THE CHRISTMAS DONKEY
Plant the faith - this Christmas.
A lovely Christmas gift for any child which will last till Easter and beyond -
great for church groups too.
These feet are about 9 cms (3 1/2 inches) long
and have wild flower or herb seeded through
the soy-based paper.
When planted in some compost, given some water, care and attention, the feet will produce wild flowers.
Sizes 3-5 1/2; 6-8 1/2; 9-12; and 12 1/2-3 1/2
“And all went to be
registered, each to his own
town. And Joseph also
went ... to the city of
Bethlehem ... with Mary ...”
Luke 2, 3-5
And me! And me! The donkey. I went too. Don't forget me. I helped. I really did.
For other "Plant the Feet" designs, click below.
Can you imagine how difficult it would have been for Mary and Joseph to make that journey,
if they hadn't had a donkey to help?
Oh, I know, I'm not actually mentioned in that bit of the Bible, but do you
think Mary and Joseph walked to Bethlehem? And her expecting a baby? I don't think so.
If we weren't named in the Christmas story as told in the Bible, we donkeys are
mentioned lots and lots of times in the rest of the Bible. Lots and lots and
lots and even lots of times. Shall I tell you some of the highlights? Yes? Yes.
One of the first stories we're in, is the story of Joseph – the Joseph who had
the wonderful multi-coloured coat. Now, we're on pretty wonderful coloured socks,
don't you think? Anyway, there we were carrying the grain back to the land of Canaan
so that Joseph's brothers could feed their father Jacob and their families.
What they didn't know was that we were also carrying the money they had paid for it.
You should have seen their faces! They had opened the sacks so that we donkeys could be fed.
We also carried the “stolen” cup. What a to-do that caused! It's such an exciting story,
you really have to read it or get someone to tell you the story now. (Or read it for
yourself and then tell someone the story.) I expect Mary told Jesus that story lots
of times. Isn't it nice to know that you can listen to a story Jesus listened to
when he was a child.
David took a donkey when he went to serve King Saul and a donkey stood beside a lion unharmed.
And, listen to this. Jesus told a story which is usually called “The Good Samaritan”
and there was a donkey in that story. Jesus chose a donkey to carry the man the
Good Samaritan helped. Now Jesus could have put a camel in the story, but he
chose a donkey. I'm quite touched by that.
Thinking about that story brings me back to where I started – carrying Mary,
Jesus's mother. I'm a strong, capable animal when it comes to carrying people
or grain, but it was a long way and Mary was, well, she was a bit larger than usual,
if you see what I mean. But I sound like I'm complaining and I don't do that,
not often anyway - certainly not about carrying Jesus, even unborn. I can't
tell you how chuffed I was about that.
I suppose donkeys were around Jesus all his life. That could make us quite proud,
but it's difficult to be proud with big ears like we have, and, since we
carry a cross on our backs, it's difficult to get uppity too. I'm glad of that
cross -it does keep me humble.
It can also make me quite sad when I think how the crowds, who had cheered as a
donkey carried Jesus over the palm leaves, turned against him later on.
But there's a thing. Palm leaves aren't always mentioned in the description of
Jesus entry into Jerusalem, but where would "Palm Sunday" be if there weren't
palm branches thrown down along with the coats - "Coats Sunday" doesn't have the
same ring to it, does it?
Finally, let me assure you, just because donkeys and palm leaves might not have
been there, Jesus was and is and will be, in Bethlehem, in Jerusalem, wherever
you are now and forever more. Amen.
P.S. If you plant the feet in compost, (you might need some help) they won't grow
palm leaves, but they will grow flowers or herbs. If you plant your feet in Jesus,
you'll grow faith.
P.P.S. Coats Sunday. Coats Sunday. You know I'm beginning to quite like that.
What do you think?