By Jake Hall

published in Family Matters eNewsletter, March 17, 2016

Before the familiar parade of Palm fronds and hosannas, there was the procurement of a trusted stead. On Sunday, we reflect on Palm Sunday and Jesus' ride on the donkey through the gate at Jerusalem. In preparation for the day, consider this parable from the poet Mary Oliver, "The Poet Thinks about the Donkey."

On the outskirts of Jerusalem
The donkey waited.
Not especially brave, or filled with understanding,
He stood and waited.
How horses, turned out into the meadow, Leap with delight!
How doves, released from their cages, Clatter away,
splashed with sunlight!
But the donkey, tied to a tree as usual, waited. Then he let himself
be led away.
Then he let the stranger mount.
Never had he seen such crowds!
And I wonder if he at all imagined what was to happen. Still, he was
what he had always been: small, dark, obedient.
I hope, finally, he felt brave.
I hope, finally, he loved the man who rode so lightly upon him, As
he lifted one dusty hoof and stepped, as he had to, forward.

Here, Oliver captures the tensions of life wild and free and of life committed and purposeful. Maybe you know that tension too as a follower of Jesus, the tension of just how your life will be defined and who will define it. On Sunday, we will consider the call of Christ and our purpose beyond the waving palms and shouts of praise. I hope to see you there.