Saturday, May 02, 2009

A Texas Child's Version of Palm Sunday

My daughter's husband wondered if a new church they visited had a good children's program. He said when he went to pick up their son from class, the children were just playing games. I appreciated his concern and prayed the Lord would show us the truth of the matter.

We all went together to the church under discussion the Sunday before Easter. Sure enough, our grandson was playing a game when he was picked up. On the way home in the car, I asked him what they did in class. He said, "We sang some songs and played some games." I said, "Was there anything else?" He didn't remember that there was. So I said, "Wasn't there a Bible teaching?" "Nope," he said. I tried once more, "Was there a story?" "Oh, yeah," he said, "it was from Matthew 21." "Can you tell us what it was?" I asked.

We then got the story and you could tell it was one that excited him and he felt he knew it well. You see, Jesus told the disciples to go to the cavalry and get a donkey from them (not a cavalry horse with a saddle, but a cavalry donkey). And the cavalry said Yes and and they put clothes on the donkey and Jesus rode him to Jerusalem.

By the way, he does know "the rest of the story" -- that Jesus died on the cross at Calvary for his sins after he got to Jerusalem. But I could not convince him that Jesus did not ride a clothed cavalry donkey the week before. He knows what he heard in church!

And so that is the story of Palm Sunday as heard by an 8-year old Texas boy, right out of Matthew 21.

I want to add a little family trivia here: his interest in cavalry and horses are probably in his TX DNA. My great-grandfather was a scout in the cavalry. I often used his saddle, given to him when he mustered out, to ride the horses on the family farm in north central TX when I was growing up. We didn't have any donkeys on that farm but the horses were pets. My grandmother trained them and once was sanctioned by a doctor to take her trick horse Nell to cheer up an ailing neighbor in the hospital at his request. (The hospital allowed it and there was a photo and story in the Dallas Times Herald about it.) My mother was a champion barrel-racer. Despite my best efforts, I didn't get the horsewoman gene, but my daughter did. She was born loving horses. On one of her first times out, the wrangler said, "She's a natural!"