Lovius Joseph pulls a donkey in Picmy, a village on the Haitian island of La Gonave.


A devotion for Palm Sunday

By Anna Troy


The disciples went and did just as Jesus had ordered them. They brought the donkey and the colt and laid their clothes on them. Then he sat on them. Now a large crowd spread their clothes on the road. Others cut palm branches off the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds in front of him and behind him shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!”

Matthew 21: 6-9 (CEB)

I have only been around a few donkeys in my life so far, but they have not left an impression of “obedient” or “care-free” on me. Donkeys are not only stubborn, as many know, but also extremely protective of their “family,” which is what makes them such good guard animals for sheep and goats. So, I find myself wondering about a stubborn guard as the choice of entry for Jesus. And yet, donkeys are also known for plodding along and getting the job done. There is comfort in that when facing difficult times. Something Jesus would have wanted in those days. The combination of stubborn guard and plodding comfort seems to be just what Jesus and many of us need in times of struggle.

The neighbors served at Open Heart Ministries often face uncertain and stressful days – utility shut-offs, eviction notices, food or medicine decisions, and more. They need someone to walk with them who provides hope, comfort and reassurance that they are not alone. Most importantly, we are there to remind them that God loves them in the middle of their struggle.

Jesus knew he would be facing a struggle and chose a humble creature to comfort him as he entered Jerusalem. I am reminded that being a donkey is quite a good thing after all. To guard and comfort Jesus is quite an inheritance, and a wonderful lesson for us all, no matter what we are facing.

Prayer: God of Peace, we give to you our struggles, knowing that you are always beside us, walking with us through the trials we face. Help us comfort others as you comfort us; help us lead others as you lead us – that we may all find the joy and peace you have waiting for us. Amen.

The Rev. Anna Troy is a Church and Community Worker missionary who serves as the director of Open Heart Ministries of Harrison County, Inc., a nonprofit agency located in Clarksburg, West Virginia. Open Heart provides emergency financial assistance to county residents, primarily through rent and utility assistance, although other necessities are also provided on an as-needed basis. Each neighbor receives information about further resources in the area and is prayed with individually regarding their needs.