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The other night as I was talking to my husband about the Christmas story, I asked him who I was missing.
I have covered all the players I think, the story is mostly over at this point.
The angels visit Mary and Joseph, Zechariah and Elizabeth, Mary and Elizabeth,  the baby is born, and both shepherd’s and wise men, have come.
Mary and Joseph headed back home now that Herod is gone. The life of Jesus continues but I was not figuring out my new direction in telling this story.
He has been reading a book that I read and really enjoyed and I recommend it to you too.
Flash by Rachel Anne Ridge.
He said, “You are forgetting the donkey.” I looked at him as if to say, “what? no one talks about a donkey.”
But that is the point. In Rachel’s book she shares how wonderful Flash was, and how he came to mean so much for them as a family.
She shares the delightful character of her ‘donkey’ and the lessons learned from him.
It almost made me want to go out and find one for our yard, only we don’t have a farm.
Mary and Joseph had a donkey too. In fact, if you think about all the traveling they had to do in her fragile condition.
Without a donkey she could not have made it so far.
A simple donkey played a very important role in the Christmas story.
As they traveled over rocks and hard places, she trusted it’s strong legs and soft back.
I imagine how she held onto the hair with it tightly wrapped around her fingers, trying not to fall off with each step the donkey took.
She was able to rest and find some comfort, while riding on this ‘pack animal’ who made her trips so easy.
Amazing how God uses what we would not consider, to get a message to us, and also to tell his story.
This is not the first time God used a donkey, in the book of Numbers in the Old Testament, we find Balaam in chapter twenty two verse thirty.
Balaam had disciplined his donkey for not going in the direction he told to go, and the donkey responded to him.
[And the donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your donkey on which you have ridden all your life long to this day? Is it my habit to treat you this way?”
And he said, “No”] He meaning Balaam. Now we have to stop for a second because a donkey talked and a man responded.
All things possible with God right?
I wonder what the donkey could have told us about the travel time, with Mary and Joseph. Now that would be quite the conversation!
And also remember when Jesus enters into the city as a grown man, during the triumphal entry in John twelve verses fourteen through sixteen.
[Jesus found a young donkey and rode on it, fulfilling the prophecy that said,
“Don’t be afraid, people of Jerusalem. Look your King is coming riding on a donkey’s colt”]
So we can see now that the donkey is very important to the Spirit of Christmas and the story of Jesus.
We cannot have the story without the donkey. Joseph needed the help of his ‘long time’ donkey to pack food, blankets and Mary.
One more character added to the story of Jesus. A simple donkey doing what is most natural to him.
How wonderful of God to use what we consider not usable, in the powerful story of His Son.