A KING ON THE COLT of a donkey (Mark 11.1-11). How much more plainly can you portray a desire for a world blessed with a deeper humility? Could anything be more ungainly – even tragi-comical – than the sight of a grown man, probably using the strength of his own legs to help the little animal, ‘riding’ towards Jerusalem – “the city, or ‘vision’ of Peace” – on the colt of an ass? Is this triumphant entry? Or is it real and divine identification with lowly humanity – and indeed the perceived ‘lowliness’ in all Creation?
The Gospel tells us that this king entered and “looked around at everything” in the Temple. But at this critical moment in his life he didn’t stay there in “church”. He headed out to Bethany (in Aramaic, ‘house of, or for, the suffering – ie, everyone) – to a house warmly and humanly familiar to him as a place of welcome, hospitality, conversation and rest. The home of his beloved Mary, and Martha, and their brother Lazarus.
Perhaps, then, for a hug? For tears maybe, and for more gentle words of encouragement shared between each of them, in company with other learners, at the outset of a week that he may well have known would change if not the world, then at least the locality. The week in which he’d say to a thief crucified alongside him “Today you will be with me in paradise” – raising that thief and all humankind to the status and dignity of God’s “only begotten Son.”
The Source of all our lives created, and is still creating, the possibility of a holy communion between all humankind, and all created things. Let go of the power, suggests king Jesus, loosen your grip, get down from your Roman steed and walk to Jerusalem with the people. We belong to one another, fickle or thieving, disloyal, scared, opinionated or oppressed – as any of us are, or may be. We’re all ‘Adamah. Dust raised up into life. Matter matters!
Sir John Templeton asks:
Maybe enthusiasm for worship and adoration of god can be multiplied when we no longer limit god to one tribe or one species or one planet but rather humbly search for unlimited love and purpose and creativity vastly beyond limited ancient human concepts … ?
Possibilities: John Marks Templeton, page 20
Yes: we’re all ‘Adamah. Dust raised up into life. Matter matters!
See also Maggi Dawn: triumphal entry? or pilgrimage?