Here’s a little fantasy about Easter. Reading it to youngsters might help them share in the joy of the holy day:
Zeke, the donkey, was looking rather sad. His little son, Jojo, was concerned and said to him,”Papa, why are you so sad?”
Zeke replied, “I just heard that a very gentle and kind man they called Jesus was scourged and crucified a couple of days ago.”
Jojo responded, “But why does that make you so sad?”
“Well, it is sort of a family story. It was not that long ago that your cousin, Bleat, was called upon to carry on his back that man, Jesus, into Jerusalem to fulfill what the prophet had said:
‘Tell the daughter of Zion,
Look, your king is coming to you,
humble, and mounted on a donkey,
and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’ (Matt 21:5 NRSV)
Zeke went on, “And a large crowd had assembled and even put their many cloaks and tree branches on the road to smooth the way for Jesus. They all shouted, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David!’ They were all excited and jubilant about the arrival of this prophet who was there, coming in the name of the Lord! And he was riding on your little cousin’s back! What an honor for Bleat! It made the whole stable family so proud!”
“It was just a few days later that Jesus was betrayed by one of his apostles, arrested, scourged and crucified. But from what I have heard, Jesus was a marvelous teacher, a tireless healer, a compassionate man….the son of God! That is the kind of person we need here in Jerusalem! I was hoping to meet up with him myself one day!”
Jojo interrupted,”Hee haw! Papa, now I think I remember Grandpa Spike saying that, about thirty-three years ago, he carried a lovely young woman named Mary from Nazareth to Bethlehem so that her husband, Joseph, could be registered in compliance with Emperor Augustus’ decree. And then, not very long after her baby, that same Jesus, was born, Grandpa carried Mary and her baby on his back from Bethlehem to Egypt to keep Jesus safe from Herod’s plan to destroy him.”
“But I may have some good news for you, Papa! I heard from a stable boy that Jesus was raised from the dead! The tomb is empty! Father God has raised his Son and he went on to Galilee! If you can get to Galilee, you might still get to meet him!”
Zeke’s sadness left him. He brayed joyfully!
“I will stay here and help take care of you, my son. I am just happy that Jesus’ followers will have him with them, and that love and healing will spread throughout the world! Thank you for the good news, Jojo! Happy Easter to you!”
Photo: Nick Fewings on Upsplash
The scripture passage is from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1965, 1966 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Sharon Krause is a RENEW volunteer whose writing has appeared in several resources for small-group faith sharing. She is a wife, mother, and grandmother residing in Manchester, Connecticut. Over the years, she has served in many parish ministries.