Although Easter is not until 1st April, the month of March contains two very important Sundays in the Lenten Season – Mothering Sunday and Palm Sunday. At first, apart from both being Sundays there doesn’t seem much connection between these two dates in the Church’s year. But there is a connection and the connection is – donkeys!!
If we read carefully the text of Matthew 21:1-7 which tells of the events of the first Palm Sunday you will note that Jesus sends his disciples to borrow two donkeys for his triumphant entry into Jerusalem.
Jesus tells two of his disciples –
“Go to the village ahead of you and at once you will find a donkey tied there with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me.” (Matthew 21:2)
Why did Jesus have two donkeys – well in those days when a young donkey was being “broken in“ for riding for the first few times to give the young animal confidence, its mother would walk beside it to calm it.
For most of us it is the calming influence of our mothers’ love that has made us the people we are today and so it is right that on Mothering Sunday we remember our mothers and how much we are indebted to them for all their love and devotion over the years.
As Jesus entered Jerusalem with the donkey mother and colt he knew his hour had come. Palm Sunday marks the start of Holy Week when we remember all that Jesus did for all people for all time through the cross and resurrection. That is the glorious message of Easter which we celebrate on 1st April. We will recall the momentous events of Palm Sunday and Holy Week in words and music at our Palm Sunday Praise Service on 25th March – do come if you can.
“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion.
Shout O daughter of Jerusalem!
See your king comes to you,
Righteous and having salvation,
Gentle and riding on a donkey,
On a colt, the foal of a donkey.” (Zechariah 21:7-9)