WHEN JESUS RODE A DONKEY
(Originally written as a children's sermon)
Donkey comes into the sanctuary braying and excitedly pulling speaker (Dave) by the rope around the donkey’s neck. Dave is wearing a costume from Bible times, the donkey has paper donkey ears pinned to the side of his head. Donkey holds his forward hooves (hands) up since he can’t easily walk on all fours. He should curl his fingers under and hold his hands about chest height. Wrapping the hands with black paper to look like hooves would also be appropriate.
Dave: (apologetically) We don't usually bring animals to church with us, but this donkey pulled me here because he wants to tell you about what happened to him.
Donkey: Haw He Haw (Try to give inflections of excitement in donkey brays.)
Dave: (to audience)The donkey says, "Wow! What a day I've had today!" (turning to donkey) Won't you please tell us about it?
Donkey: (Bray trying to give inflections of fear.)
Dave: The donkey says, It started when two strange guys came and took him away from his Mama. He has never been away from his Mama. He’s just a teenager, actually.
Donkey: (Bray: curiosity)
Dave: The donkey says to tell you that these guys led him outside the city where he met a man who was different from any man he had ever met. The man had the kindest eyes, but they looked sad too.
By the way, do you have a name, Donkey?
Donkey: (Bray: short, matter of fact)
Dave: The donkey says we can call him Samson. Did you have more to tell us, Samson?
Donkey: (Bray: fear followed by wonder of wonders & peace)
Dave: Samson says, The two strangers helped this kind man mount on his back. He says he had never been ridden before, so at first he wanted to jump around and toss the man right off. But he realized this man was different. Samson says he felt so peaceful that he wanted to do whatever his rider wanted.
Donkey: (Bray: excitement)
Dave: Samson says, the man rode him along the main road into the city, and soon he realized this was a major festival. People were gathering and everyone was shouting "Hosanna" and "Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!" It was like this man was a King on the way to being crowned. Samson says he began wondering if this was the Messiah that sometimes he heard people talking about.
Donkey: (Bray: wonder, distant recollections)
Dave: Samson says, Then it came to him... Messiah! Yes! And he remembered his mother telling him about something that happened to his grandfather long ago? Mama said his mama told him about it. Samson thinks that a donkey carried the Messiah's mother to Bethlehem the very night he was born. He said the donkey told about watching the Messiah being born. And then Samson says there were shepherds who came and told about angels on the hillside who announced the baby King’s birth.
Donkey: (Bray: awe)
Dave: Samson says, "Wow! He chose me, just a little colt, to ride! But how could it be? After all,” Samson says , “I'm just an ordinary donkey. Shouldn't a King be riding a fine horse?"
Donkey: (Bray with front hooves held as if praying)
Dave: Samson says we should pray... Would you boys and girls pray with us? Our Heavenly Father, we thank you for coming to us and for showing us your love. We thank you for dying on a cross for our sins so that we may live with you in heaven one day. Bless these children and draw them closer to you every day.
Donkey: (Bray: motioning with head to invite to follow and praise Jesus)
Dave: Samson says we can praise Jesus just like the people did on the road to Jerusalem. Let's shout "Hosanna" and praise Jesus too! (Give each child a palm leaf and lead them around the church
saying "Hosanna" and "Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!")