Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Seated on a donkey’s colt

Jesus made his big debut riding on the haunches of a lowly beast of burden. This man, professing to be the King of kings and the Lord of Lords and Israel’s savior came to them sauntering through the crowd to the sound of clippity-clop clippity-clop clippity clop. I have already written about the surprising carpet that was rolled out before this guest of highest honor, but now it’s time to direct our mental eyes up and focus on his chosen mode of transportation.

Donkeys are slow and stubborn creatures. They are not sure-footed like a gazelle. They are not graceful like a deer. They are not powerful like an ox. They are not reliable like a camel and they are sure not regal like a stallion. They are everyday and mundane. Donkeys are common. They are useful, but common.

However, it was not showmanship Christ was seeking. He wasn’t looking for shock value, he wasn’t dressing to impress. Christ picked a humble, common creature that He knew would carry Him capably and faithfully. When people saw Him riding into town they remembered what had already been written about Him:

See, to the Daughter of Zion. See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

Christ came gently, riding on the humblest of creatures. It kept in line with everything His earthly life had been about, reaching all the way back to His humble beginning in a 1/12 star motel. Christ is for the lowly. Christ is for the common. Christ is what it’s all about.

So there is a commonplace donkey trotting through the city of Zion with the eternal Lord on its back carrying Him to His and glory. That humble, common beast of burden faithfully carried our Savior and our Life into that world that desperately needed Him.

The glory of that donkey was not in the donkey itself, but in the precious weight that he bore and the way in which he bore it. The donkey delivered Christ, and now it's our turn.

"...We theologians, and church musicians, we pastoral counselors and biblical scholars, we educators and activists . . . we are all donkeys, a guild of donkeys who happen to be on the spot, and who are called in the providence of God to carry for a while that most special and precious of all burdens. Our job is to carry it—carry him—faithfully, steadily, humbly, proudly, unashamedly, joyfully—along that treacherous path which leads finally to Calvary."
~Timothy George

See, we Christians have nothing glorious in and of ourselves. We have no beauty or gallantry to offer the Lord. What we have is our faithful, steady, humble, proud, unashamed, joyful service and our backs on which to bear the King.

That day Christ proclaimed his presence riding on the back of the commonest of creatures. Today, he continues to ride into the world seated on a donkey's colt.