Small Starts and New Beginnings
Away in a manger no crib for a bed…
Luke, Chapter 19 opens with the account of small man with a bad reputation. He perched up high in a sycamore tree, watching for Jesus to walk by.
He must have known that either he’d lose sight of him in the big crowd or that he wouldn’t be welcomed. He was a tax collector known for greed, was avoided and avoided others.
Or perhaps, none of this mattered to him at all, he had heard of a man who changed lives, brought redemption from wrong.
He was intrigued and maybe hopeful that he could see the man who would be a Savior, hoping Jesus was everything everyone had been proclaiming him to be.
Zacchaeus, like many others kept himself at a distance, not having any expectations or demanding to be seen.
The woman with the menstrual malformation, the man with the palsied hand, the ruler who wanted his servant to live, each of them came unassuming; but, willing to believe.
Jesus saw Zacchaeus and told him he’d like to go to his home. He invited himself there.
Zacchaeus, I imagine hurried down from the tree oblivious of the critical onlookers and he and Jesus went on their way, Jesus was going to his home today!
“And behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus. He was a chief tax collector and was rich. And he was seeking to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was small in stature. So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was about to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.”
Luke 19:2-5 ESV
I suppose it was a splendid house, Zacchaeus had accumulated wealth. But, he had a plan and he told Jesus, he was remorseful and he wanted to give it away.
“And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.” And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
Luke 19:8-10 ESV
Jesus saw his sincerity, his commitment to live differently, to make a turn towards mercy, to begin new things, new life, to be born again.
It’s just that simple.
Everyone can have a story of when Jesus noticed our need, beckoned us to come with him, no need to hide any longer, he waits to welcome us in.
Father God, we thank you for your son born without a crib, we thank you that you receive us where we are, that you still receive “sinful men”. Tell me what to say today, thank you the gift of beginning again. Because of mercy, Amen
May Christmas bring us more clearly with you, Jesus, Immanuel, God with us.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”
John 3:16-17 ESV