Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Just as they are...

"So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree in order to see Jesus..."
Luke 19:4

Today's Gospel about Zacchaeus climbing a tree to get a better look at Jesus is so similar to yesterday's story of the blind man who shouts out to Jesus. I noticed in both cases there seemed to be no concern for embarrassment or how the guys came across to others. In the case of the blind guy, others tried to shut him up and he didn't care, he shouted on. In Zacchaeus' case, the people were tsk-tsking him, grumbling about his dirty dealing and ill gotten gains. Jesus would have none of it. When Jesus encounters someone, no matter who they are or what they've done, they are changed. What about us? Is it only first century folks changed by Jesus? Certainly not! We are changed and transformed by Jesus just as vividly if our eyes are open and our hearts are beating with God. Sometimes, we look back on our encounters and wish we had responded differently. But, if we are reading this, we  are alive and have a whole new opportunity today to see Jesus in the people and situations around us. While reading both of these stories, let's also take notice that Jesus beckons the fellows to him even before they apologize for any wrongdoing or announce they will change their ways. Jesus accepts them just as they are--needy, seeking and broken. Just as we are. Love, heidi

Monday, November 19, 2018

Shout out?

"He shouted, 'Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!'"
Luke 18:38

So often when I hear this reading, I zero in on the healing of the blind man from Jericho.  But, today I was caught up in the asking, the shouting for Jesus. Pray-As-You-Go invites us to think about anything that may be keeping us from reaching out to Jesus, shouting by the roadside, as this fellow did. He had nothing to lose, really, but do we? Are we concerned what others will think if we rely on Jesus? Is there anything that is keeping us from shouting out? In my own life, I am less and less concerned what others think (I hope), but I am so easily distracted by things of this world that I spend too much time "there." Yesterday afternoon, I'd finally had enough of documentaries on TV and just shut the whole world out. I sat and gazed at my tree, listened to some wonderful music daughter Jeni Rose sent me from Israel, ate a small dinner in silence and then had a fire in my fireplace (first one!) I found it enchanting to be tuned into God and not the TV. So, if I had to answer what is keeping me from reaching out to Jesus? I would have to say my own distracted-ness. I get mesmerized by the computer, TV and the connections of the world. Once I decide to unplug from those, I can rest and relax, reaching out to Jesus. What about you? Love, heidi