Sunday, September 2, 2012

Luke 19:1-10

19 He entered Jericho and was passing through. And there was a man called by the name of Zaccheus; he was a chief tax collector and he was rich. Zaccheus was trying to see who Jesus was, and was unable because of the crowd, for he was small in stature. So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a [a]sycamore tree in order to see Him, for He was about to pass through that way. When Jesus came to the place, He looked up and said to him, “Zaccheus, hurry and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” And he hurried and came down and received Him [b]gladly. When they saw it, they all began to grumble, saying, “He has gone [c]to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.” Zaccheus stopped and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, half of my possessions I [d]will give to the poor, and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I [e]will give back four times as much.” And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he, too, is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

For those of you who don't know...I came home this week.  I flew in the arms of my family, my friends, my heritage.  It was wonderful.

I drove to Pickerington, Ohio, and up Route 204.  I was enjoying the gentle, rolling hills, the soft curves of the road.  I was probably driving too fast, and then I saw it--a traffic light!  "Since when is there a traffic light at this curve," I wondered.  I slammed on the brakes, and thought "Wow, things have changed."

Then, I made my way to Harmon Road, which in my memory is an oiled one lane path, arched with trees.  I was amazed to find the road of my memory lined with subdivisions along a three lane highway.  

Yet, coming home filled me with warmth.  If it wasn't the houses and the streets--what could make me feel so wonderful?  It was the embrace of my brother, the smile of my sister, the voice of a friend calling out "Betty Lou!"   I haven't been called by my full name in SO long.  

As I sat one evening around a fire, chatting with my high school friends, I realized how important it is to be with people who KNOW you and love you.  They know your name, your REAL name.  They don't forget you.  You are important to them.  Your life matters.

Indeed, my life matters.  And your life matters.  And that is why in Luke, Jesus called Zaccheus by name, though he was not the most lovable person.  He was a tax collector.  He was without friends.  Yet Jesus knew him, by name.  He knew his heart. 

That is our Savior.  He's hoping that you will return home to Him.  He knows your name.  He wants to embrace you and love you.  He doesn't forget you...ever.

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