A Sunday school teacher recounts the story of the Fall to a group of third graders. When reaching the point where the serpent asks Eve the infamous "Did God really say...?" the children were asked what they thought Eve said to answer the serpent. The children all got very thoughtful, trying to think of what the correct answer to the snake's question would be. One little boy, however, was a quick thinker and immediately shouted out "Holy smokes, a talking snake!" It's interesting the things that we take for granted in biblical narrative that are actually designed to shock us and grab our attention. This Sunday we will be revisiting the only other story in Scripture that features a talking animal, that of Balaam and his donkey. It is possibly one of the most famous narratives in Scripture precisely because it preaches so well, being a balance of deep theological truth, compelling narrative, engaging characters, as well as what is surely meant to be on of the few truly funny interactions in the Bible. I look forward to sharing what I believe God has to say to us through his prophet (and the man who rode her!) this Sunday.