Today, our Gospel lesson was the wonderful story of Zacchaeus. Oh, how I enjoyed teaching that story in Sunday School to our little students. The story, the song of the "wee little man" - I enjoyed every moment of it. It was a true treat to hear it preached today from our wonderful Pastor. It put a different light on the story, one that made me consider throughout the day of "looking up".
That day when Jesus was on His journey, walking through Jericho, he looked up. There, up in the tree, was Zacchaeus. So the story of the hated tax collector goes. Jesus tells him that he is going to go to his house and Zacchaeus immediately heeds Jesus' words. Zacchaeus gives of himself - time, possessions and soul, to the Lord. It is a wonderful exchange of the lost being found, of Jesus finding Zacchaeus, the little, lost man.
As I sat, listened, and remembered the sermon throughout the day, I couldn't help but "look up". Jesus, walking along, to the time to look up. I couldn't help but "look up" throughout the afternoon. Up towards the beautiful blue sky; up towards the tops of the swaying trees; up towards the top of a flag pole with a flag flying stoically; up towards the hawk that gracefully soared through the air; up towards the cross that hangs in the front of our church. Up . . . towards my Lord.
When I look up, I realize what Jesus provides to me with all the things that are "up". The flexibility of the swaying trees certainly symbolize to me the times when I need to be humble, and not so controlling - to sway with the air towards what is right and away from MY needs and MY wants. I look up at the flag and can't help but send prayers to all those that have fought for my freedom, from long ago to today. Although I might not know each person by name that I pray for, I know that Jesus hears my prayers and is looking over the service men, women and their families. I look up at the hawk that glides and I remember the power of my Lord to help me out of the difficult situations, as long as I follow His path and His will.
My final look up is to the cross - the cross where my Jesus died for my sins. I look up and I see His suffering, His scorn, His death. I look up to remember His life here on earth; how God sent His only son so that I would not have to suffer the consequences of my sins in hell. I look up to know that on
that cross, Jesus took my sins on His shoulders - to bring me eternal life.
I look up at the beautiful blue sky and all I can think of is the day our Lord finally rose to heaven in all his glory. What a sight that must have been. The joys of looking up!! As we think of Jesus looking up to Zacchaeus, may we also look up - to all of the glorious things our Lord has provided for us when we glance upward. There is no doubt that all of you look up and see our Lord's glory, His peace, His love for us.
The next time you are outside, I ask that you look up. Even if looking up means that a raindrop falls on your nose - that, too, is a blessing from our Heavenly Father. Sometimes I feel that I look at things too simply (maybe that's why the title of my blog fits me so well). Yet, I believe God gave us simplicity for our faith. I believe that He didn't want it to be too complicated. He wanted a simple man, Zacchaeus, to simply believe, to know that His salvation comes from Jesus. And Zacchaeus believed. May you believe as well. Blessings for the week ahead.
"So he came down at once and welcomed Him gladly.....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 cam to seek and to save what was lost." (NIV) Luke 19:6-10