Sunday, April 13, 2014

Sermon: The Donkey Makes All The Difference

            The King is coming to Jerusalem for coronation.
            He commandeers a ride on a donkey and a colt.
            Fulfilling scriptures as he marches in to the Holy City—The City of the King.
            Surrounded by his subjects—the ground he walks on sanctified and his steed’s steps honored with branches—a natural royal red carpet rolled out for him.
            “Save us Mighty King—Blessed are you who comes in the name of the Lord—Salvation in the highest heaven!” They sing.
            And the whole city shook, wondering at his presence.
            “Look! Look!” the crowd acclaims, “The Prophet—Jesus from Nazareth.”

            Imagine what that must look like, to the eyes of some.
            God is on the move, and out for blood.
            The king will restore what once was, recreating the Kingdom of David.
         Perhaps, like David, a few heads will roll—perhaps Rome will play the role of Goliath, and get decapitated and its death will lead to Jesus’ kingship.
a scared city,
his name shouted in the street,
a royal welcome,
God on his side,
a king arriving.

            Every sign points to power!
            Every sign points to Jesus the Middle Eastern Potentate.
            Every sign point to resistance, a coup, a restoration of an old and legendary order.

            Every sign, save one… a donkey.
            A donkey.
            Because the Donkey makes all the difference.
            Say it with me, “The Donkey Makes All the Difference.”

            Let us pray.

            “The Donkey Makes All the Difference.”
            The Donkey throws off the easy assumptions about what Jesus is doing.
            It reminds us, on this day of triumph, who Jesus is.

         The Donkey makes all the difference.
            It points us back to Jesus’ birth.
            Born to a young peasant girl, not a regal queen or the wife of a Caesar.
            He is laid in a Manger, not an opulent crib.
            Instead of a settled childhood, his family fled to Egypt away from the wrath of Herod.

            The Donkey Makes All the Difference.
            It carries Jesus to Jerusalem and onto his fate—to that cup he must drink.
            If he’s a king, he’s a very strange one…
            At his coronation he will be crowned with thorns, not a Diadem.
            He will be enthroned on an implement of execution—a cross, not an imposing jewel encrusted throne.
            His royal court will be two thieves, not the best and the brightest, the wise men of his age.

            The Donkey Makes All the Difference.

           The Donkey proves that the emperor has no clothes, because the true King comes in humility.
         The Donkey promises us that our Savior comes in the mud and the blood of real life.
         The Donkey short circuits our longing for a King and gives us a Brother.
            The Donkey gives value to the least of these.
          The Donkey points us to the real Jesus.

The Donkey Makes All the Difference.

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