A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road……
Holy Chaos. That’s how I remember sharing this story with a group of Cambodian children; new arrivals to North Carolina years ago. They were hearing the stories of Jesus for the first time. We wanted to help them see that by waving palm branches, shouting hosanna and placing their cloaks on the ground for the donkey to walk on, the people were greeting Jesus as their king. We acted out the story. One child was Jesus, pretending to ride the donkey, the others waved palm branches shouting, “Hosanna!”. Then without prompting, a couple of kids took off their jackets and laid them down on the floor in front of Jesus. They were feeling the story and it was becoming their own.
We told the children that in times of war, a king would ride a horse, but in times of peace, the king would ride a donkey. So, Jesus was telling everyone that he was the King of PEACE. These kids knew the pain of escaping war. They had done it. We hadn’t planned this connection, though we probably should have. This story grabbed the kids. They had seen war and they were keenly interested in this King of Peace.
All these years later, it seems to me, that we are called to be the donkey. It’s our job to bring Jesus, King of Peace, to the world by how we live our lives. This is more than just being nice. It’s about bringing God’s crazy love to people. It’s about getting to know our neighbors, collecting food for CCM, tutoring in the school, visiting an older person who feels forgotten. It is also about using our gifts for others; speaking up for these same people when the ways of the world work against them.
We do it, not because it has to get done. No, we do it because God calls us and when God calls us, that is where the joy is. We read the stories of Jesus and pretty soon, we are taking off our jacket and like those beautiful refugee children, using it to show that Jesus is King.
Prayer: Oh, King of Peace, enter into our hearts today so we can share your peace with everyone. Amen.
Prayer Focus: Refugees