We drove up to Iowa on Saturday night. The church I grew up in isn't overly liturgical, but it tends to celebrate more Christian holidays than just Christmas and Easter. We tried to arrive a few minutes early so that the boys could be a part of Palm Sunday--Nils has never gotten to wave a palm branch and Anders hasn't done it since we lived in Canada, so he didn't even remember it.
Neither boy wanted to even take a palm branch at first (even though we had talked it up earlier and they seem interested in participating). I did eventually talk Nils into holding one and he went forward with it, but I had to accompany. Anders has the same stage-fright I had when I was his age. I always fought going forward in church--whether it was to wave a palm branch or say a Christmas piece or sing a song. I remember crying vehemently trying to avoid going up. That did change as I got older (I even had some lead parts in high school plays!).
So, I can't blame Anders for not wanting to wave a palm branch. He knows the story, anyway. I doubt he gets the significance of "The King of the Jews" entering Jerusalem on a donkey. (Do I fully grasp the significance of Jesus' humble entry?) But he knows that children waved palm branches, praising Jesus with "Hosannah! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!"
I remember riding on a donkey once when I was young at my cousin's house. It wasn't a smooth ride by anymeans. There's a reason when kings don't ride them into battle or that they're not big headliners in the Rose Bowl Parade. Horses have power. Donkeys don't. But maybe humility isn't a bad thing. Especially in a Messiah who calls us to follow Him and immitate Him in His love, mercy, kindness and compassion toward others.