Journey to the Manger: Donkey

Jackson works to pin the tail on the donkey.

Jackson works to pin the tail on the donkey.

A donkey met us on the path as we continued our Journey to the Manger today.

Donkey

Donkey

We don’t know how Mary and Joseph traveled from Nazareth to Bethlehem. Many traditions and depictions of the Nativity show Mary riding on a donkey. We don’t know what animals may have been in the stable where Jesus is born, maybe a donkey, some sheep, or a cow. Jesus’s beginnings here on Earth were so humble.

Mary may have entered Bethlehem on a donkey, great with child, but later her son Jesus would ride triumphantly into Jerusalem on a donkey in the midst of waved palm branches and cries of Hosanna.

Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold, your king is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt!

– John 12:15

Jesus is our King! Born in a manger and resurrected from the grave, Jesus came here for you and me, so we could know Him and feel His love and presence.

Click here to learn more about celebrating Advent with your family this Christmas, including access to a Scripture plan, free downloads and activity ideas. For more on Journey to the Manger, an advent experience from Focus on the Family, visit the Thriving Family website.

Jesus enters Jerusalem

Our journey begins today.

2 Weeks 2 the Cross: Day 1

Scripture – Mark 11:1-11

When they approached Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany near the Mount of Olives, He sent two of His disciples and told them, “Go into the village ahead of you. As soon as you enter it, you will find a young donkey tied there, on which no one has ever sat. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here right away.’”

So they went and found a young donkey outside in the street, tied by a door. They untied it, and some of those standing there said to them, “What are you doing, untying the donkey?” They answered them just as Jesus had said, so they let them go. Then they brought the donkey to Jesus and threw their robes on it, and He sat on it.

Many people spread their robes on the road, and others spread leafy branches cut from the fields. Then those who went ahead and those who followed kept shouting:

Hosanna!
He who comes in the name
of the Lord is the blessed One!
The coming kingdom
of our father David is blessed!
Hosanna in the highest heaven!

And He went into Jerusalem and into the temple complex. After looking around at everything, since it was already late, He went out to Bethany with the Twelve.

Jackson helps us begin our journey to the cross

Jackson could hardly contain his excitement when he arrived home from school and saw the cross mural on the wall, heralding our 2 Weeks 2 the Cross journey.

While reading our Scripture tonight, I could tell Jackson was visualizing how Jesus rode into Jerusalem, with the crowds celebrating and worshiping Him as their King.

Both kids thought that Daddy would be the perfect donkey to set the scene, and since there are two of them, they would be the two disciples that went to fetch the donkey for Jesus.

Jackson pretends to be the disciple that unties the donkey for Jesus.

Jackson pretends to be the disciple that unties the donkey for Jesus.

Next up, we needed palm branches to wave and throw in front of Jesus. So we grabbed some green construction paper and scissors and had fun cutting. Lauren, our three-year-old, loved using her scissors to make the leaves!

Lauren cuts her palm branch.

Lauren cuts her palm branch.

Then, Jackson got his clothes and blankets (like the disciples and crowds used their robes), and threw them on the donkey and on the road (living room floor), to honor Jesus. As Jesus rode into Jerusalem, we all danced and shouted, “Hosanna! Hosanna!”

Jesus rides a donkey into Jerusalem, with crowds shouting Hosanna! Notice Jackson's jeans he threw on the ground, like the crowds threw their robes.

Jesus rides a donkey into Jerusalem, with crowds shouting Hosanna! Notice Jackson’s jeans he threw on the ground, like the crowds threw their robes.

Both kids got a chance to “be” Jesus and ride Daddy around. Jackson also wanted to be the donkey for awhile, so Lauren got a few more rides. The fun continued as we ran around the living room countless times shouting Hosanna, until we were all tired and ready for bed! 🙂