Daily Reflection Tuesday 18 November 2008: Tuesday of week 33 of the Year

Niels Larsen Stevns- Zakæus.jpg

Collect of the Day:

Lord, look with favour on our prayers.
 Brighten the inmost places of our hearts with your love so that no dark desires can hide there:
 heal us with the light of your heavenly grace.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
 who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
 God for ever and ever.
Amen.

Daily Readings:

   
The First Reading: Apocalypse 3:1-6,14-22
I, John, heard the Lord saying to me: ‘Write to the angel of the church in Sardis and say, “Here is the message of the one who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars: I know all about you: how you are reputed to be alive and yet are dead. Wake up; revive what little you have left: it is dying fast. So far I have failed to notice anything in the way you live that my God could possibly call perfect, and yet do you remember how eager you were. when you first heard the message? Hold on to that. Repent. If you do not wake up, I shall come to you like a thief, without telling you at what hour to expect me. There are a few in Sardis, it is true, who have kept their robes from being dirtied, and they are fit to come with me, dressed in white. Those who prove victorious will be dressed, like these, in white robes; I shall not blot their names out of the book of life, but acknowledge their names in the presence of my Father and his angels. If anyone has ears to hear, let him listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches.”
‘Write to the angel of the church in Laodicea and say, “Here is the message of the Amen, the faithful, the true witness, the ultimate source of God’s creation: I know all about you: how you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were one or the other, but since you are neither, but only lukewarm, I will spit you out of my mouth. You say to yourself, ‘I am rich, I have made a fortune, and have everything I want’, never realising that you are wretchedly and pitiably poor, and blind and naked too. I warn you, buy from me the gold that has been tested in the fire to make you really rich, and white robes to clothe you and cover your shameful nakedness, and eye ointment to put on your eyes so that you are able to see. I am the one who reproves and disciplines all those he loves: so repent in real earnest. Look, I am standing at the door, knocking. If one of you hears me calling and opens the door, I will come in to share his meal, side by side with him. Those who prove victorious I will allow to share my throne, just as I was victorious myself and took my place with my Father on his throne. If anyone has ears to hear, let him listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches.”’

 

The Gospel:

Luke 19:1-10
Jesus entered Jericho and was going through the town when a man whose name was Zacchaeus made his appearance; he was one of the senior tax collectors and a wealthy man. He was anxious to see what kind of man Jesus was, but he was too short and could not see him for the crowd; So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree to catch a glimpse of Jesus who was to pass that way. When Jesus reached the spot he looked up and spoke to him: ‘Zacchaeus, come down. Hurry, because I must stay at your house today.’ And he hurried down and welcomed him joyfully. They all complained when they saw what was happening. ‘He has gone to stay at a sinner’s house’ they said. But Zacchaeus stood his ground and said to the Lord, ‘Look, sir, I am going to give half my property to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody I will pay him back four times the amount’ And Jesus said to him, ‘Today salvation has come to this house, because this man too is a son of Abraham; for the Son of Man has come to seek out and save what was lost.’

Daily Reflection:

In todays Gospel we have the story of Zacchaeus the tax collector. Tax collectors worked under the Roman government; and therefore, they were regarded as being rengades and traitors by other Jewish people in Biblical times. Theives, murderers and tax collectors were classed together, and they were barred from attending the Synagogue. Although Zacchaeus had reached the top of his profession, he was also  one of the most hated men in his district. He was wealthy, but he was not happy. Inevitably he would have been a lonely man, for he had chosen a vocation that had made him an outcast.

It intersesting to note that Jesus chose to identify with the person who was the social outcast, the person who was rejected by polite society, the one who was judged by his peers and found to be lacking. What this shows is that as we are told in Isaiah God is no respecter of a persons so called status in this life. Luke tells us at the end of this passage that Jesus came to save what was lost, and Zacchaeus was indeed lost. Though we must always be careful how we regard the meaning of the word LOST. In the New Testament it does not mean damned or doomed, it simply means in the wrong place. A thing is lost when it has gotten out of its rightful place and into a wrong one, when we find such a thing we return it to the palce it ought to occupy.

A person is lost when they are separted from God, either by wandering away or being chased away or being told that they are unworthy of the love of God. They are found when they once again  are restored to their rightful place as a beloved member in God’s family. We as Christians should strive to be masters at retrieving the lost, it is only then that we can truly call ourselves Church.

+Ian

 

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

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