What I’m Thinking: Risky Climb

Zacchaeus climbed a tree just to see the visiting celebrity preacher. Did he imagine how dangerous that climb was to his way of life?

Here’s a transcript:

Thank you to all those who contributed to the YWCA’s “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” campaign this past weekend. You saw a few steps of my high-heeled feet in the intro to today’s program.

Thank you so much. It is a very worthy cause and an absolutely crucial service to support those who have suffered from sexual assault in their healing, their recovery, and their full participation in our communities. Thank you.

I’m thinking about the nineteenth chapter of Luke’s Gospel (Luke 19:1-10). Last week we had a story about a tax collector; this week Luke tells us about Jesus’ encounter with an actual tax collector. This one even gets a name – or rather, he had a name, and we know it. His name was Zacchaeus. Not just any tax collector, a chief tax collector, and that, we can be reasonably sure, is at least part of the source of his wealth.

Zacchaeus went and climbed a tree in order to see Jesus as he passed through the village. Jesus was the one who called out to Zacchaeus and invited a conversation, a meal, a relationship, even.

I think that illustrates, seriously, some of the risks of approaching faith. When we reach out, when we make an effort, when we climb a tree to see what there might be there is a risk that God, that Jesus, the Holy Spirit, that this Great Power beyond us all may see our efforts and call us on them, and invite us to something deeper and greater.

For Zacchaeus, that meant giving away half of what he had. For Zacchaeus, that meant righting the wrongs that he’d committed. What does it mean for you? What does it mean for me?

If we make that first climb, to see what faith might be like, what does it mean for you or for me to see the eyes of the Holy One gazing in our direction and inviting us onto a new way?

That’s what I’m thinking. I’m curious to hear what you’re thinking. Leave me your thoughts in the comment section below; I’d love to hear from you.

Categories What I'm Thinking | Tags: , | Posted on October 27, 2019

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