The Legend of the Donkey & the Cross

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A few months ago, myself and some colleagues took some families for a day trip to a farm. On this farm there was an opportunity to go on a tractor ride, which took us to see some donkeys. Whilst looking at the donkeys from a position just above them I noticed that each one had a cross on their back. I asked one of the farm workers about this who said that all donkeys had this cross, some more visible than others, and proceeded to tell me that ‘legend says’ the cross appeared after Jesus had ridden on the donkey into Jerusalem (Mark 11). It was in Jerusalem where Jesus was later arrested and crucified for us.

I’ve since read around ‘crosses on donkeys backs’ and I love this children’s story: The little donkey that had been Jesus' mount on Palm Sunday, came to the hill of Calvary where Jesus was crucified. Seeing the tragic event occurring there he wished with all his heart he had been able to carry the cross for Jesus as he was the proper one to carry heavy burdens. The donkey turned his back on the sight, but he could not leave because he wished to stay until all was over because of his love for Jesus. The shadow of the cross fell upon him and from that day all donkeys wear the cross on their back.

It set me thinking: Do we carry a ‘sign’ that shows our love for God? This might be the way we treat others, the way we live out our faith or the way we simply live. If we had a clear mark on us to show our connection to God would we behave any differently at any part of the day, in any setting, with particular people?

It is a challenge to us all that even though we do not have a visible sign of a cross on us to show our loyalty to and love for God, the way we live our lives should be a sign to everybody.

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