On Palm Sunday, we had our annual donkey on our church campus. This Easter’s donkey, Kate, was a reminder of how Jesus humbly rode into Jerusalem. All donkeys have a cross on their back! The legend goes that the donkey was grief-stricken by the sight of Jesus on the cross; the donkey turned away but could not leave. It was then that the shadow of the cross fell upon the shoulders and the back of the donkey, and there it stayed. All donkeys have borne the sign of the cross on their backs since that very day.
During our preschool program the children learned about palm branches and donkeys. They made palm branches and learned the palm forms a “V” which stands for Jesus’ victory over death! John 12: 13, “took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, and cried out: ‘Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! The King of Israel!’” They also learned that Jesus rode in on a donkey, which fulfilled the Old Testament prophecy of Zechariah 9: 9, “See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” It was common for kings to arrive by a procession riding on a donkey. The donkey symbolized peace, and Jesus is the Prince of Peace.
After soaking up this Easter message, a four year old girl told her mother she wanted to come to church on “donkey Sunday”. She came and brought her homemade palm branch and waved it for Jesus. Sometimes the children lead us with their humility, sincerity and trust. I know God was smiling knowing a child wanted to be here for donkey Sunday and wave her palm branch! Mark 10: 14-16, “‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.’ And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.” “Jesus loves the little children! They are precious in His sight”