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© 2011 The Rev. Eric O. Ledermann, San Bernardino, CA. All rights reserved.
“There Is Another Way”
By the Rev. Eric O. LedermannApril 17, 2011 – Palm SundayFirst Presbyterian Church, San Bernardino, CA
Matthew 21.1-11 (NRSV)
When they had come near Jerusalem and had reachedBethphage, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples,
saying tothem, “Go into the village aheadof you, and immediately you willfind a donkey tied, and a colt withher; untie them and bring them tome.
If anyone says anything toyou, just say this, ‘The Lord needsthem.’ And he will send themimmediately.”
This took place tofulfill what had been spokenthrough the prophet, saying,
“Tellthe daughter of Zion, Look, yourking is coming to you, humble,and mounted on a donkey, and ona colt, the foal of a donkey.”
Thedisciples went and did as Jesus haddirected them;
they brought thedonkey and the colt, and put theircloaks on them, and he sat onthem.
A very large crowd spreadtheir cloaks on the road, andothers cut branches from the treesand spread them on the road.
Thecrowds that went ahead of himand that followed were shouting,“Hosanna to the Son of David!Blessed is the one who comes inthe name of the Lord! Hosanna inthe highest heaven!”
When heentered Jerusalem, the whole citywas in turmoil, asking, “Who isthis?”
The crowds were saying,“This is the prophet Jesus fromNazareth in Galilee.”
We have a large poster of Martin Luther King, Jr. on our family room wall with a quotefrom him that says: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hatecannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” In the same vein, next to Martin LutherKing, Jr., is a similar sized poster of Mahatma Gandhi with this quote: “An eye for an eyewill only make the whole world blind.” As I read this text about Jesus riding a donkey, Ican’t help but see how Jesus always did the unexpected, the opposite it would seem. Hepoked holes at our social armor by turning our standards upside down. Jesus rode on a donkey to show there is another way. Jesus rode on a donkey to showGod’s hope for a peaceful humanity, that we can learn to be humble, learn to be gracious,learn God’s non-violent ways. God has given us free-will—the freedom to care, thefreedom to love, the freedom to believe. But with free-will also comes the freedom tohoard wealth, the freedom to kill, and the freedom to choose how we will live our lives.