God Pause for Monday, 6/30/2014

Luther Seminary God Pause

Monday, 6/30/2014 Reading: Zechariah 9:9-12

What a surprise! Zechariah surprises us with the news that we should look forward to our king coming to deliver us, riding on a donkey. That reminds me of a story of surprise deliverance in the mid-May news on TV: A dog was attacking a young boy on his tricycle when, surprise, the boy was delivered by none other than a small cat. The cat flew into the dog, claws bared. The dog jumped back. He was also surprised. He then came back to continue his attack on the boy. The cat also came back with a new ferocity. This time, the cat pursued the dog until he dared not return. The boy learned that day where to place his trust.

Zechariah also surprises his listeners with a king who will defend them not only from the mighty empires of this world, but also the demonic powers of the spiritual world, riding into the Holy City on a donkey. The picture is as strange as watching a cat subduing a much larger dog.

This week we are once again celebrating how a small group of ragtag patriots, under the leadership of George Washington, delivered us from the bondage of a world empire of big dogs. We thank Mr. Washington and his brave soldiers, but we also thank God this week for the king who rode into Jerusalem on a donkey to give us the gift of freedom. As we watch the fireworks this Friday, we remember our king, who continues to ride in to set us free.

Almighty God, surprise us anew this week, as the United States celebrates its national independence, with eyes that can see that our greatest freedom of all is given to us by the man on a donkey. To Jesus be the glory. Amen.

Hubert Nelson Eden Prairie, Minn. Master of Divinity, 1962

Zechariah 9:9-12 (NRSV)

9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter Jerusalem! Lo, your king comes to you; triumphant and victorious is he, humble and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. 10 He will cut off the chariot from Ephraim and the war-horse from Jerusalem; and the battle bow shall be cut off, and he shall command peace to the nations; his dominion shall be from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth. 11 As for you also, because of the blood of my covenant with you, I will set your prisoners free from the waterless pit. 12 Return to your stronghold, O prisoners of hope; today I declare that I will restore to you double.

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