires me to understand my life as Palm Sunday’s chaotic Jerusalem, and myself as the donkey Jesus rides on. There may be very little in any particular situation for me other than the thrill of having Jesus ride on my back.