The invitation to belong
Luke 19: 1-9
Jesus entered Jericho and made his way through the town. There was a man there named Zacchaeus. He was the chief tax collector in the region, and he had become very rich. He tried to get a look at Jesus, but he was too short to see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree beside the road, for Jesus was going to pass that way.
When Jesus came by, he looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name. “Zacchaeus!” he said. “Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today.”
Zacchaeus quickly climbed down and took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy, but the people were displeased. “He has gone to be the guest of a notorious sinner,” they grumbled.
Meanwhile, Zacchaeus stood before the Lord and said, “I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have cheated people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much!”
Jesus responded, “Salvation has come to this home today, for this man has shown himself to be a true son of Abraham, for the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.”
Luke 19 vs 1 - 9 (New Living Translation)
Lord, the world tells me that because you’re unseen, you are a mystery – remote, distant, nothing to do with me.
These Bible verses tell a different story – Jesus looking for a man by name, inviting himself to tea and unexpectedly taking time to talk . . . just as you did, years before with Abraham in the desert.
Thank you Lord, for showing me that you’re the one who takes the initiative; makes the first move.
It’s good to know that with all that’s going on, you’re not mysteriously far away, but actually interested in me.
I’d like our friendship to grow . . . into a real sense of belonging, so help me to make time in my busy schedule, to meet with you.
Could we sit down with a cup of tea and talk, just as Jesus and Zacchaeus did ?
I can see that it made a big difference to Zacchaeus’ life – he found the confidence to turn his values and priorities around. I’d like to find that same kind of confidence, and with your help, values I can hold onto in this world.
Call on me, when I’m tempted to take the easy way out, take advantage of others or put myself first, to remember your visit to Zacchaeus. It was obviously important to you, to turn him from dishonesty and selfishness, to a decent working man who cared about others.
Thank you for showing me that he was a better person; a happier more fulfilled person, through knowing you.