April 09, 2014
By Stephen Camp.
When they had come near Jerusalem and had reached Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, "Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, just say this, 'The Lord needs them.' And he will send them immediately." This took place to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet, saying, "Tell the daughter of Zion, Look, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey." The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them; they brought the donkey and the colt, and put their cloaks on them, and he sat on them. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting, "Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven!" When he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in turmoil, asking, "Who is this?" The crowds were saying, "This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee."
Jesus sent the disciples out and into the nearby town to retrieve a colt that had not been previously ridden. It was a beast of burden, pressed into service. Jesus told two disciples to go and "untie it." He told them that if the owner or anyone says why are they doing this, tell them that the "the Lord has need of it." The disciples were obedient. The colt was retrieved for this unique public action.
The story goes on saying that Jesus rode triumphantly, but today give yourself permission to pause in the story. Think more deeply about the request that Jesus made. He said, "Untie the colt and bring it."
It raises the scepter of challenge for us in our day. We, too, are being sent, and what is it that we in our day are called to untie so that the Lord may use it in the mission God intends?
So often we want to hold and harbor the things we accumulate, we want to have a stash of resources for that "rainy day." We don't want to obediently retrieve the very thing that may make the difference in someone's life or in the world, given the time and resources it may extract from us. But the request of Jesus is a present one, to "Untie it and bring it!"
Untie your faith in this holy season. Be unbridled: So that the world might be warned of its destructive behavior, so that someone might be helped, or so that there is resolution in the conflict seen over the horizon!
As we untie and bring our best to God, we follow in the tradition of Harriet Tubman's Underground Railroad, in the memory of those like Dietrich Bonheoffer who stood up to unrelenting evil, or in the way of Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King, Jr., who rose as tall figures to face injustice.
Whether in large or small ways, untie that thing in your life that God can use and bring into service. Use it for the glory of God.
God, untie my faith, that I may be of service to you and praise your Holy name. Amen.
Spirited Wednesday: April 09, 2014 , by Stephen Camp.