Monday, 20 October 2014

God's Invitation

10 Minute Daily Retreat (no. 6)
By Susanne Timpani

Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.
When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.”  So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.' Luke 19:1-6

Photo by C.Timpani

Many parents can recount how difficult it is to get some children to eat vegetables. It’s fairly easy to disguise them in baby food, but it’s not long before a young child can no longer be fooled. I’ve been in conversations with other mums exchanging ideas on how to ensure our children receive the goodness they need from those vegetables. But one day I came to the realization that I had done my job. I could provide the food, but it was up to the child to eat.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/suckamc/2488644619/sizes/l

Many of us know the story of Zacchaeus.  Curious about a gathering crowd, he climbs a tree to get a better view. Obviously he caught Jesus’ eye because He stops walking and looks up. It’s what happens next that I find interesting. Jesus  calls out, 'Zaccheaus come down.' Luke 19:5

Zacchaeus has to make a choice. For him it's a huge choice. Religion hasn't been part of his life. In fact, when we read on we find out that he's considered a bit of a low life. If he stays up in the tree, he'll never get to find out for himself who this Jesus was. Yet if he comes down, what if it meant he had to change his ways? 

Jesus stands and issues the invitation. He knew that Zacchaeus' life could only be changed for the good. But He can't force him to accept the invite.

The fact that we've read this reflection means that we've at least climbed the tree! Why not spend the next few minutes turning over Jesus' invitation? Using your own name, listen to Jesus say, '...come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.' Luke 19:5

Is it possible that we can respond in the way Zacchaeus did? 'So he came down at once and welcomed Jesus gladly.' Luke 19:6

5 minutes: READ over the text slowly.
REFLECT on any word or phrase that struck you.
5 minutes: LISTEN for God's voice in the silence.
RESPOND with a prayer that feels comfortable for you.