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Summary: The Triumphal Entry, this is my Memorial Day version.

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A Guy and His Donkey

The Triumphal Entry

Matthew 21:1-11

This of course is Memorial Day weekend

And tomorrow is the day we remember those who have given their very lives defending our freedom

Listen to this testimony from Vietnam Veteran Bill Scheibler

I served as an airborne Ranger platoon leader in the First Air Cavalry Division during the Vietnam War

Our company was hacked up pretty badly by the enemy during one mission

When our platoon’s survivors returned to base camp

We all trudged down the muddy path to our tent

As the men took their places in their bunks

The number of empty bunks became apparent

Men put their faces in their hands and sobbed like children

Each of us wondered if our bunk would be empty at the end of our next mission

Fortunately, there was something we could always count on to help keep our sanity

Late in the evening, long after the sun had gone down

A distant bugle could be heard playing “Taps”

When that haunting, nostalgic song was played

All activity in the battalion area came to a screeching halt

Conversations would stop and men would sit back in their bunks

Listening to what had to be the most poignant sound I have ever heard

Now years later, as I look back on the horrors of that combat

I remember that unknown bugler who played “Taps” so late every night

It seemed that, if only for a few moments, we were assured that someone was up there

Sending us renewed hope through those 24 simple notes

The notes were not what soothed this and many other soldiers hearts though

It was the words the close this short hymn

The words go like this

Day is done, gone the sun

From the lakes, form the hills, from the sky

All is well, safely rest

God is nigh

God is indeed nigh

As we remember the lives lost so we can enjoy our freedom

We can not forget that God is nigh

This story reminds me of another soldier

World War II - Burma

The fighting was intense, many lives had already been lost

But the United States Army was strong

Strongest in the world and they pressed on

Yes many had been lost but far more were still fighting

Ammo was running thin and the enemy was closing in

It was rough terrain and even rougher conditions

One GI, Peter, was in the thick of it

And as it happened he was in need of rescue

As he waited, stranded alone he felt like he would never make it out alive

Then he heard it

Something coming through the forest

It sounded large. What was it?

An enemy tank or truck?

Will I be killed, or worse, taken prisoner?

This GI tasted fear like never before

As the sound grew louder and louder

It finally broke through brush

It was not the enemy, not a vehicle

A mule, US ARMY mule, there to rescue him

A mule named Francis

And what happened next? Francis talked

Francis the talking mule from 1950 was the first in a series of movies starring this pre-Mister Ed mule that talked

Peter of course tells everyone about the talking mule

And gets himself a nice padded cell

Francis goes on to star in movies such as

Francis in the Navy

Francis goes to West Point

Francis Covers the Big Town

Francis Joins the WACs

Francis in the Haunted House, Francis Goes to the Races

The Patsy Award was originated by the Hollywood office of the American Humane Association in 1939.

And in 1951 Francis the mule was the first PATSY winner PATSY stands for Picture Animal Top Star of the Year

In today’s passage we read about another animal that the if the PATSY had been around in first-century Jerusalem would have certainly been a winner

This Jerusalem bound donkey would have won a PATSY

Read Matthew 21:1-11

God is nigh

Jesus the Prince of peace is closing in on Jerusalem, the city of Peace

Jesus the Lamb of God is closing in on the day of His execution

Jesus the Son of God is closing on His resurrection day

Jesus is nigh

This event is of course known as the Triumphal Entry

The dark shadow of the cross was already falling heavily across the pathway of the Lord Jesus

In just a few days, the event that all of humanity and time pivots upon, the crucifixion, would take place

Yet notice how calm the Lord is

How careful He is about every detail concerning His entry into the holy yet deceitful city. WHY?

So that scripture might be fulfilled

Long before this beautiful Sunday morning God had prepared all the intimate details for this event

Our story includes a man, a guy with a donkey

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