Sunday, April 17, 2011

A Gentle Donkey Kind of King

 On Palm Sunday our entire congregation waits out in our large foyer, except for those of us on the Worship Team.  At 9:00 the doors open and as people come in waving their palm leaves we all sing, "Hosanna, Hosanna, Hosanna in the Highest!"  It isn't our typical Sunday.  It's kind of funny to watch and see who will actually wave the palm branches they are given at the door.  Lutherans maybe aren't known for their exuberence during church. In fact, we are a bit nervous if someone asks us to clap. For the record, I waved my palm branch high overhead.  I admit, I wondered if I looked silly, but I got into the spirit of it anyway.  I'm hoping that the soft flesh on the underside of my arm wasn't outwaving the palm branch!

I did have a moment of terror in church this morning.  We were nearing the part of the service when we have a children's sermon.  All the adorable little kiddos come down and a little mini-sermon is presented for their benefit.  My husband, Mike (Pastor Mike), does the children's sermon about every other week and lay people do it in between.  Well, just as we were approaching that part I suddenly remembered that on
Wednesday a guy had asked me if I could do the children's sermon "next Sunday".  What is wrong with me?!  How could I forget a thing like that?!  Why didn't I write it down or something?  I started frantically trying to come up with a talk for the kids and I quickly developed a plan, kind of.  Not to worry!  My husband got up and he had the whole thing under control.  Apparently he had just planned to do it since I'd been sick this last week.  He didn't even know I'd thought I was doing it.  Whew! 

Anyway, Mike had a title for his children's sermon.  It was, "A Gentle Donkey Kind of King".  He spoke of the type of person people would expect a King to be.  I thought of all the hoopla surrounding the upcoming royal wedding in England!  Or what about the fuss made when our President arrives anywhere on Airforce One?  What a contrast to Jesus, riding a gentle donkey into Jerusaelm, even as he is being welcomed like a King.

Why do you think Jesus rode in on a donkey?  We know that it was prophesied in the Old Testament that the Messiah would enter this way, but why was that important?  Do you think it was to teach a lesson about being humble?  Maybe it was to set him apart from previous leaders?  Perhaps from this we are to remember what is really important in this life, and it is not wealth and fame.  What do you think?

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