Wednesday, March 21
Scripture: Mark 11:1-11
Being a disciple of God isn’t all glory. Imagine, you just devoted your life to Jesus for two to three years, and spent the last nine months travelling through 35 locations en route to what promises to be a glorious return to Jerusalem alongside your Lord. You’ve been a devoted disciple during that time and you might consider yourself one of the more important followers out there; surely, you’ll be called to play a key role in Jesus’ triumphant arrival. Then, Jesus asks you to walk to a nearby village to take an unruly donkey without asking its owner. Not quite the grand task you’d envisioned.
Nevertheless, you complete the task and slowly realize that Jesus has yet again used an otherwise unremarkable event to demonstrate an important lesson. The task that seemed so mundane turns out to be the fulfilment of centuries-old prophecies regarding the savior of man’s return to Jerusalem. More than that, the selection of the lowly unbroken donkey becomes a symbol for one of Jesus’ final and most important lessons: humility should form the basis of all acts serving God. The King of angels chooses not a noble horse or golden chariot to ride triumphantly into Jerusalem, but a stubborn donkey. He Himself thus embodies humility, while demonstrating for those disciples that their seemingly menial task was in fact key to one of his final lessons.
Living God’s will in the world isn’t always as we’d expect it to be; the tasks we are called to do are not always noble nor will we necessarily be recognized for them. We are called to be humble in all we do, but rather than a challenge, humility can be freeing. As William Temple observed: “Humility does not mean thinking less of yourself than of other people, nor does it mean having a low opinion of your own gifts. It means freedom from thinking about yourself at all.” Jesus reminds us, as he reminded his disciples that day, to think larger than ourselves and realize that even the most mundane acts can be done in such a way as to glorify God. As we go about our lives, let us recognize the many ways, large and small, glorious or donkey-related, in which we can demonstrate God’s love for others around us.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for lessons like these and help us to realize that your kingdom is built on all types of good deeds, big and small. Help us to remember that our days are filled with opportunities to share your love with others, even in the simplest ways. We pray that we might not seek an earthly glory but your own, embracing humility. Renew our spirits, and remind us to think greater than ourselves. In your Holy name we pray.
– Ben Moore