It's time for #sampleSaturday and the virtual ebook fair again--a three day event this time, and I suspect I'm arriving late, but I'll blame jet lag for my tardiness. If you click on the picture above it will take you straight to the facebook page with authors, readers, and ebooks galore for your weekend reading pleasure. Meanwhile, if you read on down this page, you'll find a sample from my upcoming Jerusalem Journey--Easter's mystery retold for children through five-minute stories and simple prayers. Don't forget to visit my author page at Cape Arago Press for up-to-date news of books already published in the Five Minute Bible Stories Series (TM).
A Boy and His Donkey
There was once a little boy called Simon who had a little donkey called Joe. Simon’s father kept the stables near the gates of Jerusalem. He looked after sturdy warhorses for Roman soldiers, proud stallions for the governor, strong carthorses for tradesmen, tough wiry donkeys for weary travelers, and, of course, little Simon’s little donkey Joe as well.
One day some Roman soldiers walked into the stable. Simon’s father rushed up and bowed to them. “How can I help you?” he asked and rubbed his hands obsequiously. But Simon just stood talking quietly to his little friend, Joe the donkey.
“You’re my big strong warhorse,” Simon said, “and I’m a big strong soldier too—no, I’m a big strong king. I’m going to wear a crown and carry a sword and conquer the world.” Then Simon twisted vines into a crown and put it on his head. He broke off the branch of a palm tree and pretended it was his sword. And he rode his donkey around and around the yard. The soldiers laughed at the boy and his happy little donkey, but Simon and Joe didn’t mind.
Another day some poor villagers walked into the stable. Simon’s father rushed up and bowed to them, which was odd because he didn’t usually bow to poor villagers. “You’ve come from the Master?” Simon’s father said, and the villagers said yes. “What does he need? A warhorse to lead his army? The governor’s horse to show them who’s boss? Just tell me. He can have whichever one he wants.”
Simon wondered who the Master could be—someone really important he guessed, and really powerful. But the villagers didn’t want a warhorse or a valiant stallion for him. They wanted Simon’s little donkey.
“I see. A man of the people,” said Simon’s father with a determined smile. “But I’ve got bigger, stronger donkeys than little Joe here. Let me find one for him.”
“No,” said the villagers. “The Master wants a colt, the foal of a donkey. He wants this one.” So Simon’s father said okay and they took Simon’s gentle little donkey away with them.
Simon followed the villagers along the road. He wanted to be sure little Joe would come back safe at the end of the day. When they stopped by a man near a whitewashed tomb Simon thought, This must be the Master. But the man really didn’t look terribly important. He just seemed kind of lonely and a little bit sad.
The man climbed onto little Joe’s back and his feet and robe trailed lankily down to the ground. Simon thought people would laugh at him because he looked so silly. But instead they laid their robes down on the road in front of him, waved palm branches in the air, and sang, “Hosannah to the King.”
Wow! My donkey’s carrying a king thought Simon. He rushed through the crowd to hold his donkey’s head and whispered in Joe’s ear, “You’ll have such stories to tell in the stables tonight.” Meanwhile the quiet, ordinary man on the donkey’s back whispered in Joe’s other ear. “You’re such a good little donkey,” he said. “So obedient and so kind.” Then the man prayed. “Keep me obedient, O God, like this little donkey. Let me do your will, O Father, as the donkey does mine.”
Simon wondered, what sort of king has to obey his father, and rides a donkey instead of a tall strong stallion. But later that week he found out, when Jesus wore a crown of thorns and was beaten with sticks instead of carrying a sword. Then Simon knew why Jesus looked sad and lonely as he sat among the tombs. And he understood, this sort of king is one who dies for his people.
Lord God, you’ve called us to be your soldiers and lead the world to you.
Help us remember to follow your example.
Keep us humble, riding donkeys and obeying your commands
instead of riding horses of war, and telling everyone else what they should do.
Please help us every day to become a little bit more like you.