Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Framing Christ's Life

The Man leaned down to whisper encouragement in my ear. The crowds around us were loud, everyone cheering and waving palm branches. The roads were lined with the palms, the way all returning heroes and conquerors were honored. I may have been a little skittish, but I was proud to be carrying the Man on my back. His voice, though, reminded me of where His journey had begun, and when we had first met. Don't ever let anyone tell you that a donkey doesn't remember - my job in this story is one that no one will ever forget.

It was quieter when I carried His mother. His father walked in front, leading the way, and we traveled a very long way, many, many days' journey. The woman was large with child, but at that point, I was only a few years old, and being young and strong, felt I could go on forever. What I didn't realize was that it truly felt that we were going on forever. Sometimes, we'd travel with groups for a way. I'd talk with the other donkeys to see where they'd traveled, but mostly, knowing the precious cargo I'd been given to transport, I stayed with the man and the woman. They truly cared for one another, watching out in little ways as the endless journey continued. When it came time for her to deliver the baby, we stopped at house after house for a place for her, only to hear each time, there's no room. The man, Joseph, was finally told he could use the stable. I started walking toward it before Joseph got back to me. The woman, Mary, was in pain, and kept squeezing on me. I do wish your mama could have been there - she would at least have known what to do. We got to the stable and I knelt down so she could get off my back easier, and soon, the Baby was born.

Lights shone down from the sky, and it seemed that everyone heard about it, because they didn't get a moment alone after that. Shepherds, animals, Angels - even Kings came to visit - they brought camels! I guess when God has a Child, it is rather something to brag about. He sure did let everyone know. That was an exciting time, and by the time we went home, I was carrying more than the Baby's mother!

And now, look at Him. Hailed as the King He is, greeted with joy and laughter. I walked as tall as I could, so everyone could see Him. And even still, He takes the time to make sure I'm okay, whispering encouragement to me that it'll soon be over. He sounds sad, and I wonder about that. It has been my blessing to watch over Him throughout his life. I'm getting to the end of mine now. Perhaps you'll be able to carry Him where he goes next?

The above was inspired by Karen G. King, our wonderful seminary student who knows that as we are presently without a priest, we greatly appreciate the sermons she sends to us to share in our congregation!

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