lent 2013 001bJesus Christ emptied himself.

(Philippians chapter 2 verse 7)

“I don’t do donkeys!” The church is carpeted and I just know that if we had one in church, even for a couple of minutes on Palm Sunday, we would soon have a message suitable for the roses. Donkey dung in church is a risk I am not prepared to take! Anyway, when Jesus rode a donkey into the city of Jerusalem he was making a point about the kind of king he was – a point that would have been readily understood by the people of his time there. In the western world, donkeys are not such a common sight – at least you do not regularly see them in our towns and cities. I would go so far as to say that the Palm Sunday donkey is a bit of a red herring.

The point of the donkey is that Jesus was not claiming any status as a militant king bent on conquest. He let go of any status he might have had and the reason for the donkey was to communicate humility and peace. For those of us living in a Kingdom (and there are a few left in Europe) the modern-day equivalent would be the King or Queen going to parliament not in a bullet proof car but on a bicycle. No doubt the police etc would counsel against that as a security risk – and they would be right.

In a similar way, Jesus took a risk and there was no guarantee of security and/or safety for him – as the events of the following days would show as they unfolded.

A prayer from “Common Worship”

True and humble king, hailed by the crowd as Messiah. Grant us the faith to know you and love you, that we may be found beside you on the way of the cross, which is the path of glory. Amen. (Additional Collect, Palm Sunday)