Day 20 - Challenge

A colt tied up next to a wall.

Day 20 - listen here

 

Mark 11:1–11

And when they drew nearer to Jerusalem, to Bethphage and Bethany, towards the Mountain of Olives, he sends two of his disciples and says to them, ‘Go into the village that is opposite you. And immediately when you go into it you will find a colt tied up, on which no human being has ever sat. Untie it and bring it. And if someone says to you, “Why are you doing this?”, say, “The Lord has need of it and he will send it back here immediately.” And they went off and found the colt tied at a door outside on the street. And they untie it. And some of those standing there started to say to them, “What are you doing, untying the colt?” But they said to them as Jesus had said. And they let them go. And they take the colt to Jesus and they threw their cloaks on it; and he sat on it. And many people spread their cloaks on the road. And others [were] cutting leafy branches from the fields. And those who went before and those who followed cried out,

‘Hosanna! Blessed the one who comes in the name of the Lord.

Blessed the coming kingdom of our father David!

Hosanna in the highest!’



And he went into Jerusalem, into the Temple.

Reflection

I suspect that our familiarity with Palm Sunday celebrations leads us to imbue this scene with rather more pomp and gravitas than might have been evident to us had we been bystanders. A popular but marginal rabbi is whooped and cheered into Jerusalem by his uncouth (and probably unwashed) Galilean entourage, who have ‘borrowed’ an unbroken colt from a nearby village for the occasion – the whole thing sounds as much like a stunt as a serious religious event.

But isn’t this often how it is – God’s grace entering in on the back of our foolishness? How often Jesus makes his entry, not through our successes and strengths, but precisely in our experience of our own weakness, inability and sinfulness. So do not be surprised if Jesus chooses what is most unworthy in you to make his entry and quietly take possession of your heart. And don't protest your unworthiness, because this is exactly why he chooses you: to show the world that he comes with great humility and gentleness. So it doesn't matter how much of a donkey you are. Jesus will still choose you and make use of you. You are not the first donkey, and you won't be the last.

14th century painting of Jesus entering Jerusalem on a donkey

Prayer

Jesus,

I want you to enter into the city of my heart,

and take possession of it.

Give me the humility to accept

that you will triumph in me

not in the stately and dignified way that I might choose,

but in the way that you choose –

simply, quietly, joyfully, in poverty,

in the company of all that is least in me,

and in the world.

 

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