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The Donkey

The traditional Gospel for the First Sunday of Advent is the Palm Sunday Gospel 
Mark 11:1-10. What do they have in common? They are both about Jesus coming. Jesus delivering himself into evil, to deliver us from it. The occasions are different, but the mission the same. "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the chief." (1 Timothy 1:15).

Yet, this is no ordinary story, but one wrapped up in ritual, ceremony and celebration. Consider the ritual in acquiring the donkey, and that it was one "upon which no man had ever sat." Note further that the church has embedded the language of that occasion into her Eucharist (Hosanna. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.) Because each Sunday Jesus enters his church again. He inserts himself into the affairs of men, bringing judgment on sin, devil and death, and salvation to the baptized.

To that end I include below the famous poem: The Donkey by G.K. Chesterton, who is one of the finest Christian writers of the modern age. In it he views Palm Sunday from the donkey's perspective. We may think of ourselves as no better than donkeys sometimes. But if you do, consider the nobility of your breed, and that God uses even lowly beasts of burden in his Glorious Kingdom.

The Donkey

When fishes flew and forests walked
And figs grew upon thorn,
Some moment when the moon was blood
Then surely I was born.

With monstrous head and sickening cry
And ears like errant wings,
The devil’s walking parody
On all four-footed things.

The tattered outlaw of the earth,
Of ancient crooked will;
Starve, scourge, deride me: I am dumb,
I keep my secret still.

Fools! For I also had my hour;
One far fierce hour and sweet:
There was a shout about my ears,
And palms before my feet.


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