Lift Up the Gates

March 18, 2016 (Luke 15:11-32 and Luke 19:36, and remembering that no palms are mentioned in Luke)

They went up to Jerusalem
for Passover that year,
a larger family,
if not a healed one —
the younger child still tangled
in a personal pilgrimage
little to do with Exodus.

At the crest near Bethphage
where there was an olive grove
they heard a rumor
rustle through the crowd
that One was coming
on a donkey of peace –
perhaps the one foretold.

He grabbed the robe
they gave him
when he first came home
from the far country,
yanked it over his head
lay it on the ground,
beneath the oncoming hooves —
no need to break the trees —

and then stood there naked
before the quiet rider.

He was the first,
but others followed
and soon the road was
a patchwork of cloaks and robes
and crazy hopeful songs.

His stiff brother wondered
why the prodigal always
seemed to need all the attention,

but it was he who stood
close enough to the Teacher
to hear the answer
when the Pharisees demanded
that the crowd be still,

“I tell you, if these were silent …”
Jesus began,
and then the young man felt it,
the stony place inside
crack open, and to the surprise
of his family,
the local authorities,
and most of all himself,

threw back his head
and began to sing — Hosanna.Donkey

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6 Responses to Lift Up the Gates

  1. Lovely imagination, weaving from a story Jesus told to people near him in the story we know of him. And I especially like the donkey – thanks for that.

  2. Maren says:

    I am fond of the donkey … and the prodigal’s pigs and the poor goats — who always get the short end of the parable.

  3. Mary Elford says:

    Thank you so much for these various meditations on the prodigal and family. Today’s is especially lovely.

  4. Maren says:

    You are very welcome. Thank you for reading.

  5. says:

    Hi,Maren Lovely. A beautiful combing of two Biblical narratives. Happy Easter! Pat

  6. Maren says:

    And a very happy Easter to you as well, Pat.

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