Sunday, March 28th, 2021
Christ on a Donkey, in the Augustiner Museum in Freiburg, according to Henri Nouwen, is one of the most moving Christ figures he knows. I certain agree!
Christ on a Donkey, is a fourteenth-century sculpture originally from Niederrotweil, a small town close to Breisach on the Rhine. It was made to be pulled on a cart in a Palm Sunday procession…(1). Nouwen goes onto describe the sculpture, Christ’s long slender face with a high forehead, inward-looking eyes, long hair, and small forked beard expresses the mystery of his suffering in a way that holds me spellbound.(2).
The words of Henri Nouwen describing Jesus riding into Jerusalem, “Jesus appears completely concentrated on something else. He does not look at the excited crowd. He does not wave. He sees beyond all the noise and movement to what is ahead of him: an agonizing journey of betrayal, torture, crucifixion, and death. His unfocused eyes see what nobody around him can see; his high forehead reflects knowledge of things to come far beyond any one’s understanding. There is melancholy, but also peaceful acceptance. There is insight into the fickleness of the human heart, but also immense compassion. There is a deep awareness of the unspeakable pain to be suffered, but also a strong determination to do God’s will. Above all, there is love, an endless, deep, and far-reaching love born from an unbreakable intimacy with God and reaching out to all people, wherever they are, were or will be. There is nothing that he does not fully know. There is nobody whom he does not fully love. Every time I look at this Christ on a Donkey, I am reminded again that I am seen by him with all my sins, guilt, and shame and loved with all his forgiveness, mercy, and compassion. Just looking at this Jesus is a prayer. I look and look and look, and know that he sees the depths of my heart; I do not have to be afraid. Joy and sadness are born at the same time, both arising from deep places in the heart that words cannot be found to capture the complex emotions. But this intimate experience in which every bit of life is touched by a bit of death can point us beyond the limits of our existence. It can do so by making us look forward in expectation to the day when our hearts will be filled with perfect joy, a joy that no one shall take away from us.(3).
Dear, dear friends —- Blessings to you on this Palm Sunday! 🌿🌿🌿
I found the words of Nouwen to be awe-inspiring, thoughtful, and filled with great detail. I felt as in I were in the museum looking at the sculpture of Christ on a Donkey with my own eyes. Celebrate Jesus’ arrival into the holy city, he is indeed worthy of praise.
When I got home from work yesterday I started watching the movie, “The Passion of the Christ,” I made it only a short way into the movie, to Judas’ betrayal. Many things entered my thoughts, mostly the pain and agony Jesus endured for our/my salvation. Then I was reminded of the ugliness of the human heart, not a single day goes by that there is not violence in the news, local, state, national, extending into countries…it’s an epidemic, no different and the COVID pandemic the world is currently dealing with. At least with COVID, vaccines are available. How do we get people to start caring for one another? How can hate be eradicated? The soil of humanity has been a breeding ground for devaluing human life, we must find ways to plant peace, mutual respect and value on every life. It’s a tall order I know, but I also believe it can be done one person at a time. It takes much more energy to hate than it does to just live, live the best you possible. If hate is contagious, so it is with love; and peace; and respect! Much love to you! Thank you for stopping by my blog today, I am grateful for your support, comments and prayers. 💜
Lenten M•I•C•R•O Practice for today:
~ A Break ~ Palm Sunday
Who do you know who needs a break, and how can you give them a break? You could offer a run to the store, babysitting, sweeping/shoveling, or even a small gift card.
🌿 Prayer 🌿
today we pay homage to Christ in his victory.
With songs of praise
we accompany him into the holy city;
grant that we may come
to the heavenly Jerusalem through him
who lives and reigns with you to all eternity.
— From the prayers for the blessing of the palms
~Charlotte, Seeker of unexpected Comfort, Happiness, Joy and Patience.
Show Me The Way — Henri J.M.Nouwen • 1992 The Crossroad Publishing
(1) Show Me The Way — Henri J.M.Nouwen • 1992 The Crossroad Publishing • Page 118, paragraphs 1 and 2 respectively.
(2) Show Me The Way — Henri J.M.Nouwen • 1992 The Crossroad Publishing • Page 118, paragraph 2.
(3) Show Me The Way — Henri J.M.Nouwen • 1992 The Crossroad Publishing • Page 119, paragraph 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 respectively.
(NIV) New International Version Bible/Translation
(NRSVA) New Revised Standard Version Apocrypha
(NJBV) New Jerusalem Bible Version/Translation