Monday, March 17, 2008

Little Donkeys of God

A funny thing happened on the way to Bethphage . . .

My two Sister friends were taking me to see, for my first time, the Palm Sunday procession. The walk up the Mount of Olives to the pilgrims' starting point at Bethphage is very steep. Near the Garden of Gethsemane the sisters and I stopped to rest and admire the wildflowers.
We were quite alone among the olive trees and the goats. Silence and peace all around.

Then I caught sight of a sleeping donkey (!) and could not help but be reminded of the story in Mark 11:
And when they drew near to Jerusalem, to Bethphage and Bethany, at the Mount of Olives, he sent two disciples, saying to them, "Go into the village opposite you, and immediately as you enter it you will find an ass tied, on which no one has ever sat; untie it and bring it. If anyone says to you, 'Why are you doing this?' say, 'The Lord has need of it,' and he will send it back here immediately."
Suddenly the donkey awoke as if out of a dream. He quickly got up and began walking. And he was headed straight toward the double arches in the city wall! This is none other than the Gate of Mercy, which Christians call the Golden Gate, the Gate Beautiful.

In Jewish tradition this is the gate by which the messiah, mounted on a white donkey, will enter Jerusalem. To prevent this, the Turkish Sultan Suleiman blocked up the gate some five centuries ago.

But sealed gate or not, our donkey must have heard his marching orders and nothing was going to stop him.


kay in hawaii said...

This is so interesting! I'm so amazed at what you see everyday and the history you are able to connect it to.

The D in D & T said...

These pictures are so gorgeous. Absolutely beautiful.

Dina said...

Shalom D,
Thank you. Beauty is everywhere in Jerusalem.
Glad I found your Athens (Perspective) today.

Kendris said...

A wonderful story, and some beautiful photos to accompany it!