Weekly Church Service – Pentecost 21: 3 November 2019

Today salvation has come to this house, for the Son of Man came to seek out and to save the lost.    Luke 19:10

Merciful God,
righteous Judge of all,
who sent Jesus among us to seek and to save
those who are lost:
grant that we may eagerly seek the Saviour,
and joyfully welcome him into our homes 
and lives. We ask this through Jesus Christ
our Lord, who lives and reigns with you in the
unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and
for everAmen.

  • Habakkuk 1:1-4, 2:1-4
  • Psalm 119:137-144
  • 2 Thess 1:1-4, 11-12
  • Luke 19:1-10

next week

  • Haggai 1:15b-2:9
  • Psalm 145:1-5, 17-21
  • 2 Thess 2:1-5, 13-17
  • Luke 20:27-40

Twenty-first Sunday after Pentecost
“Zacchaeus, come down quickly, for today I mean to stay at your house.”

As the chief tax collector of Jericho, a very prosperous trade and agricultural village just northwest of Jerusalem, Zacchaeus was a very unpopular man with his fellow Jews. Though very wealthy, Zacchaeus (the name, ironically, means “clean”) was a very unhappy and lonely man who desperately sought the peace of God taught by this rabbi Jesus.  

But it is Jesus who takes the initiative and seeks out Zacchaeus, calling Zacchaeus down from the sycamore tree and inviting himself to Zacchaeus’ house.  In seeking out Zacchaeus, Jesus calls forth the good will of Zacchaeus that his neighbours fail to see.  The Messiah has come explicitly for the Zacchaeus’ of the world: to lift up the fallen, to seek out the lost, to give hope to the poor and the forgotten.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus affirms and upholds the compassion and integrity of the shunned tax collector Zacchaeus, transforming the life of the man in the sycamore tree. We are called by Christ in the same way: to respond to the love of God in whatever way we can and to enable others to do the same, thus transforming the darkness that engulfs us into the light of God’s peace and justice.

Loved by God, our Creator and Father, and redeemed by Jesus, every human being has much to give, if we enable them to give and their gifts to be accepted.In our own humble efforts at kindness and understanding and our seemingly inconsequential acts of generosity and forgiveness we can bring to our own homes the “salvation” that Jesus brings to the house of the faithful Zacchaeus in today’s Gospel. © Connections/MediaWorks    

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