Sunday, July 5, 2020

Sunday Reflection: No fighting!

Donkey - Wikipedia
Today's reflection is brought to you by
Zechariah 9: 9-10 and Matthew 11:29-30.

You invite us to rejoice,
O God,
to shout our joy
because you
are the source
of all that is good,
triumphant and victorious!

You are also humble enough
to take our human form
and ride upon a donkey.

Even in such humility
you have the power
to cut off the chariots
and war horses,
commanding peace and justice.

Your reign extends over all the earth
when we listen to the beauty,
goodness and truth
that you have placed
in our hearts and souls.

All we need to do
is to come to you,
absorb your gentleness and humbleness,
and find rest
from our burdens.

Give our war-bent leaders wisdom
to follow your way of peace,
and heal the divisions
within us and our world.

Help us to reach for your gentleness
every day of our lives.


* * * * * * *

How often we hear the line about our king coming to us, humble and riding on a donkey, usually in the liturgies connected to Christ the King or Palm Sunday, other times as well. But it was the idea of a king on a donkey, cutting off chariots and warhorses that arrested my thoughts this morning. My mind was filled with a Monty-Python-esque image of a king tearing around on a little donkey (a small king with a large crown and a flying Superman cape), outracing the armies marching to battle, leaving them standing stock still, dumbfounded by the aura of peace and strength surrounding him. A comical image, perhaps, but what if it could be real?

I've never been fond of the idea of God as king. Kings are impersonal in their inaccessibility. But this image of a little guy on a donkey rather than a magnificent steed works for me. If only we had a leader down at our level, who could stop us all in our tracks, preventing us from engaging in the words and deeds of violence that arise from our own woundedness. One who, like a loving parent, could say, "no fighting!" soothe our internal insurrections, and bring us to peaceful harmony with all those around us, whether they be powerful CEOs or the people who pick bottles in the back alley.

The fact of the matter is that the God of peace is always there for each and every one of us, encouraging us to find the compassion within us, and working to heal our hurts. But we need to be aware and to cooperate, to see God's presence in all those around us, and to remember that God loves us and is present to us all equally. 

We only need to ask for help to do it, and it begins.

Today, I pray for our world leaders as we struggle through this pandemic, that they may act with humility and justice, and ride donkeys rather than war horses. 

I also ask God's help for the Brisson family, who are mourning the loss of their 23-year-old daughter and sister, Izzy. May all who reach out in compassion and support help them to find peace and rest from their twin burdens of sorrow and grief...


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