Daily Office Readings for Wednesday of Proper 29: Year 2
Morning, Psalm 119:145-176; Evening, Psalms 128, 129, 130;
Zechariah 12:1to10; Ephesians 1:3to14; Luke 19:1to10:
“He was trying to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was short in stature.” (Luke 19:3)
I am aware that Luke is speaking of a physical “short in statue.” But many of us (tall or short) strive to see who Jesus really is. But we are short in faith. Too many of us refuse to just believe.
Also, too often the direction of the crowd prevents us from seeing who Jesus is. We tend to wrongly get on board with a crowd moving in an un-Jesus-like manner. When ill-willed charismatic influencers take hold of the lead, we too easily tend to follow and go down roads that our Lord Jesus would never travel.
In this story, Jesus, without giving any clues that he was aware of Zacchaeus in the tree, stopped just below him and looked up and invited himself to supper with Zacchaeus. ( I use this example as a way of inviting myself to a parishioner’s home for dinner. No, just kidding.) But Jesus was aware of Zacchaeus in the tree and met him “where he was.”
In just seeing Jesus, Zacchaeus repented and made right all the wrongs he had committed. Now Zacchaeus was a “Chief” Tax Collector. Being a tax collector was bad enough, but a chief tax collector was even further removed from any welcome to the Temple and seen as a Roman sympathizer by the Israelites.
But after hearing him explain his forgiveness and giving back to any he had wronged, Jesus proclaims that Zacchaeus too, “is a child to Abraham”, which pre-empts and supersedes the Temple and all it stands for. Jesus has put Zacchaeus back in the household of God. And, Jesus does not hold his wealth against him. Zacchaeus is still a chief tax collector, and is still rich, but now he is a believer in our Lord Jesus.
Sometimes we are too spiritually short to see Jesus. We must climb into the pews of a church in order to see him. If we do, He will self-invite himself into our homes and our hearts. And when he does, we will be changed forever and made children to Abraham. Thank You Lord Jesus.
Please keep up your thoughts and prayers and hopes for Ukraine and Iran.
As we listen to what the Spirit is saying to us, let us live to love, to serve, and to teach others to live, love and serve, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John