Years ago I was teaching Sunday School at a church in West Texas. I had about fifteen second-graders, most of whom were very lively. Once while teaching the story about Jesus riding into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, a cute, freckled, easily excited little boy began to shake with laughter at the sight of flannel board Jesus. The boy yelled, “He’s riding a donkey for Pete’s sake!”
In the wonderful and crazy way that laughter can be contagious, suddenly all the children were laughing and the little ringleader began to demonstrate how donkeys bray and, of course, kick.
Remembering that laughter years later, I think it’s too bad that the story got subtitled, “The Triumphal Entry” and saddled with notions of triumphalism with its harsh bark of laughter, and a foot on the throat of any who don’t conform.
But for many, the little parade of peace Jesus started still continues. And the stories of these people who keep it going inspire us all to keep doing the next good thing, believing with Lu Xun: “Hope is like a path in the countryside. Originally, there is nothing — but as people walk this way again and again, a path appears.”
Come to the nine:thirty-nine or eleven:eleven celebration on Sunday to hear great stories, great music, and a spoken word piece you won’t forget. The eleven:eleven service will feature the children’s and youth choir performing a song at the beginning of our time together.
Saddle up your donkey and come on!